A new study – ‘Transport’s role in sustaining the UK’s productivity and competitiveness’ – has been published. A small section of the report covers aviation. The study was led by Rod Eddington, previous head of British Airways. The Eddington report says that aviation makes a big contribution to the UK economy and that international airports such as Heathrow need to expand.
No new work has been done to justify these conclusions. The report just uses the work done for the Air Transport White Paper and re-iterates its conclusions. Since Eddington was head of British Airways, which was constantly lobbying for expansion of Heathrow and still is, such comments are hardly surprising.
They are even less surprising when one realises that much of the work for the report was done by civil servants. Since the civil servants, under instruction from ministers, produced the ‘justification’ for expansion of airports in the Air Transport White Paper and since government policy has not changed since then, they are bound to reach similar conclusions.
In short, the conclusions on aviation are worthless. No original work has been done and neither Eddington nor his team was independent – they all had a vested interest in confirming the government’s current policy on aviation.
For more information on the shortcomings of the report, contact AEF.