This newsletter is relatively brief as Parliament sat only briefly with most of the month being taken up politically with party conferences, Brexit negotiations and various Machiavellian manoeuvrings related thereto. October’s version is likely to be more expansive as a number of announcements (foreshadowed this month) are expected and there are also deadlines relating to important consultations. The period up to Christmas appears likely to be a busy one for those with an interest in aviation policy.Membership of the Transport Select Committee has been clarified and they can be expected to announce forthcoming inquiries after the party conference period. The Regional Aviation and General Aviation APPG’s also seem likely to reform.
SASIG Technical Working Groups have been temporarily suspended pending clarity about the scope and timing of future Government consultations and to allow for workshops to co-ordinate a SASIG response to the Aviation Strategy Call for Evidence. The next newsletter will flag other SASIG meetings planned up to Christmas, although the main meeting on 16 November is hopefully already in member’s diaries.
Head of Secretariat
7th September -Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announces a “short period” of further consultation on Heathrow Airport expansion.
11th September – Members of the new Transport Committee were formally appointed.
Editor’s Forward Look
This list gathers European Commission public consultations in one place and replaces the former ‘Your voice in Europe’ website:
A reminder to all members regarding the CAA’s Noise Impact Survey which began on 6th July 2017 and ends on 18th January 2018. The CAA is keen to ensure that as many people as possible who are affected by aviation noise get the chance to respond. The survey can be accessed here.
- Meetings and Conferences
- Parliamentary and Government News
- National and Regional News
- Other Aviation Industry News
- SASIG Library Additions
– 11th October: Airports, Cities & Economic Growth Technical Working Group (Venue, CIHT, London) (Note: this has been postponed to a later date to be advised).
– 11th October: Aviation Strategy Work session/discussion (Venue: CIHT, London)
– 1st November: Surface Access Technical Working Group and Environment, Planning and Airspace Technical Working Group (Note: these meetings have also been postponed to a later date to be advised).
– 16th November: SASIG full meeting (Venue: One George Street, London)
External Meetings and Conferences
– 3rd-4th October 2017: ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit: Geneva, Switzerland.
– 30th-31st October 2017: AOA Annual Conference, Royal Lancaster Hotel, London
– 13th-14th November 2017: 6th European Aviation Conference: Dublin City University, Ireland
– 6th-7th December 2017: AEI: 2017: Airport Expansion and Improvements: Hosted and Sponsored by Heathrow Airport, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel.
– 12th April 2018: Priorities for airport development beyond the South-east: Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum, Central Manchester.
– 14th-16th May 2018: 11th ACI Europe Regional Airports Conference & Exhibition: Naples, Italy.
– 12th-13th June 2018: 3rd British-Irish Airports Expo., London Olympia. Heathrow will host the occasion.
There were no Transport Questions this month.
Q.1. Question (6861) asked by Gavin Shuker (Luton South) on 4th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether consultation on the East Midlands rail franchise will take into account the volume of air passengers at London Luton Airport; and what assessment he has made of the (a) economic, (b) social and (c) environmental merits of improved rail services related to that franchise to that airport”.
A. Paul Maynard on 11th September 2017: “All options for future East Midlands services are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders, which is currently ongoing. This consultation explicitly raises the issue of services to Luton Airport Parkway. The formal public consultation continues until 11 October and will inform the future franchise specification”.
Q.2. Question (6960) asked by Ruth Cadbury (Brentford & Isleworth) on 4th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the absence of an air quality strategy on the draft national policy statement on airports.”
A. John Hayes on 12th September 2017: “The Government is determined to meet its air quality obligations. The Government published the final UK Air Quality Plan on 26 July which includes additional measures to improve air quality nationwide. The Government consulted on a draft Airports NPS between 2 February and 25 May this year and the consultation document was clear that further work was underway to update the evidence base, including revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final Air Quality Plan. The Secretary of State for Transport announced on 7 September that there is a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account. The draft Airports National Policy Statement sets out the Government’s view that, with a suitable package of policy and mitigation measures, the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme would be capable of being delivered without impacting the UK’s compliance with air quality limit values. The government will make meeting air quality legal requirements a condition of planning approval”.
Q.3. Question (HL1298) asked by Lord MacKenzie of Culkein on 5th September 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 19 July (HL1088), in developing their plans to negotiate the best possible relationship between the UK and the EU in the field of aviation what steps they intend to take to provide clarity and certainty regarding access to the Single Aviation Market for (1) airlines that intend to make decisions about whether to increase capacity in the UK, and (2) passengers intending to plan holidays, for the 18 months leading up to March 2019; and whether they are taking steps to avoid the risk of uncertainty by seeking an early interim agreement with the EU-27 on UK-EU aviation traffic rights by the end of this year”.
A. Lord Callanan on 15th September 2017: “It will be in the interests of both sides in the negotiation to maintain closely integrated aviation markets. The Government continues to work closely with the aviation sector to ensure this industry continues to be a major success story for the British economy. Air transport and aerospace add at least £22 billion to the UK economy each year. The Government plans to negotiate the best possible relationship between the UK and EU in the field of aviation with a smooth and orderly transition. We will approach the discussions with ambition, giving citizens and businesses as much certainty as possible, as early as possible. The opening up of access to air services helps to deliver connectivity, choice and value for money that benefits consumers and businesses both here and abroad. Seeking new aviation arrangements is a high priority for the Department for Transport, not just with the EU but also with those states where we currently rely on EU-negotiated arrangements for market access. However, a responsible government should prepare for all potential outcomes, including the unlikely scenario in which no mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached. That is exactly what we are doing across the whole of Government”. (Grouped questions HL1299 and HL1300)
Q.4. Question (6794) asked by Ruth Cadbury (Brentford & Isleworth) on 20th July 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons the draft National Policy Statement on Airports was published without information on the new flight paths from a third runway at Heathrow”.
A. John Hayes on 11th September 2017: “The Airports Commission used indicative flightpaths to underpin its noise modelling of the Northwest Runway scheme at Heathrow Airport. This information underpinned the Government’s assessment of the noise impacts of the scheme and associated Appraisal of Sustainability, which was published alongside the draft Airports National Policy Statement. Precise flightpath designs can only be defined at a later stage after detailed airspace design work has taken place and appropriate assessments and consultation have been undertaken in line with the requirements of the airspace change process which is owned by the Civil Aviation Authority”.
Q.5. Question (9106) asked by Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) on 6th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the total economic benefit to each region from expansion at Heathrow Airport”.
A. John Hayes on 14th September 2017: “The Government’s latest estimate, published on 2 February, was that a new runway at Heathrow will deliver benefits to passengers and the wider UK economy of up to £61 billion. Regions across the country should benefit from new destinations, extra seats and increased frequency of service created by increased capacity at Heathrow. As part of the consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) the government was clear that further work was underway to update the evidence base, including revised aviation demand forecasts. The Secretary of State for Transport announced on 7 September that there is a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account”.
Q.6. Question (7825) asked by Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) on 4th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been undertaken of the effect of the creation of Heathrow’s third runway and the upgrade to the runway at RAF Northolt will have on airspace capacity in West London; and whether Heathrow’s third runway creation will reduce the ability to operate flights from RAF Northolt”.
John Hayes on 12th September 2017: “The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) undertook initial fast time simulation work for the Airports Commission to assess the possible implications arising from the indicative airspace design for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This work took account of the likely air traffic demands of airports across the South East, including RAF Northolt. Airspace design proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport will need to follow the Civil Aviation Authority’s airspace change process. This is a thorough process requiring extensive consultation with communities and other stakeholders, including the military and airports that may be affected by the proposal. The decision to upgrade RAF Northolt’s runway in 2018 is a policy and operational matter for the Secretary of State for Defence”.
Q.7. Question (10160) asked by Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington) on 12th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what contingency plans the Government plans to adopt in the event that no replacement for the single aviation market and open skies agreement is available when the UK leaves the EU”.
John Hayes on 20th September 2017: “We want our future relationship with the EU to be based on mutual economic and security interests. To which end, it will be in the interests of all parties to maintain closely integrated aviation markets. The opening up of access to air services helps to deliver connectivity, choice and value for money that benefits consumers and businesses both here and abroad. The Government continues to work closely with the aviation sector to ensure this industry continues to be a major success story for the British economy. As well as seeking suitable aviation arrangements with the EU, the Department for Transport is also working closely with the aviation community to ensure that this global industry continues to be a major success”.
Q.8. Question (HL1490) asked by Lord Berkeley on 11th September 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much investment has been made in the last five years in (1) St Mary’s harbour, (2) Penzance harbour, (3) Land’s End Airport, and (4) St Mary’s airport, for transport to and from the Isles of Scilly; and what amounts within those total investments were from (a) HM Government, (b) European funds, and (c) the private sector”.
Lord Callanan on 20th September 2017: “The Government has invested £6.1m in the £11.7m project to improve the quays at St Mary’s and dredge Penzance Harbour to improve the sea connections between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland for passengers and freight. The project also benefited from £5.6m of European Regional Development Funding. The project was promoted by Cornwall Council and was completed in 2016. Land’s End and St Mary’s airports have also been upgraded with the assistance of European Regional Development Funding totalling £6.8m, which included works (completed in 2014) to improve the runways at both airports. The Government does not maintain a record of private sector investment in the above facilities”.
Q.9. Question (HL1228) asked by Lord Campbell of Pittenweem on 5th September 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they plan to take to ensure continued access for airlines based in the UK to EU member states, once the UK has left the EU”.
Lord Callanan on 19th September 2017: “The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising from the UK’s exit from the EU, and plans to negotiate the best possible relationship between the UK and EU in the field of aviation with a smooth and orderly transition. Securing liberal market access to EU markets is a very high priority for the Department for Transport. The importance of air services to the health of the UK economy is recognised across Government. We will work closely with the international aviation community to ensure that this global industry continues to be a major success story for the UK economy”.
Q.10. Question (9794) asked by Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Limehouse) on 11th September 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on bringing forward a new southern rail access link to Heathrow Airport”.
Paul Maynard on 19th September 2017: “On 25 October 2016, this Government announced that a Northwest Runaway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a package of supporting measures, was its preferred scheme to deliver additional airport capacity in the South East of England. The supporting measures would include improved rail access to the airport and we are actively looking at what we could do to accelerate these. The next step for the proposed Southern Rail Access is a GRIP 1-2 study to permit informed option appraisal. This is being considered alongside the detailed development of Western Rail Access plans for the airport, in order to ensure that we provide maximum benefit for airport and non-airport passengers and exploit the new journey opportunities this may provide”.
7th September – Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announces a “short period” of further consultation on Heathrow Airport expansion. He insists however that the timetable for parliamentary scrutiny of the plans would not be affected.
11th September – Members of the new Transport Committee were formally appointed. A list of members can be seen here.
1st September – New Aviation Development Director appointed at Leeds Bradford Airport. Chris Sanders was previously at Newcastle Airport and will begin with immediate effect.
1st September – Council buys land at Blackpool Airport. Blackpool Council is investing almost £600,000 in a move to help protect the future of the Squires Gate terminal.
4th September – London Airport food waste generating valuable daily energy. 25,500kW of heat per day is being produced from food waste generated at Heathrow and Gatwick.
4th September – Long list of bidders want Heathrow Airport logistics hubs. The airport has received bids from 121 sites pitching to become logistics hub to support construction of its planned third runway.
5th September – Liverpool John Lennon Airport asks city travel agents to promote their departures. It launched its ‘We Sell Liverpool Airport 1st’ campaign yesterday and believes the initiative could help to increase the number of departures from the airport in the future.
5th September – Edinburgh Airport sale was potentially hit by Brexit jitters. Sources close to Reuters say owners explored the possibility of a sale earlier on this year.
7th September – Heathrow runway debate re-opened with fresh consultation. Government has been forced to look again at the proposals due to the timing of the general election.
8th September – Busiest summer ever at Luton Airport. 2017 marked the busiest summer in the airport’s 79-year history and CEO stressed need for new express rail link to the airport.
8th September – Heathrow hosts Business Summit North East event in Gateshead. It aims to help SMEs land contracts at the Heathrow. Aviation Minister Lord Callanan attended.
11th September – AEF rebuts claims in “Heathrow 2.0” report. Says if the airport tries to be “zero carbon”, that’s only around 3% of the total carbon emitted by all Heathrow flights.
11th September – Gatwick records busiest summer period ever. Long haul surge takes Gatwick past 8 million summer holiday passengers for the first time ever.
12th September – Stansted Airport also record busiest summer. A spokesman said the main summer holiday period saw more passengers than at any other time in the airport’s history.
12th September – Newquay Airport is bidding to become the region’s biggest hub. Growth is more than triple the EU average of 8%.
15th September – Gatwick CEO says runway push is not to undermine Heathrow. He said investors would privately finance a 2nd runway costing between £3bn and £7.8bn.
18th September – Record numbers using T9 Cardiff Airport shuttle bus. Economy Secretary is happy about growing appetite for regular public transport between Cardiff and its airport.
18th September – City urges politicians to push ahead with Heathrow expansion. It warns delays could hamper financial and professional services firms’ ability to do business globally.
20th September – Heathrow joins calls to scrap Air Passenger Duty. It’s released details of a letter to Government urging they scrap APD on all domestic UK flights in autumn budget.
20th September – Criticism that Government’s Heathrow leaflet was ‘mere propaganda’ is justified says judge. The DfT has been rapped over promotional leaflet.
20th September – Doncaster Airport and Sheffield Arena announce partnership. The airport has acquired the naming rights to the Arena which will be re-named as the FlyDSA Arena.
20th September – Noise warning for residents as Leeds Bradford Airport plans airspace changes. Airport has launched a public consultation on plans to revise the airspace they use.
21st September – Investment in Heathrow rail scheme. HSRL hopes to build 8 miles of track alongside M25 from west end of T5 station to improve rail access to airport from the south.
21st September – Stansted is poud to support community. Its business change director told Suffolk Chamber of Commerce how local businesses can tap into its supply chain.
22nd September – CAA suspends Edinburgh’s flight path review. It’s “requested the airport address a number of technical and co-ordination issues.”
22nd September – Parking at Bristol Airport set to get easier. £2.5m has been spent on improving Silver Zone car park including more parking spaces and a new reception building.
24th September – Chair of Gatwick community protest group meets DfT. CAGNE, (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions), met senior members of DfT to raise their concerns. They also launched a Noise Impact survey which can be seen here.
25th September – Analysts OAG ranks Heathrow best in world for connectivity. Heathrow Airport has taken the top spot in OAG’s annual list of the top 50 international megahubsEmergency meetings were held last month to discuss the future of the airport, which is part-owned by Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.Gloucestershire Airport is to be given a six-figure emergency loan by two local councils..
27th September – Heathrow hits new low noise record. It’s new “Fly Quiet and Clean” report shows airlines are increasingly using quietest, cleanest aircraft to fly into Heathrow. Emergency meetings were held last month to discuss the future of the airport, which is part-owned by Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.
1st September – Fuel efficiency is making flight times longer than they were half a century ago. Airlines are instructing pilots to slow down in order to save on the cost of fuel.
5th September – Airports and airlines are to invest £33billion on new IT this year. Top of the agenda for CIOs are investment in cyber security, cloud services and passenger self-service.
5th September – Easyjet will open office in Austria in case of hard Brexit. It has applied for a new air operator’s certificate there to keep its planes airborne in case of a drastic Brexit.
6th September – Tax Payers’ Alliance report says local authorities’ fees for airports, harbours and toll facilities has shown a real terms increase of 109% in fees between 2010 and 2016. The report can be read here.
6th September – Article published in Travel Weekly News titled: “Opinion: It’s time to overhaul our atrocious airports” can be seen here.
6th September – Ryanair to stop allowing non-priority passengers to have two items of hand luggage. Says flights are being delayed because of a lack of space in overhead lockers.
12th September – Belfast Airport could win £1m and rate refund. In a case being seen as setting a precedent for others, it won an appeal against a hike imposed following development work on the main terminal building.
12th September – Boeing doubles Sheffield factory spend to £40m. ‘Boeing Sheffield’ opens in 2018 and has merged phases One and Two, doubling the investment and manufacturing space in one go.
13th September – The airport revenue growth challenge – learnings from around the globe: A viewpoint by Chris Warrington, General Manager, airports, at Gentrack, can be seen here.
13th September – Kent Council accused of ‘lacking courage’ in fresh Manston Airport row. It has defended a decision to postpone presentations by two key players with differing views.
13th September – MEPs vote to limit the exemption from the EU ETS of flights to and from Europe until 2021. This is pending further information regarding ICAO’s offsetting measure ‘CORSIA’ (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation).
15th September – Gatwick CEO says urgent certainty is needed for Brexit flying rights. Speaking at the London Infrastructure Summit, he said he was satisfied that from a Brexit point of view, the DfT’s “number one priority” is air travel rights.
15th September – AOA says sustainable fuels are one step closer. CE responds to announcement that the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will include sustainable aviation fuels in future.
15th September – Stansted CEO calls for UK Government to set out its Aviation Strategy vision. Says a lot more can be done to improve connectivity with the rest of the world.
18th September – Ryanair’s decision to cancel flights causes confusion. Decision to cancel up to 50 flights per day to tackle punctuality and staff shortages is causing anger too.
18th September – BA signs deal to convert household waste into jet fuel. The venture is part of the airline’s plans to develop long-term, sustainable fuel options.
20th September – US airlines are ‘very concerned’ over aviation regulations post-Brexit. They’ve told UK to move faster to ensure passenger and cargo flights to Heathrow, Stansted and other airports will continue without disruption after Britain leaves the EU.
26th September – BA are first airline to introduce remote control tug vehicles for pushbacks at Heathrow. They reduce emissions and should help to improve the punctuality says BA.
27th September – Easyjet hope to fly electric planes within next decade. The manufacturers say they’ll reduce emissions, be up to 50% quieter and 10% cheaper to buy and operate.
27th September – Ryanair cancel more flights. Ryanair will cancel another 18,000 flights between November and March, affecting the travel plans of another 400,000 passengers.