Bristol Airport’s and AOA’s response to the ‘Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme’
Created: 29th Jan 2021
Dave Lees, CEO, Bristol Airport said
“The aviation sector has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Bristol Airport, along with airports across the UK, has never had the opportunity to recover. Today’s Government announcement is a welcome relief during what continues to be the most challenging period in our history.
“However, since the Government’s original rates relief announcement at the end of last year, the outlook for 2021 has worsened significantly. It is therefore crucial that today’s announcement is just the first step towards restarting the sector and safeguarding the connectivity and prosperity of the South West. We will continue to highlight the urgent need for more significant economic support and importantly a clear roadmap to recovery. When the time is right and travel restrictions ease, Bristol Airport will be ready to provide the essential air connectivity to Europe and beyond again, which is what our customers are telling us they want.”
Business rate relief welcome but more support needed
Commenting on the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme opening for applications, Airport Operators Association Chief Executive Karen Dee said:
“The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme will provide some financial relief for airports in England devasted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Most airports have remained open, sustaining consistent losses for nearly twelve months, in order to facilitate essential freight, emergency service, military and offshore oil, gas and wind flights.
“When originally announced, the business rate relief was very welcome and came alongside a real hope for an initial recovery through the Test-to-Release Scheme. However, the pandemic took a turn for the worse and the outlook for 2021 has worsened significantly.“With airports effectively closed again by the Government’s travel restrictions, much more significant support is now needed. This should see airports through the current crisis to safeguard jobs and ensure they are fighting fit to boost the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”