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   

  2 – 8 June 2012 Regional and Industry News

Regional News

New boss outlines ambitious plans to eradicate passenger waiting times
The new boss of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar says he aims to eradicate the queues faced by frustrated passengers and make Edinburgh one of the top airports in Europe.  Plans include the better use of check-in desks and creating more space for security to cut down on waiting times.

Mr Dewar, a former managing director of the airport, has been appointed chief executive officer of the airport following the £807.2 million takeover deal by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

Manchester Airport runs out of aviation fuel
Aviation fuel has been sent to Manchester Airport after it ran out of supplies.  The airport uses about three million litres of aviation fuel each day.

A spokesman for the Essar refinery in Cheshire, which pipes fuel to the airport, said production was “now back to normal”.  The airport said a “handful of flights, perhaps five”, might be delayed by up to an hour in the morning.

Birmingham Airport passenger numbers increase
Some 16,000 more passengers have been flying from Birmingham Airport compared with the same time last year, according to the latest figures.  A 2.3% rise in April was due to a rise in both business and leisure travel, Chief Executive Paul Kehoe said. 

Work has already started on a £40m runway extension at Birmingham Airport, which will allow direct flights to the far east and the west coast of the United States.

Rival plans for Luton Airport expansion to be merged
A row which threatened the expansion of Luton Airport has been settled after the two sides agreed to merge plans.

In January 2012, airport owners Luton Borough Council revealed proposals to boost passenger numbers to 18 million per year, but in March, operator London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL) said 15 million was more realistic.  The combined plans will now allow for a maximum of 18 million passengers, creating about 4,750 jobs.

Industry News

International Airlines Group facing showdown with investors
International Airlines Group (IAG), formed from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, could be heading for a showdown with its investors after a leading shareholder advisory group recommended they oppose the group’s annual report.

UK passengers’ tax-dodging techniques revealed
More than one in 10 British travellers taking long-haul flights will avoid the increase in air passenger duty by flying from other European countries, according to a new survey published this week.
The survey also said passengers would also pay lower taxes and fees by taking long-haul flights from Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome instead of London.
The findings are based on a survey of 2,001 carried out by ICM for Sainsbury’s Travel Money Bank.


‘North by Northolt’ article by Royal Aeronautical Society
With air traffic capacity at London Heathrow almost at breaking point, could a bold new proposal bring valuable breathing space for passengers, airlines and politicians alike?


  9- 15 June 2012 Regional and Industry News

 Regional News

Birmingham Airport to launch new advertising campaign
Birmingham Airport has unveiled a new campaign in advance of the launch of the Government’s consultation on UK aviation strategy, expected shortly.

The campaign, which sees posters London’s tube network along with advertising online and in political magazines, is aimed at policy-makers and will present an alternative approach to aviation that does not solely focus on Heathrow and airports in the South East.

Homes to get Manchester Airport runway compensation
Nearly 600 homeowners and six schools in Knutsford and Mobberley are to get a pay out for the building of Manchester Airport’s second runway.  The householders, who claimed their properties were devalued due to the noise from the planes since the runway opened in 2001, will get £1,500 each.  Six local schools will also receive £1,300 each from the airport’s owner The Manchester Airports Group.

Durham Tees Valley Airport bids for £6 million towards expansion
Durham Tees Valley Airport is applying for £5.9 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) towards plans it says would generate 1500 new jobs.

The ‘Southside’ project involves developing 150 acres of land to the south of the runway and will take around ten years to complete. Money from the RGF would be used towards the highways and services infrastructure.

Industry News

International Air Transport Association warns that more airlines will go bust
More European airlines will go bust this year as their collective losses top £642m, according to the industry body the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

BAA Ltd completes £2.75m refinancing
British airports operator BAA Ltd has completed a £2.75 billion refinancing of its loan facilities for Heathrow and Stansted airports in London.  The new deal is made up of £2 billion in credit and £750 million in standby facilities. The new credit facilities mature in June 2017, and replace similar facilities that were due to mature in August 2013.

Flybe blames taxation on £6.2mn pre-tax loss
Managers of the UK’s largest regional airline Flybe blame “illogical hikes in stealth taxation” among the causes of its £6.2m pre-tax loss.


Telegraph interview with Declan Collier, Chief Executive of London City Airport
The new boss of London City Airport discusses plans to expand the site’s runway area and invest in new stands as part of a drive to reach 7mn passengers annually by 2016.

BBC interview on Heathrow Airport expansion vs Boris Island estuary plan
Former BMI airline boss Michael Bishop, and Labour MP John McDonnell discuss the airport expansion plans.

Birmingham Airport launches new website
Birmingham Airport has launched a new website focusing on three themes – Capacity, Connectivity and Growth at


  16 – 22 June 2012 Regional and Industry News

Regional News

Heathrow banks on software to reduce delays
Heathrow airport is hoping to bolster its case for building a third runway by unveiling measures to improve its poor record on flight punctuality.  Heathrow’s operator, BAA Ltd is seeking to install a computer software system that should reduce delays to arriving and departing flights.

The system will increase Heathrow’s chances of coping with the large influx of passengers during the Olympic Games, and BAA Ltd is hoping that if it can increase the hub airport’s efficiency, ministers will be more likely to consider a third runway.

The £5m software package will enable real-time sharing of flight data between BAA Ltd, airlines, baggage handlers and air traffic controllers.

Surrey bids to lure Gatwick tourists from London
Tourism chiefs have set out to tempt Gatwick Airport’s 33m passengers-a-year to “ditch the bright lights of London” and explore the south of England.  Airport chiefs, Surrey and West Sussex county councils and Tourism South East have teamed up to develop a website called  The council said the site was designed to coincide with London 2012 to raise the profile of the area.

Ryanair calls for urgent sale of Stansted
The immediate sale of Stansted by owner BAA Ltd is being demanded by Ryanair on the back of the latest drop in passenger figures.  The budget carrier repeated its call for the Essex airport to be offloaded following BAA figures released last week showed a 5.5% drop in passengers in May over the same month last year.  This has resulted in a loss of 500,000 passengers in the first five months of 2012.

Industry News

World Wildlife Fund scheme helps leading UK companies cut flights by 41%
New figures released today show that some of the UK’s leading companies, including Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, and Marks & Spencer have reduced their business flights by 41%, as part of a WWF run scheme.

WWF’s One in Five Challenge, a five year programme designed to help companies reduce their reliance on business flying and transform the way they meet and travel, has just produced its latest set of results, showing that member companies have, on average, cut their flights:

Companies have achieved these results by using a variety of measures including questioning the need for travel, including flights in corporate carbon reporting and increasing their use of rail, video and audio conferencing.

Aer Lingus board rejects Ryanair takeover
The Aer Lingus board has rejected the third attempt by low-cost carrier Ryanair to take over the company, saying the bid undervalued the Irish flag-carrier.

According to an statement, Aer Lingus’ management team “has delivered a significantly improved operational and financial performance since 2009, transforming Aer Lingus into a robust, profitable airline.”

It also said the UK Competition Commission (CC) was currently investigating Ryan Air’s 29.82% stake in Air Lingus, built up at the time of two earlier takeover bids, “with the result that Ryanair is now under a legal prohibition from undertaking any further integration with Aer Lingus without the consent of the CC; and may be subject to an order to sell down its shares at the end of the CC investigation.”


  23 – 29 June 2012 Regional and Industry News

Regional News

Fears over Inverness to London air links
Direct air links between Inverness and London could be under threat because of UK Government opposition to south-east England airport expansion.  The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) fears that landing slots for domestic flights at Gatwick and Heathrow airports could be lost to more profitable long-haul flights.

easyJet celebrates 55 Million Passengers at London Stansted Airport since its first flight in 1998
The milestone highlights easyJet’s growth since launching its first route to Copenhagen in 1998 followed by Munich in November the same year and then Geneva one month later.  Fourteen years later and easyJet now operates over 82 flights from Stansted.

Gatwick Airport renews push for second runway in master plan
Gatwick Airport will resurrect proposals for a second runway this summer as it ramps up efforts to become London’s main gateway to Asia. Gatwick Airport bosses will publish a “master plan” in July setting out what the airport will look like in eight years’ time.

Bristol Airport launches bid to become ‘world class’
Transport secretary Justine Greening has officially opened Bristol Airport’s three new aircraft stands that are the first stage of a 30-part development plan to enable the airport’s growth over the next decade.

Birmingham Airport releases aviation report
The report, ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket: a challenge to aviation orthodoxy’.  The report is authored by Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s chief executive and claims that to capture the economic benefits of changes in global travel the Government must fully utilise existing airport infrastructure and pursue a balanced aviation strategy.

Gatwick Airport boss tells Heathrow Airport operators to stop moaning about capacity
Gatwick’s chief executive warnied his Heathrow counterpart that moans about London’s strangled aviation capacity are damaging Britain’s business prospects and his base was enjoying strong growth from emerging markets.  Stewart Wingate said, “We can’t afford to be sending out a message that airports in London are closed for business.  Gatwick has the capacity to transport 11 million more passengers a year.”

‘Mixed mode’ flying will not solve Heathrow’s problems claims Willie Walsh
International Airlines Group boss Willie Walsh has come out against any potential plans to use “mixed mode” flying to increase capacity at Heathrow.  Mr Walsh was responding to reports over the weekend that using “mixed mode” flying could add up to 15 per cent capacity at the airport.

New £5m business aviation centre opens at Birmingham Airport
Chartered plane company Eurojet Aviation has opened its new aviation centre.

Cardiff Airport task group meets for first time
A new task group will meet for the first time today to try and stop the decline of Cardiff Airport.

Industry News

Airports association ACI Europe reveals winners of the 2012 Best Airport Awards
In the 1-5 million passenger category London City Airport secured the prize, with tributes paid to its “austerity-defying strong traffic growth, service quality delivery and in particular for its ultra-efficient ‘door-to-gate’ passenger processing times”. 
Among airports counting 5-10 million passengers annually Edinburgh Airport was judged the best, thanks to its strong focus on the customer and responsiveness to feedback.
The Eco-Innovation Award was given to Manchester Airport, said to display “a passion for environmental innovation”.

BAA Ltd earnings take a hit as airlines go quiet and green
More airlines flying quieter, cleaner aircraft mean BAA Ltd  will make £15 million less in its underlying earnings this year. The Civil Aviation Authority forces BAA Ltd to charge less to airlines flying lighter or greener aircraft.  Carriers are switching over to cleaner aircraft more quickly than expected and so BAA Ltd’s earnings before tax and interest will be £1.3 billion this year, 1.2% lower than it had previously forecast.


  April 2011-12 CAA Airport Traffic Stats (Reported in June 2012)