SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

European News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons Questions

Media News


SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Dates

6 March 2014

27 June 2014

24 October 2014

13 March 2015

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


Regional News

2 Nov 2013 – Conservative MP for Horsham, Francis Maude, explains why he is against further expansion at Gatwick Airport.

2 Nov 2013 – The contract for the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road scheme has been awarded to a partnership between Carillion and Morgan Sindall. Construction of the 10km road is expected to take place between October 2014 and May 2017 subject to planning approval.

2 Nov 2013 – Sedgefield MP, Phil Wilson says the government should play its part in supporting Durham Tees Valley Airport. Mr Wilson says that the airport owners should also attempt to make a third bid for securing government funding for the airport despite two failed bids for Regional Growth Funding to pay for road infrastructure.

3 Nov 2013 – Bmi Regional is to cut five routes following a restructuring programme, including some flights from Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham. The independent carrier, which was sold by IAG Ltd. to Sector Aviation last year, said it would cancel its Manchester-Edinburgh and Manchester-Antwerp routes on November 29, while Birmingham-Billund and Edinburgh-Brussels will close on December 30 and 31 respectively, and Edinburgh-Copenhagen will finish on January 5.

4 Nov 2013 – New direct flights from Birmingham to India are reported as being a success as the west midlands’ South Asian community celebrates Diwali.

4 Nov 2013 – A new regional flight from Manchester to the Caribbean island of Tobago has been announced. The Thomas Cook service, set to take bookings from next month with the first flights starting in winter 2014, will bring the number of direct services from the UK to Tobago to four per week, with direct flights already in place from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Monarch, in addition to services through Trinidadian capital Port of Spain.

4 Nov 2013 – Plans to create a new salt marsh at Hesketh Bank have been met with criticism by a boatyard and an airport who are claiming that the proposal could damage their business. The Environment Agency, Natural England, who safeguard England’s landscapes and protect wildlife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds submitted a planning application in September to create an intertidal salt marsh habitat at Hesketh Out Marsh.

4 Nov 2013 – Humberside Airport have received criticism of the parking restrictions they introduced in May following new government legislation for airport security. The owners of Humberside Airport have set out to justify the restrictions.

5 Nov 2013 – The hotel chain Travelodge is to spend £42m on building six new hotels in the UK through 2014. The company will build two properties in Greenwich and Raynes Park in London, as well as Glasgow, Southampton, Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and Winnersh in Berkshire.

5 Nov 2013 – East Midlands Airport have been introducing a series of energy efficient measures which have now led to its ground operations becoming completely carbon neutral. The measures have included an on-site 26 hectare willow farm producing wood for a bio-mass boiler installed in the terminal building, and two on-site wind turbines.

5 Nov 2013 – Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has accused campaigners of ‘scaremongering’ in the debate over the future of Heathrow. Mr. Afriyie made the comment during a House of Commons debate on a report by the Transport Committee on the future aviation strategy, particularly the potential need for a new hub airport in the south east of England.

6 Nov 2013 – The owner of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports is reported to be considering a £1b sale of the assets in a move to focus on its Heathrow operations and the bid for a third runway at the London airport.

6 Nov 2013 – Hillingdon in Greater London showed the greatest increase in deaths attributable to air pollution (PM2.5) from 2010 to 2011. The greatest decrease was in Gateshead with the death rate falling by 0.72 per cent to 4.18 per cent. Data for 2011 are available here, while data from 2010 are available here.

6 Nov 2013 – Secretary of State for Wales David Jones has said that the Western Rail Access scheme, a proposed rail link from Heathrow Airport to South Wales, would deliver economic benefits to the region.

6 Nov 2013 – Richard Deakin, Chief Executive of NATS delivered the annual Brabazon lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society. Mr. Deakin spoke about the European Single Sky initiative, and gave his thoughts on barriers and potential solutions. A copy of the speech can be found here.

6 Nov 2013 – A new £250,000 masterplan for Newquay Cornwall Airport is to be developed. The Cornwall Development Company (CDC), a branch of Cornwall Council, is planning to appoint an outside contractor to draw up the ‘essential’ document next year.

7 Nov 2013 – Councillor Peter Raynes, a town and borough councillor for Knutsford has echoed the Chancellor’s view that the town will benefit overall from the creation of the new business hub at Manchester Airport. However Councillor Raynes, although supportive of the project, feared it could strain the town and its resources.

8 Nov 2013 – Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced the establishment of a government taskforce to find ways to cut journey times from Norwich to London by 30 minutes.

8 Nov 2013 – Heathrow Airports is to pay 21 local schools to enable them to build shelters which will reduce exposure to aircraft noise during outdoor lessons and break times.

8 Nov 2013 – The current owner of the Heathrow Gateway development in Colnbrook, Berkshire said he hopes work will resume as soon a new planning application is approved.

8 Nov 2013 – Guernsey’s government is reviewing its internal policy on local air routes, after Scrutiny Committee chairman Paul Arditti said there was a ‘tension’ within departments as they had different agendas.


Industry News

4 Nov 2013 – In its formal reservation letter to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Secretary General sent after the conclusion of the recent ICAO Assembly, China says the adoption of a carbon-neutral growth goal from 2020 without differentiated responsibilities will impede development of its international aviation activities. Although it supports the establishment of goals for reducing international aviation emissions, China says it is the responsibility of developed countries to take the lead in reduction measures, which includes offsetting the growth of emissions by developing countries. Another emerging economy, Brazil, has similarly written to the Secretary General to say there should be a reassessment of common global aspirational goals agreed by ICAO.

6 Nov 2013 – Heathrow has launched its ‘Fly Quiet programme’, listing airlines according to their noise performance. Every three months a Fly Quiet table will take the top 50 Heathrow airlines (by number of flights per quarter) and list them according to six noise related criteria. The airlines will receive a red/amber/green rating for each criterion, as well as an overall score which allows airlines to understand how they are performing in relation to other airlines. If they are not meeting the minimum performance targets, Heathrow will work closely with them to improve their rating.

6 Nov 2013 – Heathrow Airport this week called for more young female engineers to apply to its engineering apprenticeship scheme.

7 Nov 2013 – Heathrow Airport has the highest number of Boeing 747 passenger operations, with 298 weekly departures – 124 ahead of its nearest rival Taipei Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan (with 174). Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi round out the top five, with San Francisco in 8th place the leading US airport.


European News

5 Nov 2013 – Passenger traffic at Europe’s airports climbed by three per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013. At European Union (EU) airports passenger traffic increased by nearly two per cent while non-EU airports led by Turkey, Russia, Iceland and Norway reported growth of nearly nine per cent.


Parliamentary News

06 Nov 2013 – The House of Commons Transport Select Committee will hold their second evidence session on transport’s winter resilience on Monday 11 November. Witnesses will be: Derek Provan, Director Airside Operations, Heathrow Airport, Andy Lord, Director of Operations, British Airways, James Colman, Director of Corporate Affairs, Gatwick Airport, Simon Buck, Chief Executive, British Air Transport Association, Chris Burchell, Chairman, National Task Force, Dave Ward, Route Managing Director for London and South East, Network Rail, Chris Scoggins, Chief Executive, National Rail Enquiries, Councillor Mike Haines, Deputy Chair of the LGA Economy and Transport Board, Local Government Association.


Government News

4 Nov 2013 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published the results of its 2012 passenger survey, revealing the impact of last year’s Olympic Games on passenger numbers at Britain’s airports. Despite overall passenger numbers between July and September in 2012 falling compared to the same period in 2011, the results published today show over 800,000 passengers passed through London’s airports for Olympic-related journeys during these months. 54 per cent of these journeys were at Heathrow, with the next highest proportion at Gatwick (18 per cent). The majority (71 per cent) of these Olympic journeys were for leisure with visitors heading to the UK to enjoy the London 2012 experience. However, almost a third (29 per cent) of these journeys for business purposes – which would include many of the 10,000 athletes who attended the Games. Other key findings from the CAA’s 2012 Air Passenger Survey include:

  • Heathrow is the only airport surveyed in 2012 where the majority of passengers were foreign residents (59 per cent). By contrast, Exeter had the smallest proportion of foreign residents using the airport (9 per cent).
  • Heathrow had the highest proportion (37 per cent) of connecting passengers using the airport, up by three percentage points from 2011. By comparison, Bristol, Cardiff and East Midlands airports all saw less than 1per cent of their passengers using the airport to change aircraft.
  • London City had the largest proportion of passengers travelling for business (54 per cent). However this represents a nine percentage point drop since 2010 (when the airport was last surveyed) as a greater proportion of leisure passengers have used the airport. The next highest was Heathrow with 30 per cent, whilst the airports with the highest proportion of leisure passengers were East Midlands 91per cent, and Bristol and Cardiff both with 86 per cent.
  • Travellers from Heathrow took a higher proportion of trips (21 per cent) lasting more than two weeks than anywhere else. In contrast, London City had the lowest proportion of the London airports at only 4 per cent. Outside of London, the highest percentage of trips over two weeks was recorded at Manchester, with 13 per cent. The lowest was at Cardiff at 5 per cent.

5 Nov 2013 – The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have published Air Quality Grant Progress Reports submitted by London authorities for projects carried out under the 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013 Air Quality Grant Scheme.

6 Nov 2013 – The government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have announced plans to stop what they believe to be ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’ for the UK general aviation sector. Some of the proposed changes were suggested during the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge (RTC), which found that the current regulatory regime is often impractical and too prescriptive. The general aviation (GA) sector includes flights other than commercial scheduled air services. The CAA is setting up a new GA Unit dedicated to more proportionate, effective regulation that supports and encourages a dynamic GA sector for the UK. The unit will be in place by April 2014. The CAA has also launched a ‘right to reply’ consultation, on its detailed responses to the GA red tape challenge which will run until 6th December. By April with the new GA Unit in place, the CAA will publish detailed delivery plans for its full programme of GA work.


House of Commons Questions


Goldsmith – Assessment of WHO 2013 review of health aspects of air pollution

4 Nov 2013

Zac Goldsmith (Conservative, Richmond Park): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the World Health Organisation 2013 review of evidence on health aspects of air pollution.

Jane Ellison (Conservative, Battersea): The Department recognises that air pollution has important effects on public health and welcomes the World Health Organisation’s Review of Evidence on Health Aspects of Air Pollution (REVIHAAP). The scientific evidence now available and described in REVIHAAP provides additional support for adverse health effects associated with long- and short-term exposures to air pollutants. The REVIHAAP report has been used to inform the work of the Department’s Expert Advisory Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, for example, in its recent discussions of the health effects associated with different components and sources of particulate air pollution. It will also inform the prioritisation of items on the Committee’s work programme and associated work at Public Health England’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards.


Goldsmith – Assessment of report into Aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow Airport

4 Nov 2013

Zac Goldsmith  (Conservative Party, Richmond Park): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he made of the study by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College, London, Aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow Airport in London, published on 8 October 2013.

Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Transport (Conservative, Scarborough and Whitby): The Government was aware of research associating exposure to aircraft noise with certain health effects such as cardiovascular disease. This latest study does not prove causality between aircraft noise exposure and these health risks, though it does add further evidence that this may be possible. Heart disease and stroke usually involve a combination of risk factors and it would not be possible to prove that a heart attack or stroke was caused by aircraft noise. The results of the study will be evaluated and, alongside other existing evidence, will be used to help inform our policy development.


Goggins – Air Passenger Duty

5 Nov 2013

Paul Goggins, (Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East): If he will introduce a time-limited exemption from air passenger duty on new long-haul routes from uncongested airports.

Nicky Morgan, Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Conservative, Loughborough): The Government are always open to ideas that promote regional growth. The Airports Commission will shortly publish a report on the best use of existing airport capacity in the short to medium term and the Government will take its findings into account in our response.

Paul Goggins: I am grateful to the Minister for her answer, and I welcome her to her position. As part of the growing links between the north-west and China, Manchester airport is seeking to develop a new route to Beijing, but one of the major obstacles is the very high level of UK APD. Will she take a careful look at new research by York Aviation, which has concluded that a time-limited exemption from APD on new long-haul routes from regional airports would make the Manchester-Beijing route immediately viable?

Nicky Morgan: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question. The Government will always take a look at the evidence. In fact, we debated APD in the House only the week before last. In October 2012, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs published modelling on price differentials at UK airports, and it showed that even large price changes have a relatively small impact on total passenger demand, but I am sure he will welcome my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement of the £800 million investment in Airport City in Manchester, which will create over 16,000 jobs. The involvement of Beijing Construction Engineering Group as a partner in this project is the latest in a line of new partnerships being forged between the UK and China.

Nigel Evans, Deputy Speaker (Conservative, Ribble Valley): Manchester airport is second only to Heathrow in terms of airport capacity, but it is operating at under half capacity yet Heathrow is full. Boris Johnson talked yesterday to the CBI about getting these new routes out to China and Asia, but instead of forcing people from the north-west to fly down to London in order to fly to China, why cannot we get people to come from London up to Manchester to fly out on all these new routes that we need?

Nicky Morgan: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. As I said, we will always look at any evidence that people want to send us. We want to encourage new links between the UK and China, and the Mayor of London made some interesting points. The point is that we have to change prices a lot in order to change passenger behaviour, and we would need to look at that further.

Angus Brendan MacNeil, Scottish National Party Deputy Prime Minister’s portfolio spokesperson and also covering Transport (SNP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar): Is the Minister aware of the success of Barcelona airport in gaining more than 20 international routes in the past year because of a 100% APD reduction? Does she think that such a reduction would help Scotland to regain the millions of passengers it has lost due to this Government’s APD costs?

Nicky Morgan: The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there is no APD charge from airports in his constituency. As he knows from our recent debate, APD makes an important contribution to the deficit reduction plans; we will always keep it under review, but it is a very important part of this Government’s attempts to rebalance the economy.

Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay) (LD): APD can also have a disproportionate effect on regional airports operating lifeline routes with modest passenger numbers, such as Newquay’s. Will the Minister factor that into the discussions she is having with colleagues on the future of APD?

Nicky Morgan: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. We will always look at the evidence, and if cares to write to me, we will certainly take that into account.


Smith, H – Winter resilience and access to Gatwick airport

7 Nov 2013

Henry Smith (Conservative, Crawley) asked how the Government could work with parties such as Gatwick Airport and rail bodies to ensure that airports and transport networks were prepared with winter.

Robert Goodwill: Gatwick Airport were able to put snow ploughs on their runways without disrupting flights. He referred to recent evidence given to the Transport Committee on winter resilience, saying that the UK was well-prepared.

Henry Smith (Conservative, Crawley): I am extremely grateful to have got here, having been stuck outside Clapham Junction station. May I seek assurances from the Department that it will work closely with major transport infrastructure such as Gatwick airport and those who operate the M23 and the London to Brighton rail line to ensure that there is winter preparedness?

Robert Goodwill: We continue to invest in third rail heating, to ensure the reliability of our rail services. Gatwick airport has the advantage over Heathrow, in that it has capacity to put snow ploughs on the runway without disrupting flights in the same way. As I said in my evidence to the Transport Committee only a week or so ago, we have good winter resilience, with more snow ploughs and more salt, and we are confident that the Highways Agency and local authorities can keep the roads clear.


Media News

4 Nov 2013 – Independent aviation consultants JLS Consulting have published research which has looked at the effects of splitting demand across multiple airports. It concludes that there are no successful versions of this model. The JLS report shows that whilst short-haul, point to point services have seen rapid growth in the UK since the late 1990s, the same has not happened with long-haul services despite there being space at non-hub airports.

4 Nov 2013 – Mayor of London Boris Johnson called for the government to rule out any further expansion at Heathrow, during his speech to the annual CBI conference.


PDF Icon SASIG Regional&IndustryNews Bulletin 2 Nov – 8 Nov

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