Britain launches a consultation over its long-term aviation strategy, seeking input on topics from baggage to the environment as it prepares the sector for life outside the European Union. Ciara Lee reports.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling touring Manchester airport, after the announcement of a 1 billion pound investment. It's welcome news on the day Britain's skies are expected to be their busiest ever. Around 8500 planes will jet families off for their summer holidays. The expansion will double the size of Manchester's second terminal, and Grayling says technology holds the key to future infrastructure. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UK TRANSPORT SECRETARY, CHRIS GRAYLING, SAYING: "The arrival of smart automated vehicles, that will allow for example I think not just driverless cars on the roads, but actually localised pod systems to move people around a business park or to move people around an airport complex. So I think there is enormous potential to use technology both within the airport, to integrate the airport with surrounding modes of transport." As workers at this national air traffic control centre keep tabs on the congested skies, Britain also announced a consultation over its long-term aviation strategy The government wants public input on topics from baggage to the environment as it prepares the sector for life outside the EU. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "It is a good opportunity for the government to get in front of the curve in this issue and, and sort of like in this industry, To find out, to discover a way for the public to deal with aviation going forward in 10 or 20 years time." The government says the review will be separate to negotiations over access to European markets. But while it may be keen to focus on airport expansion, there is concern that the new strategy could prove a distraction from the Brexit uncertainties facing the industry. Most notably the rules for airlines flying to and from the UK.