SASIG Newsletter – January 2019

Editor’s Highlights  

With the Green Paper and Heathrow Airspace consultations well underway, several developments in January have served to emphasise the importance of both exercises – and of course the uncertainty brought to the industry by Brexit! The loss of the Flybmi brand and the withdrawal of Romanian airline Blue Air from 3 UK airports as a result of the impending loss of cabotage rights demonstrates the vulnerability of regional airport connectivity. And of course, there remains uncertainty about the future of Flybe, which if were also to be lost would have a very large impact on regional connectivity across the country.

Drones have remained in the news and DfT/CAA have been seeking to put in place new policy. The Mayor of Teesside has secured support for purchasing Durham Tees Valley airport from Peel Airports and a final decision on the expansion of Stansted to 43.5mppa remains outstanding.

  • January also brought several other important publications:
  • An update to CAP 168 – the aerodrome licensing guidance
  • General Aviation Strategy – an update to the 2015 document

EU Environmental Report – Part of the EU’s regular monitoring commitments and a very influential document for future policy

However, the Green Paper and its supporting documents remain much the most important of recent aviation related publications, and the Secretariat’s focus is on preparing a comprehensive response to that document on behalf of the Group and co-ordinating a multi-party response based upon it.

Chris Cain
Head of Secretariat

Monthly Highlights

  • 8th January – Heathrow launches next phase of consultation on its expansion.
  • 15th January – Pre-trial hearing for the series of legal challenges against the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
  • 29th January – The CAA publishes the General Aviation Strategy: 2018-23. Further details and access to the document itself (CAP1754) can be seen on our website and here.

Events, Meetings and Conferences

SASIG Meetings

  • 6th February 2019: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)
  • 10th July 2019: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)
  • 7th November 2019: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)

External Conferences

Parliamentary and Government News

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords rose on 20th December 2018 and returned on 7th January 2019.

Transport Questions:  House of Commons:

7th January – Drones: consultation response

A statement from the Secretary of State for Transport on the action the Government are taking on the future policy of drones can be seen here.

10th January – Leaving the EU: Aviation

A debate following the question about any recent assessment the Secretary of State for Transport has made of the potential effect on the viability of the aviation sector of the UK leaving the EU can be seen here.

On the same day there was also a debate regarding what steps the SoS plans to take to reduce a potential increase in highway vehicle trips resulting from a third runway at Heathrow airport.  Details of that debate can be seen here.

Transport Questions:  House of Lords

7th January – Drones: consultation response

A statement from the Secretary of State for Transport on the action the Government are taking on the future policy of drones can be seen here.

22nd January – Drones

A debate following a question asked about what progress the Government has made towards introducing new regulations on the use of drones can be seen here.

29th January – Drones: consultation

A debate following a question on what consultations the Government is conducting on the operation of drones in UK airspace can be seen here.

Parliamentary Questions: 

Q.1. Question (HL12572) asked by Lord Berkeley on 7th January 2019: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to paragraph 4.3 of their consultation Aviation 2050—the future of UK aviation (Cm 9714), published on 17 December, whether (1) a third runway at Heathrow airport is exempt from further consideration of its environmental and economic impacts, and (2) there is a presumption that no airports other than Heathrow may have new or extended runways”.

A. Baroness Sugg on 21st January 2019: “The Government has set out its preferred option for one new runway in the South East by 2030. This is being taken forward through the Airports National Policy Statement, which was designated by the Secretary of State on 26 June 2018. It provides the primary basis for decision making on an application for development consent for a Northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, which includes the strict environmental requirements that any applicant will have to meet. In June 2018, the Department released its policy to provide support for all airports across the UK with the exception of Heathrow to make best use of their existing runways subject to relevant environmental considerations being addressed. Airports that wish to increase either the passenger or air traffic movement cap to allow them to make best use of their existing runways will need to submit applications to the relevant planning authority”.

Q.2. Question (HL12623) asked by Lord Bradshaw on 7th January 2019: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 11 December 2018 (HL11834), in view of the proportion of airport passengers using Gatwick Airport railway station, what assessment they have made of requesting Gatwick Airport Limited to make a greater contribution to the costs of improving the station”.

A. Baroness Sugg on 21st January 2019: “The Department for Transport has been seeking to agree Gatwick Airport Limited’s contribution to the costs of enhancement works at Gatwick Airport Station through a process of negotiation. The objective of these negotiations has been to secure an appropriate level of contribution from the airport, which also recognises that the enhancement works are designed to improve passenger journeys for airport and non-airport users”. Negotiations with Gatwick Airport Limited are still ongoing.

Q.3. Question (207260) asked by Jim Shannon (Strangford) on 10th January 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits of a third runway at Heathrow for that area; and what steps his Department plans to take to improve the local infrastructure”.

A. Jessie Norman on 18th January 2019: “The Government has undertaken a comprehensive strategic assessment of the effects of Heathrow expansion on the area surrounding the airport as part of the Appraisal of Sustainability. This assessment included consideration of local economic impacts including a forecast that, with expansion, between 39,000 and 78,000 additional local jobs will be created by 2050. The Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) expects that Heathrow Airport Limited’s (HAL) public pledge on apprenticeships will be met. By 2030 this is projected to double to 10,000 the number of apprenticeships available across the airport, its supply chain and airport related businesses. Heathrow Airport already has good surface transport links to the rest of the UK. In the future, it will connect to Crossrail, link to HS2 at Old Oak Common and Transport for London has recently completed the procurement for new trains on the Piccadilly line which will increase to 15 trains per hour the number of trains serving the airport. Plans are being developed for further enhancements to rail access to the airport”.

Q.4. Question (HL12722) asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick on 9th January 2019: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to work with the EU to provide reassurance to airlines about their flying rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit”.

A. Baroness Sugg on 21st January 2019: “The Government continues to advocate the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement, which will ensure an orderly departure from the EU. Nevertheless, the Government has a duty to plan for the alternative. The Department’s aviation technical notices, together with the European Commission’s published plans for aviation contingency preparations and most recently their proposed EU regulations published on 19 December clearly demonstrate that, in the event of no deal, both sides are committed to maintaining connectivity. We look forward to engaging with the Commission and other Member States on the detail of the proposed EU legislative measures to ensure that they deliver the continuity of services that both the EU and the UK want to see”.

Q.5. Question (207579) asked by Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) on 7th January 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report entitled, Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Market Sounding, published by his Department in December 2018, what progress his Department has made on the publication of a (a) process and (b) timeframe in relation to the (i) development and (ii) completion of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow”.

A. Andrew Jones on 18th January 2019: “The Market Sounding Findings Report, published by the Department in December 2018, indicated significant interest for development and financing of the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow. This interest from the market aligns with my intention for future private sector involvement and we remain keen to advance this project in order to deliver quicker and easier journeys for millions of holidaymakers and business travellers across the south of England. The report concluded that Government now needs to further clarify the outcomes we want to be delivered from this project. We are committed to doing this as quickly as possible following which we intend to set out further opportunities for market involvement”.

Q.6. Question (207580) asked by Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) on 11th January 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding for the next stage of development of the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow”.

A. Andrew Jones on 18th January 2019: “A new Southern rail link to Heathrow forms part of our long term aspiration to make getting to the airport quicker and easier for millions of air travellers across south of England and is an exciting opportunity to harness new and innovative ideas from the private sector. The project is in the early stages of development and funding for the next stage is being provided by the Department. The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with the Chancellor in relation to funding this next stage of work”.

 Q.7. Question (212430) asked by John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk) on 24th January 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage the creation of international connections to and from Scotland from other UK airports”.

A. Jesse Norman on 31st January 2019: “Government is supportive of all airports including those in Scotland, in creating new international connections. The Government believes that air passengers are best served by a commercial airline market which is able to operate in a competitive environment. It is solely a matter for airlines to determine which airports they operate based on their own assessment of costs and passenger demand”.

National and Regional News

Other Aviation Industry News

  •  3rd January – An article in Air Traffic Management from ACI Europe about how airlines should come to terms with the principle of ‘user pays’ can be seen here.
  • 4th January – An article in Travel Daily News on the stress of queuing at airports and queue monitoring technology to help deal with bottlenecks can be seen here.
  • 8th JanuaryRyanair in favour of devolving air tax to Wales. It says it is hindering growth at Cardiff airport and also hints at increasing flights there.
  • 9th January – CAA publishes a new edition of CAP168: Licensing of National Aerodromes. Access to the document and further details can be seen here.
  • 11th JanuaryFlybe is bought by Virgin and Stobart. It will operate under the Virgin Atlantic brand.
  • 14th JanuaryMost expensive UK airport drop-off charges revealed. The data has been compiled by insurance broker Staveley Head.
  • 16th January Travel industry reacts to Brexit vote.  IATA warns there may be higher air fares, cancelled flights and more delays if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
  • 18th January – London TravelWatch publishes: “Way to go: Improving public transport access to London’s airports”. Further details and access to the document can be seen here.
  • 23rd JanuaryA rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre is needed. Scottish Parliament is asked to progress these plans forward as a matter or urgency.
  • 24th January – EC receives 2nd European Aviation Environmental Report prepared and published by EASA. Further details can be seen here and the report itself can be seen here.
  • 28th January – An article in Airport Technology titled: “Beyond efficiency: exploring airport designs of the future” can be seen here.
  • 29th January – A blog in AviationPros: “Facilitating Solutions for Complex Airport Projects” by Julie Weinberg, National Director of Aviation Architecture, HNTB can be seen here.
  • 29th January – The CAA publishes the General Aviation Strategy: 2018-23. Further details and access to the document itself (CAP1754) can be seen on our website and here.
  • 29th January – An article in ‘Airport Technology’ titled “What do airlines expect of their airports: a lesson from Shannon Airport” can be seen here.
  • 31st JanuaryThe future of the Glasgow Airport rail link to be discussed. Senior council bosses will meet Transport Minister and airport as calls for the project to begin are growing.

SASIG Library Additions

29th January – The CAA published the General Aviation Strategy: 2018-23. Further details and access to the document itself (CAP1754) can be seen here and here.

A future inquiry and consultation programme can be seen here.

 

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