Governments and Aviation

5 min read

We know… We know… This is a sensitive topic, but hear us out on this one. Let us start with a fair question: Do you think that there should be more government involvement in private-sector aviation? The answer to this question might be more nuanced than initially meets the eye. On one side of the argument, they are those who believe that without government regulations the aviation industry would not be as safe, with private companies doing whatever they want. On the other hand, there are those who believe that it is these very regulations that hamper the industry and prevent it from being able to innovate more and allow prices to be even lower. Whichever side of the argument you were on, one thing is for sure, we can see pros and cons – at least in the short term – of government interventions.  Whether in the long term, there is a net positive or net negative, that is for another discussion. Although, a quick review of the last almost 50 years since deregulation could be instructive

In this week’s On Aviation™ Digest, we share some stories and articles on some plans and interventions by governments in the aviation industry. Some seem benign enough while others seem to be outright failures so far. There are still others that have not yet been implemented, but we leave it up to you the readers to come up with your own best estimate as to the outcomes of these proposals.

Jryanair’s Michael O’leary Quits ‘useless’ Government Aviation Council Over ‘zero Action And Zero Progress’

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Europe’s biggest budget airline, Ryanair, has angrily pulled out of the UK Aviation Council – saying the body had achieved “zero action and zero progress” since beginning to meet in February.

In a letter to Baroness Vere, the aviation minister and co-chair of the council, the airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, called the meetings “a complete waste of our time”.

The Aviation Council was set up by the former transport secretary, Grant Shapps, “to ensure that the UK retains one of the strongest and most successful aviation sectors in the world”.

Its aim is to bring together industry and government “to support the delivery and implementation of commitments set out in the Flightpath to the Future” – it described itself as a “strategic framework for the aviation sector that supports the Department for Transport’s vision for a modern, innovative and efficient sector over the next 10 years”.

Ryanair is an Irish airline but its biggest market is in the UK, with London Stansted as its leading base.

By Simon Calder | The Independent

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White House Wants Aviation Bill To Include New Consumer Protections

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The White House on Monday urged Republicans who control the House of Representatives to drop a provision in aviation legislation that would let airlines advertise the price of tickets without including government fees and taxes and to include new consumer protections for passengers.

The House is set to vote this week on legislation authorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but Republicans excluded many consumer protections sought by Democratic President Joe Biden.

The bill would rescind a 2012 Transportation Department regulation that requires airlines to advertise full fares including government fees and taxes. Democratic Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others are seeking a vote on an amendment to keep the full fare disclosure rules.

Schakowsky said that “the airline industry and congressional Republicans are once again prioritizing profits over people.”

The White House said in a statement of administration policy that “the disclosure requirements currently in place for passenger tickets are necessary to help consumers comparison shop for a ticket.”

By David Shepardson | Reuters

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Govt Creates Aviation Firm

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The government has engaged the Abu Dhabi-based advisory firm Knighthood Global Limited (Knighthood) to develop a bankable feasibility study (BSF) for the creation of the Zimbabwe Aviation Group, Standardbusiness reports.

However, the value of the deal was not disclosed, but according to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida)’s 2023 second quarter report, Knighthood is expected to finalise the BFS by the end of August 2023.

“The government of Zimbabwe has engaged Knighthood Global Limited (Knighthood) to develop a bankable feasibility study for the creation of the Zimbabwe Aviation Group,” the report reads in part.

“Knighthood is expected to finalise the BFS by the end of August 2023, which entails the completion of a diagnostic or business model review, a business plan for the aviation industry and a strategic plan for the associated entities namely Airports Company of Zimbabwe, National Handling Services and Air Zimbabwe.”

Knighthood is a leading advisory services and investment company set up by principals, James Hogan and James Rigney.

By Mthandazo Nyoni | The Srandard

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Us House To Weigh Bill Allowing Older Pilots, Other Aviation Reforms

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The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote next week on legislation to raise the mandatory commercial pilot retirement age to 67 from 65 and make other aviation reforms, Republican House leaders said Friday.

The House bill, approved 63-0 by the Transportation Committee in June, would reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years. Current authority expires Sept. 30.

The pilot age proposal faces opposition from unions and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who worry it could complicate operations.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says it could cause airline scheduling and pilot training issues and require reopening pilot contracts. Even if approved, current international rules would still prevent pilots older than 65 from flying in most countries outside the United States.

Buttigieg told Fox News Radio Friday that “I would want to see a lot more data before we could feel comfortable with any kind of change” to the pilot age rules.

By David Shepardson | Reuters

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in the content shared in this digest are for informational purposes only, are solely those of the original content creators, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of On Aviation™ or its affiliates.

Thank you for reading this week’s On Aviation™ digest. Do you think that governments should get more involved in private sector aviation? Or this is not much to worry about in the airlines it should recover soon? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Remember to check out our On Aviation™ Podcast and continue the conversation on our Twitter and Instagram.

Orlando – On Aviation™

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