The Aviation sector – including airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers – is a UK success story. The combined sector generates a turnover of £60bn, contributing over £22bn to GDP and almost a million jobs to the UK economy. The UK boasts the third largest aviation-network in the world, as well as an Aerospace manufacturing industry that is not only the second largest in the world, but generates annual exports of £26bn, and has a global market opportunity of £3.5 trillion over the next 20 years.

To shine a light on the successes of the aviation industry Sustainable Aviation (SA) has launched its socio-economic report, highlighting the direct and in-direct benefits of the aviation sector to the UK economy.

Aviation not only enables travel, tourism, trade and business, it also brings with it the benefits of economic growth. The UK’s world-leading strengths in the aerospace and aviation industries attract long-term investment, and deliver local jobs, national growth and global competitiveness.

Sustainable Aviation’s report highlights these strengths across the sector – including how investment in R&D and innovation is essential to maintaining the UK’s position and boosting productivity. Using data from Fathom Consulting, SA’s report has shown the wider spin-off benefits of spending £1.7 billion per annum on R&D:

“the social returns to R&D are large… spending £1 million on R&D this year would return £700,000 of extra GDP in every year thereafter”.

 UK initiatives such as the Aerospace Technology Institute in particular have brought together government  and industry not only to increase funding for innovation, but emphasising a long-term funding approach for aerospace R&D to help ensure that the UK remains one of the most attractive locations for global investment.

SA’s report published today signals the positive approach across the sector, and demonstrates how airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation services providers can come together to ensure that aviation can continue to deliver future economic benefits.