SASIG 2012/13 Meeting Dates

Thursday 14 June 2012 The Aviation Minister, Theresa Villiers, shall be attending.
Friday 9 November 2012 
Friday 1 March 2013. 

  28 January – 3 February Regional and Industry News 

Regional News

Business Jet bookings for Olympic period currently lower than expected
Authorities have urged business aviation operators to reserve slots far ahead of the games period because of tightened security restrictions for non-scheduled aircraft flying into London and increased slot controls for airfields surrounding London. Around 10,000 aircraft movements by business jet operators are expected to be required during the two weeks of the games – 40% more than normal summer months in London.

Competition Commission dismisses BAA Ltd’s challenge to ruling over Stansted Airport
BAA Ltd has failed in its attempt to overturn a ruling by competition regulators requiring the company to sell Stansted airport.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal unanimously dismissed a legal challenge by BAA Ltd, Britain’s leading airports operator, against the Competition Commission’s ruling in July last year.

Industry News

Poor environment threatens London’s position as ‘top business city’ according to the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) Report
A new report released by HACAN claims that it is not a lack of airport capacity which threatens London’s position as the top city in Europe to do business but its poor environment.  Too Dirty for Business? concludes that London’s excellent transport links to the rest of the world make it Europe’s premier business city.  However, that position is under threat because many of its rivals score more highly on quality of life, pollution and a lack of traffic congestion, all key considerations for businesses when deciding where to locate.

London First call for more airport capacity in the South East
London First has produced a report called ‘London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth‘.  The report says that an expanded at Heathrow as the “only credible option” for the capital.  It accuses the government of being unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”.

Half of EU airport traffic in CO2 reduction pledge
More than 50 European airports representing half of total EU air passenger traffic have signed up to an industry scheme to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions according to airports body ACI Europe.

Press Releases

Stop Stansted Expansion: BAA Ltd commits to selling back houses
Twenty months after withdrawing its planning application for a second runway at Stansted Airport, BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews has finally agreed that the company will sell back the entirety of its property portfolio around the airport, a total of 279 houses.

The Clean Air in London Manifesto launched by Campaign for Clean Air London
The manifesto lists a five-point plan for ‘clean air in London’. The Mayor must protect the health of Londoners and ensure full compliance with UK and European air quality laws throughout London.


Does Heathrow’s third runway remain best option for British trade? Guardian Comment


  4 – 10 February Regional and Industry News 

Regional News

Solar Power installed at Birmingham Airport
The operators of Birmingham Airport will save 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year with the installation of 200 solar panels on the roof of its terminal. The 1.6m x 1m panels will generate 40,000 kWh a year; sufficient to power 12 average sized houses. Paul Kehoe, the Airport’s CEO, said: “It’s exciting for the Airport to present such a visible commitment to energy reduction. Managing our greenhouse gas emissions is a high priority for the company and we’re always seeking new opportunities to work with partners to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Industry News

Airports Council International Europe release report on flagship climate change programme
After the first month of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) being in operation, the Airport Council International Europe have released a report on their climate change programme ‘Airports Carbon Accreditation’ which has been in operation since 1999.

There are four stages to accreditation, ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’, and the highest standard and ultimate goal for all airports, ‘Neutrality’. 31 January marked a special point in the progress of Airport Carbon Accreditation – the majority of European air passenger traffic, 52%, now passes through Carbon Accredited airports.  This equates to a staggering 750 million passengers a year.  The actual number of airports in Europe involved in the programme currently stands at 55, with 8 airports in the ‘Neutrality’ phase, 7 in ‘Optimisation’, 19 in ‘Reduction’ and 21 in the ‘Mapping’ stages.

Airline industry split widens over EU carbon ‘tax’ row 
The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that several nations view the EU scheme as an “attack on sovereignty”, following the Chinese Governments ban on it’s airlines from joining the scheme.   However, the head of the European Low Fares Airline Association, who claims to account for 43 percent of flights within the EU, said the United States and other opponents should work harder to develop their own plans to reduce harmful emissions, which would then trigger exemptions. 

Flybe increases share of UK domestic air market
The airline Flybe has tightened its hold on the regional UK air travel market by growing its market share to more than 50%.

The Exeter-based carrier saw its share of the UK regional market (excluding London area airports) rise to 50.5% in 2011 – up from 48% during the previous year.  When London is included, Flybe’s domestic share was 27.9%, an increase from 27% in 2010.

Flybe said that revenue from its UK operations fell by 0.3% year-on-year to £133.7 million for the three months to the end of 2011.  Passenger numbers and load factors were flat at 1.7 million and 61.7% respectively for the quarter despite a “challenging” domestic UK market.


  11 – 17 February Regional and Industry News

Regional News 

Bidding gets underway for Edinburgh Airport
Bidding for Edinburgh Airport has begun, with five parties expected to make an offer to buy Scotland’s largest gateway. First-round bids will be entered with the five interested parties reported to include Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – which bought Gatwick from British Airports Authority (BAA Ltd) in 2009 and also owns London City Airport – as well as a consortium led by private equity group 3i and another headed by America’s Carlyle Group.

Oxford Economics Report warns on flight links to between Northern Ireland and Heathrow
An economic forecasting consultancy has warned Northern Ireland is in danger of being cut off from future trade and job opportunities unless flight connections are improved.

A report released by Oxford Economics claims that regular flights, particularly to Heathrow, are very important for the Northern Ireland economy.Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) to be switched off at Manchester and Birmingham Airports
The Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) will be switched off at Manchester and Birmingham Airports but will continue to operate at Heathrow and Gatwick until after the 2012 Olympics.

Heathrow Terminal 2 offers faster transit and more room for planes
The £2.3 billion development, which will open to passengers in 2014, will handle up to 20 million passengers a year and aims to provide quicker services between check-in and the departure gate and from arrival to clearing customs.

Industry News 

Europe will not suspend emissions tax despite pressure
Europe will not suspend the new emissions scheme despite causing anger from airlines and countries worldwide.  Airlines fear the EU Emission Tax Scheme, which was introduced on 1 January, is threatening to cause a trade war.  But although Europe is prepared to be flexible, it will not scrap the scheme according to Siim Kallas, vice president of the European Commission.  Chinese airlines have already been banned from joining the scheme by the State Council.

BAA Ltd operators say Heathrow airport growth constraints is causing a loss of China traffic to rivals
Heathrow’s China traffic in January, including Hong Kong, was down by 0.7 percent versus the previous year. Through 2011 as a whole, Heathrow’s China traffic was up 3 percent versus 2010. This growth rate was well short of the growth generated by other European hubs, with Paris and Frankfurt growing at 9 percent versus 2010 and Amsterdam growing at 6 percent.

A recent study by the Frontier Economics consultancy said Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt airports boast 1,000 more annual flights to the three largest cities in China than Heathrow; adding that a lack of direct flights to emerging markets was costing the UK some £1.2 billion a year as trade goes to better-connected competitors. 

European Commission to decide on Bmi deal by mid-March
The European Commission (EC) is expected to make a decision on the takeover of Bmi by International Airlines Group (IAG) by 16 March 2012.  IAG, has formally submitted its proposed £172.5 million purchase of Bmi from Lufthansa to the EC.  Virgin Atlantic bosses have urged the Office of Fair Trading to examine the impact of the deal on  flights between Scotland and Heathrow. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) seeks UN support to end emissions stand-off
IATA has called for the United Nations to be brought in to secure a deal which will end the ongoing dispute over the EU emissions trading scheme.  According to IATA a global system on emissions is needed and should be brokered through the International Civil Aviation Organisation. 


Transport Times Conference: A New Strategy for UK Aviation: The Case for New Hub Capacity – 18 April 2012, Central London


  18 – 24 February Regional and Industry News 

Regional News 

Air quality study on Newcastle Airport
Engineers from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds have chosen Newcastle International Airport as the ideal place to study how planes affect air quality as they take off and land.  The research will contribute to a better understanding of aircraft emissions and their impact on air quality at medium-sized airports in particular and hopes to see exactly how the exhaust from jet engines influences the air quality in surrounding communities. 

BAA Ltd agrees to sell back 279 houses on land reserved for Stansted’s second runway
The British Airport Authority (BAA Ltd) has agreed to sell back all the 279 houses around that airport that it bought after the 2003 government white paper proposed a second runway at Stansted.  There are currently no timescales in place for the completion of the sales. 

Industry News 

UK Border Agency to be split in two parts
The UK Border Agency is to be split into two parts next month following an official inquiry, which identified poor communication, poor oversight and confusion among ministers and senior officials. 

Shortlist of Edinburgh Airport auction bidders announced
Ferrovial, the owner of airports operator BAA Ltd, has narrowed the shortlist of bidders for Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), JP Morgan Asset Management and consortiums led by Carlyle Group and 3i.  BAA Ltd will accept final offers in early April.  The airport is expected to fetch between 500 and 700 million pounds. 

Ryanair claim potential job losses due to cuts in Edinburgh routes
The operators of Ryanair have announced that plans to reduce services from Edinburgh Airport could mean up to 300 job losses.  The airline plans to reduce its number of aircraft based there from seven to six and is cutting five European routes following a breakdown in talks with BAA Ltd over a reduction in charges for using the airport. 

Delta airline flights from Gatwick cancelled
Delta has announced plans to add a second daily flight between Heathrow and Atlanta from April, but will drop its only remaining service from Gatwick following the gradual decrease of services from Gatwick over the last few years. 


Birmingham City Council – ‘Places for the Future
Birmingham City Council has started the public consultation on the new Sustainable Development guidance called ‘Places for the Future’.  The consultation period lasts until 22 March.  ‘Places for the Future’ guidance is expected to be adopted by the City Council at the end of 2012 following consultation. 

London Luton Airport Ltd – ‘futureLuToN:Optimisation
The owner of Luton Airport, Luton Borough Council, has started public consultation on expansion plans for the airport – ‘FutureLuToN:Optimisation’.  The application will be to increase the airport’s capacity to 18 million passengers per year using the existing runway and by making best use of the existing infrastructure within the existing airport boundary. The consultation is open between 13 February and 26 March 2012. 


A New Strategy for UK Aviation: The Case for New Hub Capacity – 18 April 2012, Central London, £175.50 +VAT 


  25 February – 2 March Regional and Industry News 

Regional News 

Poll suggests Heathrow third runway more popular than Estuary airport
Building a third runway at Heathrow is a more popular option to deal with the UK’s airport capacity crunch than a new airport in the Thames Estuary, according to a poll commissioned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 

The poll of 1,001 members of the general public showed that a third runway was favoured by 25% of respondents, with 21% backing the new airport. When asked if they believed the Government was right to block Heathrow’s third runway, 35% agreed while 32% thought it was the wrong decision. 

Birmingham Airport runway extension project to go ahead
The £65 million Birmingham Airport runway extension project has been approved by shareholders.  Whilst the airport can currently serve short haul and medium haul routes into the UK and Europe, as well as limited long-haul routes to the east coast of North America and the Middle East, destinations further away, such as China, South Africa and the west coast of America, cannot be reached directly.  The airport therefore needs to extend its runway by 400m to achieve greater aircraft range.The government has said it will contribute £15.7 million from the Regional Growth Fund towards the cost of diverting the A45 road to make way for the runway extension. Regional passenger body Centro will contribute £10 million towards the work.  

Industry News

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – First supplements on Olympics airspace published
The first set of official supplements to the UK Air Pilot (AIP) on the changes to be introduced during the London 2012 Olympics has now been published.  The supplements are the legal notification of the temporary controlled airspace, airport slot controls and the implementation of the Atlas Control air traffic service to be provided in the Restricted Zone of the security airspace surrounding London and the main venues.

British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) doubles profits in 2010/11
A strong demand for long-haul flights from London has helped British Airways’ (BA) parent company to more than double its profits.

BAA Ltd launches appeal over sale of Stansted
BAA Ltd bosses have announced that it has initiated appeal proceedings against the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s judgment of 1 February 2012.  The judgment upheld the Competition Commission’s ruling that BAA Ltd must sell Stansted Airport.The appeal has resulted in further uncertainty over the future ownership of Stansted Airport for at least another six months. The legal battle has already lasted for three years and was preceded by three years of investigation into BAA Ltd by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.

Bmi to be ‘integrated quickly’ into British Airways
International Airlines Group (IAG) plans to integrate Bmi into British Airways “as quickly as possible” if it gets clearance for the takeover from regulators.


Aviation: developing a sustainable framework for the UK and reforming security (Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum Keynote Seminar) – Thursday, 31st May 2012, Central London


  December 2010-11 CAA Airport Traffic Stats (Reported in February 2012)