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ICE leads industry debate on future of airports

Senior industry figures met with the ICE last week to discuss the issues and challenges facing the aviation industry in the future and how this may affect the future shape of the UK’s airport infrastructure.

The ICE Airport Infrastructure Panel is working in conjunction with Arup Foresight, Innovation and Incubation to develop a series of scenarios that will illustrate how various factors such as climate change and changing demand patterns will interact to affect the sector.

Representatives from major civil engineering companies and airport operators considered the key social, technological, environmental, economic and political influences that together may have a major impact on the UK’s airport infrastructure needs and the future of air travel.

ICE Head of Policy Andrew Crudgington said identifying how airport infrastructure should develop is a huge challenge.

“Climate change will interact with the changing economic and political landscape, impacting how the aviation sector operates, plans and develops”

Andrew Crudgington

“Major influences such as climate change − both in terms of aviation’s contribution to emissions and the impact of a changing climate on facilities − will interact with the changing economic and political landscape, directly impacting how the aviation sector operates, plans and develops.

To ensure we can meet the changing needs for airport infrastructure we need to start painting a picture of what the future might look like now.”

The scenarios drawn up by the ICE and Arup as a result of this initial workshop will be further tested at a second workshop in September. The final scenarios will shape the ICE policy on air transport and infrastructure, specifically feeding into follow up report to last year’s State of the Nation: Transport report, due to be released later this year.

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