The Secretariat hopes that SASIG Newsletter readers enjoyed a good break over the festive period and offers our belated best wishes to you all for the New Year.

There seems little doubt that 2018 is going to be a busy, and potentially also significant year, both for the industry and aviation policy. Against a background of continuing uncertainty created by Brexit, a new National Policy Statement will be voted on in Parliament in the first half of the year; further Aviation Strategy consultation papers are also promised across the year.

SASIG will continue to make representations to each of these as they appear but will also be lobbying Government Ministers, Parliamentary Committees, MP’s, the CAA/NATS and a range of potential partner organisations about our policy priorities, while seeking to increase the Group’s membership and raise its profile in the national and regional media, to strengthen our voice in policy discussions and important influencing fora. Our new web site will make a significant contribution to this effort but the Chairman and Secretariat will also be reaching out to members to help with our wider lobbying, recruitment and partnering activities. We look forward to working closely with you all over the next 12 months.

Chris Cain,
Head of Secretariat

Monthly Highlights
11th December – EU issues announcement that EU flights could cease to operate from the UK when Brexit comes into effect on 29th March 2019, unless there is a transition period.
13th December – CAA launches final guidance on the regulatory process for airspace change, which will come into effect on 2nd January 2018.
14th December – Heathrow announces dates of DCO consultation. The 10-week consultation will launch on 17th January 2018 and run until 28th March 2018.
18th December – TSC holds a second evidence session for its inquiry into Airports NPS.
19th December – SASIG responds to the extended consultation to the Government’s revised NPS launched on 24th October 2017.
29th December – Transport Secretary announces UK’s first ever General Aviation champion at all-party group’s Christmas reception.

Contents

Events, Meetings and Conferences 

Announcements

On 29th December, the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, announced that Byron Davies will be the Government’s first ever General Aviation Champion. Mr Grayling made the announcement at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation Christmas Reception.  Details can be seen here.

Consultations
This list gathers European Commission public consultations in one place and replaces the former ‘Your voice in Europe’ website:
http://ec.europa.eu/info/consultations_en

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.

SASIG Meetings

–           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
–          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 and Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister will open the exhibition.

Parliamentary and Government News 

Both Houses of Parliament rose on 21st December and will return on 8th January 2018.

Parliamentary Questions

Q.1. Question (117145) asked by Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) on 4th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the General Aviation Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of how current planning guidance supports the Government’s vision of the UK being the best place in the world for General Aviation”.
A. Alok Sharma on 7th December 2017: “The National Planning Policy Framework expects local planning authorities, when preparing their Local Plans, to take account of the role of airfields in meeting business, leisure, training and emergency service needs. The planning practice guidance supporting the Framework was strengthened in March 2015, following publication of the General Aviation Strategy, to make clear that aviation makes a significant contribution to economic growth across the country, including in relation to small and medium sized airports and airfields. The guidance advises that local planning authorities should consider the interconnectivity between airfields of different sizes and that they should have regard to the Aviation Policy Framework”.

Q.2. Question (118278) asked by Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) on 7th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2017 to Question 117145, on Aviation, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s guidance to local planning authorities on considering the interconnectivity between airfields of different sizes and having regard to the Aviation Policy Framework”.

A. Alok Sharma on 14th December 2017: “Local planning authorities must have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework, supported by our planning practice guidance, when preparing their Local Plan. The Framework and the guidance are also material considerations in planning decisions. It is for local planning authorities to decide how they will apply the guidance in the particular circumstances of individual planning cases and in accordance with the development plan. My Department is working closely with the Department for Transport in looking at issues relating to general aviation, including airfields”.

Q.3. Question (118463) asked by Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry) on 11th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department would make an assessment of the potential merits of permitting further routes from an airport where Public Service Obligation support for a specific air route has been successful”.

A. John Hayes on 14th December 2017: “Public Service Obligations are imposed where there is a risk that an air service will be withdrawn and Government believes that the route is vital for the economic and social development of a region. Government will be examining the role of Public Service Obligations in its upcoming Aviation Strategy”.

Q.4. Question (902943) asked by Henry Smith (Crawley) on 12th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union what representations the Government has received from the aviation sector on priorities for the negotiations on the UK leaving the EU”.

A. Robin Walker on 14th December 2017: “As I said in my answer to Oral Question 902942 on 14 December, I can confirm to my hon. Friend that the Government are working closely with the aviation sector to ensure that it continues to be a major success story for the UK economy. Ministers and officials in our Department and in the Department for Transport have met widely with representatives of the sector since the referendum in 2016, covering the full spectrum of issues affecting the industry”.

Q.5. Question (120425) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons were for not including an updated assessment of domestic connections to the regions from an expanded Heathrow in the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement, published on 24 October 2017”.

A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “The department published updated aviation forecasts alongside the consultation on the revised draft NPS on 24 October 2017. This included an updated assessment of the domestic connections from Heathrow airport, with and without expansion. The revised draft Airports NPS maintains the Government expectation that any expansion will deliver an increase in the number of UK routes; and that Government will hold Heathrow Airport to account on this. The document also sets out a number of potential domestic routes that may be delivered under expansion”.

Q.6. Question (120426) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps in additional to those in the Clean Growth Strategy will be required to keep aviation emissions to 37.5 MegaTonnes”.
A. John Hayes on 22nd December 2017: “The Government remains open to considering all feasible measures to ensure that the aviation sector contributes fairly to UK emissions reductions, and is committed to meeting its emissions reduction targets under the Climate Change Act. There are a range of measures available to reduce carbon emissions from aviation, including biofuels, airspace reform and improvements in technology. As mentioned in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government will set out its strategic approach to the aviation sector in a series of consultations leading to the publication of a new Aviation Strategy for the UK. The Strategy will consider what the best approach and combination of policy measures are to ensure we effectively address carbon emissions from aviation.

Q.7. Question (HL4252) asked by Lord Whitty on 15th December 2017: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Aviation Safety Agency and Eurocontrol”.
A. Baroness Sugg on 21st December 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 participation with the Agency as a third country will be a matter for the negotiations. Eurocontrol is not an EU institution, so the UK will continue to be a member after our exit from the EU”.

Q.8. Question (120415) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the feasibility of establishing an eight-hour night-flight ban at Heathrow; and if he will make a statement”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “Following consultation, in October 2017, the Government implemented a new five-year night flight regime at Heathrow, which will end in October 2022. This regime limits the number of scheduled movements to an average of sixteen per night for a six and a half hour night period. The revised draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) sets out the Government’s expectation for a six and a half hour ban on scheduled night flights at an expanded Heathrow. Should the revised draft Airports NPS be designated, consideration of any ban, including timings, would be subject to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Balanced Approach to noise management, including consultation with local communities and other interested parties”.

Q.9. Question (120416) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a legally binding noise envelope at Heathrow; and if he will make a statement”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “The revised draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) makes clear that any noise envelope at an expanded Heathrow should be tailored to local priorities and include clear noise performance targets. If the revised draft Airports NPS is designated, the design of any noise envelope would be defined in consultation with local communities and relevant stakeholders”.
Q.10. Question (120417) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the boundaries at which communities affected by aircraft noise receive compensation”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “Following its recent Airspace Policy consultation, the Department implemented changes to its policy on compensation for communities affected by noise as a result of airspace change. The Government will undertake additional consideration of this issue through the new aviation strategy it is currently developing”.
Q.11. Question (120418) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Heathrow Airport on potential boundary changes to its Quieter Homes scheme”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “There have been no discussions between the Department for Transport and Heathrow Airport on potential changes to Heathrow’s Quieter Homes scheme. Whilst the Government sets the guidelines on when it expect airport operators to provide compensation to local communities, decision on how to apply the guidance are for the airport itself”.
Q.12. Question (120420) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on air quality of the construction of a third runway at Heathrow”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “The Government believes that the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme can be delivered without impacting on the UK’s compliance with air quality limit values, given the measures set out in the Government’s air quality plan, and with a suitable package of mitigation measures taken forward by the promoter. Should the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement be designated, then it would be for the promoter to undertake a detailed assessment of the air quality impacts of the scheme, including during construction, and put forward to the Planning Inspectorate an appropriate package of mitigations that address air quality impacts and demonstrate compliance with air quality obligations. In order to grant development consent, the Secretary of State would need to be satisfied that, with mitigation, the scheme would be compliant with legal obligations”.

Q.13. Question (120421) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what measures he plans to put in place to mitigate potential negative air quality effects of constructing and operating a third runway at Heathrow”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “Should the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement be designated, then it would be for the promoter to undertake a detailed assessment of the air quality impacts of the scheme, including during construction and operation, and put forward to the Planning Inspectorate an appropriate package of mitigations that address air quality impacts and demonstrate compliance with air quality obligations. The precise package of mitigation measures would be subject to consultation with local communities to ensure that the most effective measures are taken forward. Furthermore, in order to grant development consent, the Secretary of State would need to be satisfied that, with mitigation, the scheme would be compliant with legal obligations. As you know, the Government is determined to meet its air quality obligations and to do so it has produced a national Air Quality Plan which includes additional measures to improve air quality nationwide. We are investing £3.5 billion in cleaning up the air and reducing emissions from vehicles”.

Q.14. Question (120422) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to bring forward proposals for new regulations on the allocation of slot arrangements at UK airports; and if he will make a statement”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “The government has no proposals for new regulations on the allocation of slots at co-ordinated UK airports. The process of allocating slots at these airports is governed by the EU airport slot regulations and the associated UK implementing regulations”.
Q.15. Question (120424) asked by Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) on 19th December 2017: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Heathrow Airport on the potential number of jobs estimated to arise (a) locally and (b) nationally from a third runway being constructed”.
A. John Hayes on 21st December 2017: “The Secretary of State regularly meets with Heathrow Airport Limited to discuss a number of matters including the government’s preferred scheme for increasing airport capacity in the South East which has recently been the subject of consultation. All discussions relating to expansion take place in observance of the government’s published Statement of Approach. Government recently published the Updated Appraisal Report alongside the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement. The forecasted figures for the creation of jobs as a result of the Northwest Runway scheme at Heathrow Airport can be found there”.

Other Government News

13th December – CAA launches guidance on the regulatory process for airspace change, which will come into effect on 2nd January 2018.
18th December – TSC holds a second evidence session for its inquiry into Airports NPS.

National and Regional News

1st December – HACAN comments on Heathrow’s review of 2016 published yesterday. Details can be seen here.
2nd DecemberConstruction is underway on Stansted Airport College. It will offer qualifications that support the airport industry and the services that wrap around it.
4th DecemberReview identifies ‘significant’ flaws in Heathrow 3rd runway plans.  It cites concerns over safety, capacity, operating efficiency, impact on residents, departure routes and the environment.
4th DecemberHeathrow CEO says he’s not ruling out working with rivals on 3rd runway.  He says there is a chance Heathrow would work in collaboration with the rival group Arora.
6th DecemberGatwick appoint company to deliver £180m Pier 6 extension. It is part of a 5-year Capital Investment Programme and the 4-phase scheme is scheduled to start in 2018.
6th DecemberRigby Group division has purchased Bournemouth Airport. This marks its fourth regional airport acquisition.
7th DecemberCouncils say that third runway at Heathrow is ‘unbuildable’. The submission to the TSC is from Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils.
7th DecemberStansted’s owner has launched its own start-up to improve services and expectation.  MAG has launched its own technology and e-commerce arm.
7th DecemberHeathrow takes delivery of its 50th electric vehicle.  They reduce fleet emissions by 165 tonnes CO2/year, equivalent to energy used by 18 homes annually.
7th DecemberGatwick launches app to help passengers. It’s part of plans to build a technologically advanced airport through its ‘digital transformation’ programme.
8th DecemberLocal authorities would pay huge cost if Heathrow does not relocate Lakeside incinerator. It must be demolished to make way for the third runway.
11th December Luton Airport’s owners reveal plan for sustainable growth over next 30 years. The proposal is the airport’s response to the government’s recent call for evidence.
13th December – New CE at Leeds Bradford Airport talks about expansion. See article here.
14th DecemberHeathrow launches public planning consultation. The 10-week consultation will launch on 17th January 2018 and run until 28th March 2018.
14th December HACAN reacts to Heathrow consultation news. Chairman says it will put forward tough proposals to mitigate the impacts of a 3rd runway should it get the go-ahead.
14th December Gatwick Airport joins protest about stopping overnight services on Brighton mainline. Airport joins forces with Coast to Coast LEP and Crawley MP to protest.
14th DecemberConcerns expressed about impact of Luton Airport expansion on Hertfordshire.  County Council says local roads and environment may suffer.
18th DecemberHeathrow could shave £2.5 billion off expansion plans. The proposals, part of Heathrow’s public planning consultation in January, would ensure it expanded with airport charges staying close to today’s levels.
18th DecemberTSC holds a second evidence session for its inquiry into Airports NPS. Airports and airlines top representatives questioned on Heathrow expansion.
19th DecemberHeathrow seeking Chair for new ‘Independent Community Engagement Board’. Heathrow and the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC) have launched a campaign to recruit a high-profile person.
20th December Plans lodged for 2 new Manchester City airport hotels. The scheme’s been designed by architect Leach Rhodes Walker and planning statement is by Manchester Airports Group.
22nd DecemberManchester Airport issues drone warning. It says during 2017 there was a 113% increase in the number of incidents involving drones in airspace around the airport.
30th DecemberFour councils say Heathrow 3rd runway inquiry “illegal because ministers are biased”.  The council intervention will increase uncertainty over the airport expansion.

Other Aviation Industry News  
4th December – New report explores how airports can harness digital transformation to create better value for airlines and passengers.  See more details of the report here.
7th December – An article in Airport World (ACI) about how technology can help with airport management can be seen here.
7th DecemberLatest design plans revealed for expansion of Jersey Airport. There are plans for an integrated arrivals and departures terminal to create additional capacity.
10th DecemberAOA Chief Executive says Government now needs to review APD. She says it is the next step for boosting post-Brexit connectivity.
11th December5.4% rise in passengers in Irish Airports in third quarter of this year. Dublin accounted for 82.5% of all flights.
11th December – EU issues announcement that EU flights could cease to operate from the UK.  It may be seen here.
12th December Airline consolidation creates pressures on Europe’s airports.  ACI says it means less choice of airlines and gives carriers more negotiating power over their hubs.
13th December – CAA launches guidance on the regulatory process for changing airspace design (CAP 1616).  Details can be seen here.
14th DecemberGenetic launches Airport Sense analytics solution. The process leverages the airport’s existing security infrastructure to produce actionable intelligence about airport security, operations and passenger flow.
18th DecemberBiggin Hill Airport revealed as one of the fast growing business aviation airports in Europe. Departures are up by 23% year on year says WingX Advance Q4 report.
20th December Belfast Airport has been renamed Westeros. It has been renamed after the success of the t.v. show ‘Game of Thrones’ much of which is filmed in Northern Ireland.
20th December – Pilots welcome new Bill addressing dangerous laser attacks on aircraft. British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA)’s press release can be seen here.
27th DecemberCAA calls on more airlines to sign up to alternative dispute resolution schemes.  Since its launch in 2016, 35 airlines have signed up to ADR.
28th DecemberAirbus may halt production of A380. It is the world’s largest passenger jet.
29th DecemberAirbus ends the year on a high.  It has secured almost £45 billion of orders for its most popular jets following the launch of a sale last month.

SASIG Library Additions   

The minutes of the third meeting of the Airspace and Noise Engagement Group (ANEG) held on 13th October 2017, attended by SASIG, can be seen  here alongside an accompanying scope of study document which can be seen  here.

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