SASIG 2012/13 Meeting Dates 

Friday 1 March 2013


  18 December 2012 – 4 January 2013 Regional, Industry and Government News

Regional, Industry and Government News

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announces decision in Aer Lingus Heathrow complaint case
The CAA has published its decision on a complaint made by Aer Lingus about landing charges for small aircraft and charges on airlines for passengers on domestic and Irish flights at Heathrow Airport.

Welsh Government reaches deal to buy Cardiff Airport to bring it into public ownership
The nationalisation of the airport comes after a few years which have seen declining passenger numbers and the loss of a number of key routes.  Bristol Airport operators have said that it is seeking assurances that Cardiff Airport will be run on a commercial basis and will not receive subsidies from the Welsh Government; and have also questioned whether the acquisition of a commercial business operating in a highly competitive market is the best use of taxpayers’ money.

Heathrow Airport operators expect new larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380 to boost passenger numbers in 2013 following a 10.1% jump in earnings for 2012

Leeds Bradford Airport owners have opened the £11mn terminal expansion, with a 65% increase in airside space and enhanced commercial facilities

Government decision on international aviation emissions announced
Government will defer a decision on whether to include international aviation emissions in carbon budgets until the setting of the fifth carbon budget in 2016, by which point there should be more clarity on how aviation emissions will be tackled at an EU and global level.  Caroline Flint, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has issued a press release on the decision.

Fourth South East England hub airport proposal in Deal in Kent, is unveiled by engineering firm Beckett Rankine

Analysis by the Department for Transport suggests that a 50% rise in air passenger duty at Heathrow and Gatwick would be high enough to persuade passengers to switch to airports like Luton and Stansted
The report, ‘Modelling the Effects of Price Differentials at UK Airports’, is being studied by several MPs, who are keen for it to be submitted as evidence to the Airports Commission. It suggests that applying different rates of tax at airports would create a better regional balance in passenger numbers and take pressure off Heathrow and Gatwick.

Civil Aviation Bill

The Civil Aviation Act has become law and paves the way for airports to offer better facilities and information for passengers
The new Act sees a number of key changes to the powers and responsibilities of the aviation regulator, the CAA, including: giving the CAA a single overriding duty for its airport economic functions to further the interests of passengers and owners of cargo in the provision of airport operation services; and giving the CAA more effective enforcement powers.  The CAA will work to bring the new airport economic regulatory framework fully into force in April 2014.

Further details on the Civil Aviation Act can be found in an email from the SASIG office sent on 30 Dec. 2012 or on the SASIG website.


Institute of Directors report claims London needs three new runways
The report ‘Flying into the Future’, suggests that the majority of respondents (59%) feel that the lack of capacity at Heathrow Airport has an effect on inward investment in the UK and identifies a need to expand London airports.

The Guild of Travel Management Companies have produced a report, ‘10 Routes to Growth’, to identify the 10 most direct routes to international destinations that business travellers want from Heathrow but are currently being forced to connect via another European hub


The Civil Aviation Authority has published for consultation its latest thinking on whether Stansted Airport should be fully de-regulated from 2014
The consultation is about whether the airport should be subject to economic regulation; it does not cover the type of regulation that any licence would contain, which would be consulted on in 2013.

House of Commons Questions

Timetable for the public consultation on operational freedoms at Heathrow Airport (see ‘Airports Commission’) – Goldsmith, Z – 19 Dec. 2012

Number of staff employed by the Airports Commission (see ‘‘Airports Commission’) – Goldsmith, Z – 19 Dec. 2012


  8 – 17 December 2012 Regional and Industry News

Regional News

Virgin Atlantic given financial penalty for the repeated misuse of slot allocation between 30 July 2012 and 10 September 2012 at Heathrow Airport

Gatwick Airport bosses have pledged to listen to the people of West Kent and East Sussex’s concerns about aircraft noise by holding a “noise seminar”

Rochester Airport plan to pave part of a grass airfield and close a runway would ‘create 1,000 jobs’ through a hi-tech business park
Medway council, who owns the airport, will also tender a new 25-year lease for the airport, compared to the current five-year lease.

Plans for a £650mn business park at Manchester Airport have been submitted

Airline to start new flights between Kent Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from April 2013

Southend Airport dismissed 1,500 complaints
The airport’s operators have received 1,5000 complaints since its runway extension but claim none of the complaints it received were upheld as they did not reveal a breach of controls on flights.

Heathrow flight path noise pollution levels could fall by as much as 25% through plans to bring aircraft in to land at a steeper angle

Pakistan International Airline operators have been asked to give a formal commitment to introduce quieter planes by Leeds City Council following its breach of night-time flying rules at Leeds-Bradford Airport

Residents near Luton Airport to benefit from a community funding programme
The programme, which is expected to be worth at least £14mn, is made up of a community fund for Luton organisations, a near-neighbour fund for those outside Luton but around the airport, an enterprise fund for small Luton businesses and a donation fund for partner organisations chosen by the London Luton Airport Ltd. board.

Mystery bidder has come forward to buy Sheffield’s mothballed airport

International Airlines Group operators sign a non-binding accord with Ryanair for Heathrow Airport landing slots
The agreement to buy landing slots at Heathrow airport from Ryanair is part of the airline’s takeover bid for Aer Lingus.

Industry News

Delta Air Line bosses have agreed a deal to buy Singapore Airlines’ 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for £224mn
Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson will retain their 51% shareholding, and the Virgin brand will remain in place.  The deal is subject to regulatory approval in the US and Europe.


The Big Interview: Tom Denton, Head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick discusses expansion, carbon emissions and sustainability

Birmingham Airport operators release promotional video on airport expansion

European News

European Union antitrust regulators have given Ryanair until 20 Dec. 2012 to offer more concessions before deciding whether to clear or block the budget airline’s third takeover attempt for Aer Lingus


Please click on the Bulletins page of the SASIG website for the complete list of events.

The latest events to be added are:

Dods ‘Westminster Explained’ courses on effective communication across government and the public sector.

15-17 April 2013 – ACI Europe’s Regional Airports Conference – Lyon, France


  1 – 7 December 2012 Regional and Industry News

Regional News

Heathrow Airport operators join forces with noise campaign group on noise respite trial
Heathrow, in partnership with Heathrow Association for the Control of Airport Noise (HACAN), NATS and British Airways, has launched a new trial to test whether creating ‘noise relief zones’ for communities under the flight path could ease disturbance for residents.

The Early Morning Noise Respite Trial will define two zones over each trial area that will be ‘active’ sequentially week by week.  The aim is to provide communities with definite periods of relief from early morning aircraft noise.  The trial began on 5 Nov. 2012 and will run for five months.

Ryanair operators announce expansion plans from Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick Airports

HS2 link to Heathrow would throw away 70p in every pound spent – Stop HS2

Budget airline Wizz Air bosses sign a new five-year deal for flights in and out of Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport

Councils should sell Newcastle Airport stake to save jobs and services
Conservative councillors have advised seven local authorities in the North-East to get out of the airport business and offload their shares.  The councils between them, including Northumberland and Newcastle, own a 51% stake in the airport, but have also had to spend £68m to help refinance its debts.

Edinburgh airport unveils rebrand following its sale to Global Infrastructure Partners

Investment agency claims new link between Leeds-Bradford and Heathrow Airport is ‘worth £10m a year’

Industry News

Delta bids for Singapore Airlines’ 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic
Sir Richard Branson could sell his controlling stake in Virgin Atlantic after rival Delta Airlines made a bid for nearly half the business. Delta, the biggest US airline, is understood to have offered to buy Singapore Airlines’ 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic which could, in turn, lead to a bid to take a majority stake away from Sir Branson. 

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway has stated that Sir Richard Branson is unlikely to relinquish control of the airline.

European News

Airport Operators Association calls for ‘unashamedly pro-aviation policies’ from European governments to ward off “unprecedented competition” from emerging rivals in the Middle East and Asia


Public Exhibitions of London City Airport’s Development Programme
London City Airport is holding a series of public exhibitions to consult its neighbours and the wider community about major improvement plans at the airport.

The City Airport Development Programme (CADP) aims to improve the way the existing runway and terminal building is used and will accommodate next generation aircraft that are larger, quieter and more environmentally friendly.


Please click on the Bulletins page of the SASIG website for the complete list of events.

The latest short courses to be added are:

30 Jan.- 1 Feb. 2013 – Introduction to Air Transport: Economics & Planning – £895

18-20 Feb. 2013 – Airport Economics & Finance Symposium – £895

18-20 Mar. 2013 – Airport Policy, Planning & Strategy: Meeting Future Needs – £895

18-21 June 2013 – Air Transport Marketing: Practical Techniques & Strategies – £1095

All of the above short courses are run by the University of Westminster.