UK transport secretary Chris Grayling has expressed his confidence that the country can get a "good deal" on aviation after Bexit.

In the text of a 24 January speech, shared by the government, he says his optimism stems from knowing that it is in the best interests of all European countries to seek an "open, liberal arrangement for aviation" following the UK's departure from the bloc.

Grayling says formal talks over the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU will begin "very soon" and that a future framework for aviation will be a "central part" of them.

"We are ready for those discussions," he adds.

The planned expansion of London Heathrow and the demands of airlines across Europe to access the airport gives the UK "strong cards in our hand" for the negotiations, he adds.

He says the government is also "working hard" to develop bespoke UK agreements to replace EU-brokered open-skies deals with the USA and Canada. Talks with US officials will take place in the coming weeks.

The government is currently considering its response to the feedback it received in a public consultation on expansion of Heathrow, and remains "on track" for a parliamentary vote on the plans within the year's first half.

Grayling reiterates that landing charges at Heathrow need to be "kept as close as possible" to current levels, noting that they have increased "substantially" over the last 10 years.

"So that needs to be factored in to future plans," he says.

The government is still working on a new aviation strategy for the UK, and Grayling says the recently appointed aviation minister Elizabeth Sugg will be "spearheading" formulation of the policies.

Grayling indicates that the strategy is intended to be a "wide-ranging blueprint for the sustainable growth of aviation over the next 30 years and beyond".

The speech also confirms that, following the collapse of UK leisure carrier Monarch Airlines last year, Peter Bucks has been appointed to chair an independent insolvency review panel tasked with exploring "options for a new framework to deal with the failure of airlines and travel companies so that airlines can be wound down in an orderly fashion".

Source: Cirium Dashboard