Heathrow is becoming a “secondary hub” according to Mr Bisignani Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H The British Government has been told that it needs to take a more global approach to aviation, including action on climate change, in order to improve its international competitiveness in air transport. In a speech given to London’s Aviation Club, International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said the UK could not afford to live off the reputation it has as an historic leader in aviation. “The UK has a great tradition of leadership in aviation,” Mr Bisignani said. “But any industry can only take so many knocks before the damage is permanent.” Mr Bisignani took particular aim at the UK government’s archaic policy agenda on aviation which “seems intent on destroying its competitiveness”. “The government’s policy pillars of excessive taxes, inefficient airport regulation and limiting growth will destroy the UK’s proud aviation legacy,” Mr Bisignani said. According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, the UK ranks last out of 133 countries for cost competitiveness, 129th on fuel prices and 121st on ticket taxes and airport fees. “The economic regulatory model for airports is broken and must be urgently fixed,” Mr Bisignani said. The Montreal-based IATA chief also called for the scrapping of the UK government’s new Air Passenger Duty (APD), which at GBP2.7 billion was “enough to offset all of the UK’s aviation emissions … four times”. “Environment policy should not be designed around paying the bills for the government’s failure to effectively regulate the financial sector,” Mr Bisignani said.Additionally, the IATA boss called on UK airports to be better prepared for the effects of severe weather saying that the “inconvenience to passengers and the paralysis of the UK economy for days” due to last December’s snowstorms was “not acceptable from any perspective”.