The UK's All Party Parliamentary Group on Aviation has released a statement recommending that all efforts should be made "to ensure the UK retains and grows hub [airport] capacity" - specifically at London's only hub airport, Heathrow.

In the longer term the government should consider a new purpose-built hub airport, the group adds, in a veiled reference to the proposed Thames Estuary airport.

Group chairman Brian Donohoe MP says: "Our findings advocate a new direction for UK aviation and call upon all those ... with an involvement in the sector to look again at how aviation can be part of the solution to the UK's economic problems in a sustainable way."

The government should also undertake an economic analysis of the "impact of air passenger duty [APD] on growth and employment", the report adds.

"In order to achieve the greatest possible economic and social contribution from aviation, we need two things from government - a forward-looking aviation policy that allows for aviation growth; and a new approach to the taxation of aviation," Donohoe says.

"Combined, a new approach could not only energise the sector but also provide a firm foundation for the UK's economic recovery."

Yesterday (28 August), a senior member of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party broke ranks with the coalition government by advocating a change in policy on Heathrow expansion. Tim Yeo MP said the previous Labour government's plans to construct a third runway at the hub should be resurrected.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news