Editorial

A quieter month on the Aviation front as the Budget, Industrial Strategy, Draft London Plan and inevitably Brexit took the policy centre stage. DfT’s re-consultation on the National Policy Statement remains on-going and the Transport Select Committee has re-constituted its Inquiry into the issue which originally was tabled for before the summer recess until the June election intervened. SASIG has submitted a response to the Committee’s call for evidence and this can be found on the SASIG web site.

The workshop planned for some time to take place on 5th December 2017, is designed to help inform a SASIG submission to DfT on its revised National Policy Statement and to help members to do the same should they wish to. The Chairman has written to the new Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg seeking her support for greater engagement between SASIG and DfT officials. He also held a useful meeting with AoA which identified some potential areas for joint working (e.g. surface access, planning and safeguarding, nationally significant – as opposed to local – airspace changes, Border Force) and a spirit to co-operate on both sides.

Chris Cain,
Head of Secretariat

Monthly Highlights
1st November – TSC launches enquiry into Heathrow expansion.
22nd November – Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget.
27th November – Government publishes its Industrial Strategy White Paper.
29th NovemberDraft New London Plan published.

Editor’s Forward Look

Dates to note:

19th December 2017: Closure of the current DfT NPS Consultation.

18th January 2018: A reminder to all members regarding the CAA’s Noise Impact Survey which began on 6th July 2017 and ends on 18th January.  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.

Spring 2018: Independent Noise Commission to be established.

SASIG meeting dates for the year ahead have been firmed up and are set out below.

Contents

Meetings and Conferences 

SASIG Meetings

–           5th December 2017: NPS Consultation response workshop (Venue: CIHT, London)

–           16th February 2018: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)

–           11th July 2018: SASIG full meeting/AGM (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)

–           16th November 2018: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)

External Meetings and Conferences

–           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.

Parliamentary and Government News 

1st NovemberTSC launches enquiry into Heathrow expansion.  The Transport Committee will carry out an inquiry into the revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement.
22nd NovemberChancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget.
28th NovemberSpace Industry Bill received its 3rd reading in the House of Lords. Among the aerodromes vying to become UK’s first space port are Glasgow Prestwick and Newquay.

Transport Questions:

House of Commons:

21st November – Automatic Travel Compensation

Huw Merriman (Bexhill & Battle) (Con) brought a motion for leave to bring in a Bill to make provision for passengers to receive automatic compensation from travel operators (including aviation) in certain circumstances.  Further information can be seen here.

House of Lords

20th November – Brexit: Tourism

Baroness Doocey asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact that the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union Open Skies Agreement would have on the United Kingdom’s tourism industry.  The debate may be seen here.

21st November: Drones

Baroness Randerson asked Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to bring forward legislation to control the use of drones and if so, when.  The debate may be seen here.

22nd November: Brexit: Border Crossings

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government what detailed information they have provided to (1) HMRC, and (2) the transport and related industries, to enable planning and procurement for delay-free border crossings between the United Kingdom and European Union member states immediately following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.  The debate may be seen here.

Parliamentary Questions:

Q.1. Question (112349) asked by Dame Caroline Spelman (Meridan) on 10th November 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department’s policy paper, UK Airspace Policy: A framework for balanced decisions on the design and use of airspace, published in February 2017, what the timetable is for introducing the proposals in that paper; and what progress has been made on establishing an independent commission on civil aviation noise”.

A. John Hayes on 16th November 2017: “The government response to the consultation on UK Airspace Policy: A framework for balanced decisions on the design and use of airspace was published on 24 October 2017, together with a suite of related documents detailing the introduction of proposals. The response includes confirmation that an Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise will be established by Spring 2018”.

Q.2. Question (111355) asked by Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) on 3rd November 2017:“To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the level of awareness among air passengers of the entitlement of a refund of air passenger taxes to the consumer when a passenger does not travel; and if he will make a statement”.

A. Andrew Jones on 13th November 2017: “Airlines are liable for air passenger duty with respect to all passengers they carry, when departing from a UK airport. If a passenger does not fly, no tax is due. If the airline has specified the cost of the tax within its pricing, any refunds will be covered by the terms and conditions attached to the sale. Questions about refunds for air passenger duty are a commercial matter between the customer and the airline. We expect all airlines operating in the UK to comply with consumer protection legislation and make their terms and conditions, including their refund policy, clear at point of booking so that passengers are aware of their entitlements”.

Q.3. Question (110899) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 1st November 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department will publish its assessment of the necessary changes to local waste management plans which will result from removing the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in Slough as part of the proposed Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme”.
A. John Hayes on 6th November 2017: “The Government recognises in the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) the role of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in local waste management plans. The draft Airports NPS requires any future applicant for development consent to have assessed the effects of removing the plant upon capacity for treatment of waste and to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that sufficient provision is made to address the reduction in waste treatment capacity caused by the loss of the plant”.
Q.4. Question (112942) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 14th November 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure agreements are in place between each EU member state and the UK to enable the provisions of the European Common Aviation Area to continue to apply after the UK leaves the EU; when he plans to put those agreements in place; and whether his Department plans to take on additional staff or other resources to meet that timetable”.
A. John Hayes on 22nd November 2017: The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising from the UK’s exit from the EU. The Government plans to negotiate the best possible relationship between the UK and the EU in the field of aviation, and will have the resources and staff to do so. We are approaching the discussions with ambition, seeking to give citizens and businesses as much certainty as possible, as early as possible. It will be in the interests of all sides in this negotiation to maintain closely integrated aviation markets, as other EU Member States recognise. We will continue to 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.5. Question (112898) asked by Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) on 14th November 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the UK plans to participate in the European Aviation Safety Agency after the UK has left the EU”.
A. John Hayes on 22nd November 2017: “The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising from the UK’s exit from the EU, including the implications for continued or discontinued participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency. The nature of the UK’s future participation with the Agency will be a matter for the negotiations”.

Q.6. Question (115028) asked by Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) on 22nd November 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the 10 largest airports in the UK by passenger volume of there being no deal between the UK and the EU”.

A. John Hayes on 30th November 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. This includes the implications for airports and passengers. We will continue to work closely with the international aviation community to ensure that this global industry continues to be a major success story for the UK economy. We do not want or expect a no deal outcome, but we have a duty to plan for the alternative. Both the EU and the UK have a common interest in getting the best outcome”.

Q.7. Question (HL3018) asked by Lord Kinnock on 7th November 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to introduce legislation to devolve policy on Air Passenger Duty to the Welsh Assembly, in order to facilitate further development of long-haul passenger flights from Cardiff Airport; and if not, why not”.
A. Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 20th November 2017: “In line with our commitment in the St David’s Day Agreement, the Government has considered the case for devolving powers over air passenger duty to the National Assembly for Wales. We have made clear that, having considered the impacts of devolving APD, we have ruled out the devolution of APD to Wales”.

Government News

1st NovemberTSC launches enquiry into Heathrow expansion. The Transport Committee will carry out an inquiry into the revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement.

22nd NovemberChancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget. He froze APD for short and long-haul economy flights. The rates for 2019/20 will be frozen as they have been since 2012. He increased the levy on premium, business and 1st class tickets by £16 and those travelling by private jet by £47 per journey.  Currently APD for private jets travelling over 2000 miles is £450 per journey on outbound flights while long-haul top-end passengers pay £150.

27th November – Government publishes its Industrial Strategy White Paper. The debate in the HOC can be seen here and the debate in the HOL can be seen here.

National and Regional News

1st November Plans for a Heathrow/Southern railway link to be discussed. They’re seeking to improve rail access to Heathrow from Surrey by building a new route alongside the M25.

2nd NovemberLondon City airport signs 10 year deal to continue with NATS. NATS has been the airport’s air traffic services provider since it first opened in 1987.

2nd NovemberBA could threaten Heathrow expansion money. BA CE threatens to expand the airline at other London airports due to Heathrow’s higher landing charges.

6th NovemberEast Midlands Airport wants better rail services. It’s asked for more services to stop at East Midlands Parkway and the name of the station to be formally changed to East Midlands Airport Parkway.

6th NovemberStop Stansted campaign group claim Government aviation forecasts cast doubt on the case for raising passenger capacity. Says Heathrow expansion will affect this.

8th NovemberHeathrow produces list of potential logistic hub locations for its expansion. It says hubs will “create a legacy of construction excellence in UK for future generations”.

9th November No 3rd Runway Coalition write to Transport Secretary. They’ve pointed out civil servants/Ministers must adhere to the Civil Service and Ministerial Codes of behaviour.

10th NovemberTyne Tees Airport launches Flying for the Future campaign. It’s aimed at galvanising support for the airport. Newly refurbished departure lounge also opens.  

12th NovemberStop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) AGM votes clearly. Local MP reiterated his certainty that the project would not go ahead.

13th NovemberWork begins on Bristol Airport’s first multi-story car park. The £9.5m project will create over 1,000 spaces within a short walking distance of the terminal.

14th NovemberBuyer found for Prestwick Airport. Announcement will be made in the next few weeks.

18th NovemberWales could benefit more from Heathrow expansion. Seven Welsh sites have made the longlist in the hunt for Heathrow’s Logistics Hubs.

20th NovemberNearly two thirds of Heathrow’s noise complaints, come from 10 people. 3 people have complained more than 1,280 times between them in the past few months.

20th NovemberAirport City Manchester launch new link road. On the site adjacent to Manchester Airport, it will connect new development plots to the rest of the £1bn site and the wider transport network.

20th NovemberWizz reveals London Luton expansion. It will add four Airbus A320 aircraft to its Luton base by June 2018, taking its fleet at the airport to five.

22nd NovemberHeathrow responds to Autumn budget. CEO says airport welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to increase investment in sustainable modes of transport.

23rd November Bristol Airport is looking at a multi-million pound upgrade. Expansion plans being considered include adding a new extra terminal on the site.

23rd NovemberGatwick is being swamped by offers for ex-Monarch slots. Prized take-off and landing slots are six times oversubscribed, the boss of the airport said yesterday.

23rd November‘All-you-can-fly’ airline comes to London City Airport next month. Subscription based private airline, Surf Air wants to tap into the airport’s business travellers.

28th NovemberProposals for the development of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone are set to be discussed. A public consultation event will take place on 1st December.

28th NovemberNewcastle Airport is set to have its busiest year for a decade. Passenger numbers have passed the 5 million mark.

28th NovemberNo 3rd Runway Coalition publish letter in Yorkshire Post. They say there are few benefits for regions if Heathrow is allowed to expand.

 

and finally…!

20th NovemberBurrowing rabbits cause 3 months of roadworks outside Stansted Airport.

 

Other Aviation Industry News

1st NovemberTSC launches enquiry into Heathrow expansion. The Transport Committee will carry out an inquiry into the revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement.

2nd NovemberWelsh First Minister says he’d scrap APD on long haul flights. Aviation consultants’ report estimates it could boost annual Cardiff Airport passenger numbers by 62,000.

6th NovemberCardiff Airport Chairman supports scrapping APD on long-haul flights to Bristol Airport. He’s also written to the SoS for Wales asking why he “doesn’t support” devolving the £75 long-haul tax to the Welsh Government.

6th NovemberNew survey shows majority of UK passengers think ‘fast-track’ is a waste of money. Government plans could mean paying between £5 and £17.50 to join the fast lane.

7th NovemberEASA addresses aviation’s impact on climate change. It proposes newly designed aeroplane types meet a CO2 standard from 1st January 2020 and aeroplane types already in-production meet a separate CO2 standard starting from 1st January 2023.

8th November – A speech by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, given to the UK Aviation Club, about clarity on Brexit and expanding Heathrow, can be seen here.

14th NovemberMPs report warn ports and airports could be blocked after Brexit. It says it would be catastrophic if Treasury’s new Customs Declaration Service is not ready in time.

14th NovemberAviation sector leaders repeat their plea for government to halve APD. The pre-Budget call for the air tax to be cut by at least 50% is made in a letter in The Times.

20th NovemberBA is to board based on cost of ticket. It will introduce a new procedure that will see customers with the cheapest, hand luggage-only tickets board the plane last.

22nd November DCO application for Manston Airport delayed until next year. River Oak has decided to launch a fresh consultation into its proposals.

22nd November – Article in the Daily Telegraph by Mariella Frostrup about why she believes the UK needs its national airline British Airways now more than ever, can be seen here.

23rd November Industry is disappointed by ‘missed opportunity’ in budget for UK APD tax. Industry representatives had urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to scrap or reduce the levy which they say has a damaging effect on airline ticket sales.

23rd NovemberAirbus is on the path to pilotless commercial planes. Spokesman said the technology could reduce costs for carriers and help address a projected pilot shortage.

23rd NovemberFASVIG want a radical re-think on UK airspace. A vision of a modernised UK airspace recognising the role of VFR flying has been put forward in their new report.

28th NovemberIAG confirms deal to buy Monarch’s Gatwick slots. IAG said the acquisition will enable British Airways to expand its worldwide routes.

29th NovemberRegional aviation is targeted in hybrid-electric aircraft project. The aim is a commercial single-aisle hybrid aircraft capable of carrying up to 100 passengers.

30th NovemberNew UK CAA Chief Executive is named as Richard Moriarty. He will succeed Andrew Haines, whose term of office is due to expire in the summer of 2018.

SASIG Library Additions

Notes from the Airspace and Noise Engagement Group (ANEG) meeting of 13th October 2017 and attended by SASIG here.

Notes from the CAA Community Discussion Forum meeting also held on 13th October 2017 and attended by SASIG here.

Notes from the DEFRA Noise Stakeholder Workshop held on 17th October 2017 and attended by SASIG here.

SASIG response to the TSC enquiry into the revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement, which ended on 30th November here.

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