SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons Questions

House of Lords Questions

Media News


SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

25 October 2013

7 March 2014

Meetings are held at 11am, Local Government House, Smith Square, SW1P 3HZ, location map.


Regional News

15 July 2013 – Transport for London released their plans for expanding airport capacity in the South East of England which they submitted to the Airports Commission.

16 July 2013 – Gatwick Airport have released images of an expanded Gatwick as part of a ‘constellation’ of three major airports surrounding London which they submitted to the Airports Commission.

16 July 2013 – Owen Smith, Shadow  Welsh Secretary and MP for Pontypridd has said that the London mayor’s proposals to switch air traffic to a new airport east of London shows no awareness of the needs of western parts of the UK.

17 July 2013 – Heathrow Airport has submitted their plans to the Airports Commission for expanding airport capacity. These see a third runway placed to the north, north west or south west of the existing airport.

17 July 2013 – Sir Alan Haselhurst the MP with Stansted Airport in his constituency, has dismissed suggestions from the Mayor of London that the single-runway hub could quadruple in size and replace Heathrow.

17 July 2013 – Minoan Air becomes the fourth airline to cancel its service from Oxford Airport over the past four years.

18 July 2013 – Cambridge International Airport have announced the appointment of Jeremy Moore as New Business Development Manager. Mr. Moore has spent the past seven years as Sales Manager for Air Mauritius and brings with him experience from the aviation and travel industry, starting his career at Cathay Pacific Airways, before working for Tropical Places, British Airways and Thomson.

18 July 2013 – A motion has been tabled by West Sussex councillor Pieter Montyn, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, supporting expansion of Gatwick Airport.

19 July 2013 – CEO of Southend Airport, Alastair Welch is to leave his post at the end of the July.


Industry News

13 July 2013 – Air accident investigators say there is no evidence a fire on board an empty Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at Heathrow airport in London was caused by the aircraft’s batteries (includes video footage).

16 July 2013 – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released the 57th Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), a yearbook of the global airline industry and IATA members’ performance. Sixty five per cent of the growth in passenger numbers on international services in 2012 occurred on routes linked to emerging markets. The top countries by region based on passengers carried were for Africa: South Africa (20.4 million), Asia-Pacific: People’s Republic of China (361.4 million), Europe: United Kingdom (171.5 million), Latin America and Caribbean: Brazil (88.9 million), Middle East: United Arab Emirates (40.6 million), North America: United States (598.2 million). The United States continues to be the largest single market for air travel. The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried were Delta Air Lines (116.7 million), Southwest Airlines (112.2 million), United Airlines (92.6 million), American Airlines (86.3 million) and China Southern Airlines (86.3 million).

Jul 16, 2013 – A new survey of business travellers has found that nearly 80 per cent of those questioned believe that extra aviation capacity in the UK is either very or critically important. More than half (51per cent) responded that a third runway at Heathrow was their preferred option to provide this. A second runway at Gatwick was preferred over a new airport in the Thames Estuary. The survey, commissioned by the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC), also found that comfort/level of service is the single most important factor when flying internationally on business. Thirty one per cent of respondents to the survey ranked this above convenience of airport (27per cent), cost (18per cent), loyalty programme (13 per cent) and airline brand (11per cent). The 1,000 respondents to the survey – who had all flown more than six times internationally on business  from London or the South East – said that lack of disruption (32 per cent) was the most important feature of their favoured airport, ahead of efficient check-in (23 per cent) and business lounges (22 per cent). The ability to work in the airport was cited by only seven per cent.

16 July 2013 – The British Airways Airbus A380 will be based in Thanet for the next month while staff undergo training. BBC South East’s business correspondent, Mark Norman, interviews  airport chief executive Charles Buchanan, Captain Dave Thomas, head of technical training at British Airways, and Captain Rob De Martino (includes video footage).

18 July 2013 – Ryanair are aiming to sell advertising space on its aircraft. Planes will continue to have Ryanair’s logo on the tail fin but companies can buy advertising on other parts of its aircraft, including the tips of the wings and the main body of the plane.

18 July 2013 – Gatwick Airport opened its renovated South Terminal as part of a £21 million investment programme. The relaunch sees the opening of ten shops, including luxury leather goods specialist Aspinal of London and jewellers Ernest Jones, neither of which has had a branch in a UK airport before.

18 July 2013 – EasyJet have launched a new Flight Tracker tool which allows passengers to access live flight updates up to 48 hours before their departure time. The tool is available on the easyJet website and via the airline’s app. It includes real-time information direct from the operations control centre at London Luton Airport, as well as traditional departure and arrival information.


Parliamentary News

Tue, 16 July 2013  – House of Commons Library – Air passenger duty : recent debates & reform. The House of Commons Library has published a report titled ‘Air passenger duty : recent debates & reform’,

18 July 2013 – The Transport Select Committee has agreed to publish its Sixth Special Report of Session 2013–14, Aviation Strategy: Government response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2013–14, (HC 596) on Monday 22 July at 11.00 am. The Report will be available on The Stationery Office (TSO) Ltd’s and the Committee’s website shortly after the publication hour has passed: Transport Committee Publications.


Government News

15 July 2013 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been informed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that it suspended the pilot training approval of Euro American School of Aviation, based in Florida on the 19 April 2013.


House of Commons Written Questions

Smith – Air Passenger Duty

15 July 2013

Henry Smith (Conservative, Crawley): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much air passenger duty has been raised from passengers travelling by air from the UK to (a) Brazil, (b) Russia, (c) India, (d) China, (e) Australia and (f) South Africa, in each year since 2003; (2) whether his Department has undertaken any analysis of the economic effect of air passenger duty since 2010; and if he will publish the results of any such analysis; (3) whether his Department has undertaken any analysis of the economic and fiscal effect of air passenger duty utilising dynamic scoring methodologies; and if he will publish the results of any such analysis; (4) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of air passenger duty on an airline’s ability to (a) start new routes and (b) maintain marginal routes; (5) which countries tax passengers travelling internationally by air at a higher level than UK air passenger duty; (6) what assessment he has made of the effect of a reduction in air passenger duty on (a) business travel, (b) leisure travel, (c) trade and (d) economic activity; and if he will make a statement; (7) whether the model used by his Department to model tax policies takes specific account of the characteristics of (a) air transport and (b) tourism sectors; (8) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of air passenger duty on the competitiveness of UK airlines and airports; (9) what information his Department holds on the number of EU member states that tax international air travel; (10) what estimate his Department has made of the impact on the UK economy of a reduction in air passenger duty by (a) five per cent, (b) 10 per cent, (c) 20 per cent, (d) 50 per cent and (e) 100 per cent.

Sajid Javid (Economic Secretary to the Treasury): Airlines, not passengers, are responsible for paying air passenger duty (APD) to HM Revenue and Customs. HMRC does not collect information on the contribution to APD revenues made from flights to or from specific airports or countries. The published statistics on APD, including information on historic revenues from the duty and passengers numbers by band, are available at: and

The economic and fiscal effects of Government policies are routinely assessed by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Information can be found in the OBR’s economic and fiscal outlook, at:

The Chancellor of the Exchequer keeps all taxes under review and considers their effects on a range of sectors in the round. APD is a relatively efficient and non-regressive tax, which makes an important contribution to the public finances. The Government is already supporting liberalising the UK aviation market to encourage foreign airlines to develop routes from our less congested airports and encouraging the operators of our busiest airports to consider how their scarce capacity might be utilised more effectively as set out in March’s Aviation Policy Framework. Services to BRIC countries have more than doubled in the last decade, and Heathrow currently has more flights in total to the BRIC countries than any of the other four main European hubs. The European Commission’s “Taxes in Europe” database contains information on aviation taxes levied in European Union member states. The database can be found here:  Further information on aviation taxes levied internationally can be found online here: Rather than examining specific taxes in isolation when making international comparisons, the Government’s focus is on improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the tax system as a whole in order to achieve its objective of having the most competitive tax system in the G20. The Government has already made significant progress in this area, as reflected in recent international comparisons. For example, the 2012 KPMG Annual Survey of Tax Competitiveness looked at the tax regimes of six key competitor economies—including Ireland and the US—and found that the UK was the most commonly cited as being in the top three. According to the most recently available data, the UK’s total tax burden was ranked the seventh lowest in the EU21—lower than France, Germany and the Netherlands.


Patel – Estimate the number of passengers at UK airports who were subject to air passenger duty

15 July 2013

Priti Patel (Conservative, Witham): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the number of passengers at UK airports who were subject to air passenger duty and were from households with below average incomes in the latest period for which information is available; (2) what comparative assessment he has made of the level of air passenger duty charged on the number of passengers carried in the UK and equivalent duty levied by (a) other member states of the EU and (b) governments outside the EU.

Sajid Javid: Airlines, not passengers, are responsible for paying air passenger duty (APD) to HM Revenue and Customs. Generally, operators pass the cost of their forecast APD liability on to passengers as part of the ticket price of a flight, although there is no obligation for them to do so. Information on the number of passengers flying to and from UK airports is published by the Civil Aviation Authority, but is not broken down by household income. The available data is published online here: The Office for National Statistics recently published data showing estimated taxes and benefits by household income decile for the period 2011-12. The data suggests that the effect of APD on households is not regressive. The dataset is titled ‘The Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income, 2011/12’ and can be found online here: The European Commission’s “Taxes in Europe” database contains information on aviation taxes levied in European Union member states. The database can be found here: Further information on aviation taxes levied by Government outside the EU can be found online here:


Jamieson – Analysis of the economic impact of air passenger duty on the tourist industry

17 July 2013

Cathy Jamieson (Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to commission further analysis of the economic impact of air passenger duty on the tourist industry in the UK.

Sajid Javid: The Chancellor keeps all taxes under review and considers them in the round. The Government has limited the rise in air passenger duty (APD) to inflation over the period 2010-11 to 2012-13. Budget 2013 set out rates from April 2014, which will also only rise in line with inflation, ensuring that level of APD will again remain constant in real terms.


Berger – International Civil Aviation Agreement Organisation Assembly and reducing aviation emissions

18 July 2013

Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to help secure an agreement at the forthcoming international Civil Aviation Agreement Organisation Assembly to reduce aviation emissions.

Simon Burns (Transport Minister): The UK has been heavily involved in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) discussions to secure an agreement on climate change emissions. In particular, the UK was a member of the High Level Group on Climate Change which was established in November 2012 and has actively participated in all of the meetings to date.  The UK has been working with our EU counterparts to convince the ICAO Council States of the need for ICAO to show leadership at its General Assembly in September, especially in light of the adoption by the global airline industry association, IATA, of a climate change resolution which supports the development of a single, global measure for aviation emissions. The UK will continue to work with our international partners and with ICAO to push for an ambitious, global approach to reduce emissions from international aviation in the run-up to the Assembly.


House of Lords Questions

15 July 2013

Clinton-Davis – Airports: Passenger Numbers

Lord Clinton-Davis (Labour peer): I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare that I am life president of BALPA.

Earl Attlee (Government spokesperson on Transport): My Lords, the noble Lord asks for a lot of data. The Civil Aviation Authority publishes monthly statistics on the number of passengers at each reporting airport. By way of example, passenger numbers at Heathrow exceeded 6 million in May this year, up 5% compared with May last year. At Gatwick, passenger numbers exceeded 3 million, up 8% from the same time last year.

Lord Clinton-Davis: I thank the noble Earl for that information. Does he agree that inordinate delay in selecting a new hub airport can only give Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt a real, perhaps decisive, advantage, which will be immensely difficult, if not impossible, to reverse? Why do the Government not recognise that, with improved access, Heathrow will provide a speedier answer than any other airport in existence today—one that would hugely benefit British aviation and our economy as a whole?

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I do not agree that there is inordinate delay. This is an extremely important decision. There is no right answer and when we find our solution we must have national consensus. The Airports Commission is the right way of determining the right answer and getting national consensus.

Lord Spicer (Conservative peer): My Lords, how long will it take to complete the latest Boris Johnson wheeze?

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I am sure that the Airports Commission will take into account the practical difficulties and advantages of ‘Boris Island’.

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour peer): My Lords, does the Minister agree that there would be many more flights out of United Kingdom airports if air passenger duty was not so high? This is particularly the case for the Caribbean: the friends and family of people who live there are unable to go back to visit them because of the very high level of air passenger duty. A proposal has been put to the Department for Transport to change the level for to the Caribbean, but we have not yet had a response. Could the Minister say when that response will be forthcoming? I hope that he will give it sympathetic consideration.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, it is first important to understand that air passenger duty is essentially a revenue-raising tax—that is its purpose. It is not so much an environmental tax. APD is not a tax on international aviation fuel, which would be prohibited by the Chicago Convention. As I said, APD is a revenue-raising tax, which needs to be clear and simple and to ensure a fair contribution from the sector to public finances.

Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat): My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Earl agrees that, in answer to the Question of the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis, the key issue is how many people move from one aeroplane to another at airports; and to exclude from some of these large figures all the people who stop here for a period? That way, we can separate the number of interlining passengers from the destination passengers.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, as usual, my noble friend is on the money. The Airports Commission has access to the statisticians and data available at the Department for Transport to inform its research and decisions.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal (Labour peer): My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Earl would reconsider the answer he gave to my noble friend Lord Foulkes, when he said that air passenger duty is simply a revenue-raising tax? Is the noble Earl suggesting that Her Majesty’s Government do not take into account the severe impact that such a tax has on a region that is vulnerable and in need of help and support?

Earl Attlee: My Lords, the Government do consider the effect of APD. For instance, we have devolved APD to Northern Ireland because we faced competition from Dublin, which meant that the Belfast airports were getting into difficulties with the transatlantic trade. I understand the noble and learned Baroness’s point and that of the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, about families wanting to go to the Caribbean, but I should also point out that there is quite a lot of holiday traffic to the Caribbean as well.

Lord Naseby (Conservative peer): How can it be right that this tax is lower if you go all the way to Los Angeles than it is to get to the Caribbean? We do not have too many families going to Los Angeles on the lower rate but we have thousands who want to go to the Caribbean.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, as I tried somewhat clumsily to explain, we have to make sure that air passenger duty is not a tax on fuel. Therefore, we cannot tax per mile because, effectively, that would be a tax on fuel and we would fall foul of the Chicago Convention. It is, I accept, a fairly crude calculation and you can get peculiar results, as my noble friend suggests.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Labour peer): Can the Minister give an assurance that the claims of Birmingham Airport will be considered in the airport review, bearing in mind that it is the one airport in the country that has spare capacity; that there is not the degree of opposition to expansion and building new runways there that exists at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted; and that it will be less than an hour from London by high-speed train?

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I can assure the noble Lord that the Airports Commission will take into account the benefits of Birmingham Airport and, in particular, the arrival of HS2, because that will make a big difference. I am certain that that will be within its calculations.

Lord Davies of Oldham (Labour peer): My Lords, the Minister must have noticed considerable activity by airport interests in putting their case before the public. When the Minister travels by Tube, as I am sure he does, in recent weeks he must have left this House and walked past advertisements raising that issue. What reply do the Government give to those important interests? Is it the same lame reply of long delays that we get in this House?

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I am confident that the Airports Commission is well able to see past an advertising campaign.


Media News

16 July 2013 – More than half of holidaymakers responding to a survey by online company ‘’, said they would ignore Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel warnings. Three quarters of those questioned about the impact of Government travel warnings said they do not check the FCO website for advice before travelling. If the destination in question was somewhere with a warning in place, 53 per cent of the 1,962 British adults who took part said they would still go ahead with their holiday.

18 July 2013 – The British Air Transport Association (BATA), representing UK registered airlines, issued a statement calling on Government to ‘commit to a robust aviation policy to support and grow international air connectivity’.

The Parliamentary information in this Bulletin is sourced from De Havilland Information Services plc.