UK government outlines 22-point plan to avoid summer aviation disruption
The UK government has set out a 22-point plan to support the aviation industry and avoid a repeat of this year’s Easter and mid-term disruptions.
Government support will include assistance with staff recruitment and training; ensure the delivery of a realistic summer schedule; minimize disruption; and support passengers when delays and cancellations are unavoidable. Other actions foreseen in the action plan include measures taken to reduce the time required for the onboarding of new staff while maintaining a high level of security. This will include changing the law to provide greater flexibility in background checks and allow employers to use a letter from HM Revenue and Customs to verify five years of employment.
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The government also intends to launch an air passenger charter for summer 2022. Developed in partnership with industry and consumer groups, the charter will be a comprehensive guide for consumers, informing them of their rights and what they can reasonably expect from airports and airlines. in flight. The release follows the unique ‘amnesty’ on airport slot rules, where the government has given airlines a short window to return slots for the rest of the summer season if they are not satisfied that they will be able to exploit them. This is intended to help passengers find alternative flights in advance, rather than dealing with the last minute cancellations seen during the Easter and mid-term holidays. This is an exceptional measure while the industry recruits the personnel it needs.
Grant Shapps, UK Government Transport Secretary, said: “Holidaymakers deserve certainty ahead of their first summer getaways without travel restrictions. While it’s never possible to avoid every delay or cancellation, we’ve worked closely with airports and airlines to ensure they run realistic schedules. The 22 actions we released today describe what we are doing to support the industry. It’s now up to airports and airlines to commit to rescheduling the flights they promised or canceling them with enough time to avoid the kind of scenes we saw over Easter and halfway through. With 100 days since we announced restrictions would be eased, there is simply no excuse for widespread disruption.
Robert Courts, the UK government’s aviation minister, commented: “I met regularly with the industry before the summer break, and I am extremely grateful for the constructive way in which we were able to discuss what is n didn’t work at Easter and half term. The measures we have taken to support airlines and airports are not just intended to minimize disruption this summer, but to help the sector recruit the staff it needs for the long term. I look forward to continuing to support them in this effort where we can.
Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, added: “We share the Government’s ambitions to address the travel issues we have seen over the past months. These actions will help the sector to be more resilient in the face of strong consumer demand. We will work alongside government and industry at large to help deliver a better passenger experience. I look forward to the Civil Aviation Authority being part of this collective effort.