Aviation infrastructure will be lost without government action

20 April 2020

Government must take a strategic approach to supporting the aviation sector to ensure the industry will be in a position to recover after coronavirus.

The warning came in Prospect’s weekly meeting with the Department for Transport (DfT) and other unions in aviation on 17 April.

The union argued that, without a government-led recovery plan, employers would be forced to start downsizing operations in line with their revenues. Revenues have collapsed, with no sign and no common understanding of how fast and how far they will recover.

Prospect negotiator Steve Jary said:

“A strategic approach is needed and only the government is in a position to determine what that requirement is and, at the moment, only the government can fund it. Without this, essential infrastructure will be dismantled.

“Companies cannot be expected to take out loans and burn their reserves without knowing what service levels they will be expected to provide in the medium-term.”

Prospect has called on the DfT to bring the industry together to develop a recovery strategy. The aviation unions – including Prospect – will be involved in this work.

“We will be ensuring that our members’ central role in the industry’s recovery is understood,”added Jary.

The government has committed to a further discussion on the nuts and bolts of a recovery strategy in the week beginning 20 April.

The government also announced tweaks to the furlough scheme twice in 48 hours, including extending the scheme to the end of June. This will avoid the threat of widespread redundancy announcements which would have had to be triggered on 17 April if they were to take effect on 31 May.

“We will need to work out what these changes mean for schemes already in place across aviation, in discussion with the employers,” Jary concluded.


Prospect has members working in aviation, road, rail and maritime transportation, as well as regulation and research.