The bleak warning comes in a new report, “The Contribution of Aviation to the UK Economy”, prepared for the Airport Operators Association by leading economists Oxera.
Responding to the report’s launch today, David Johnston, Stansted Airport's managing director, said:
"Stansted Airport welcomes this in-depth, independent analysis of the aviation sector and fully supports its conclusions.
"We believe it's right that aviation's emissions should be addressed by adopting a global approach and back calls by the industry for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next month to agree an effective and fair deal to achieve this aim.
"The study once again highlights the significant contribution the aviation industry already makes to the UK economy, and the huge social benefits that air travel brings to millions of people right across the country.
"Aviation has an important strategic role in the future economic development of the UK. We are committed to delivering a programme of sustainable growth at Stansted so that we continue to maximise the social and economic benefits of air travel but at the same time carefully managing our environmental impacts and recognising the need for us all to play our part in addressing the global challenge of climate change."
The new study has found that the aviation sector represents 1.5% of the UK economy, contributing £18.4bn towards UK GDP and providing jobs for 234,000 people. Aviation’s capacity to create wealth has grown by 8.3%, in real terms, since 1995.