SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Manston Airport

Industry News

European News

Government News

Media News


SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Dates

27 June 2014

24 October 2014

13 March 2015

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


Regional News

19 May 2014 – Mayor of London Boris Johnson is drawing up plans for a new ‘city’ to replace Heathrow airport, which it is claimed could boost the UK economy by £8 billion a year. The mayor has asked three architectural firms to plan out the new development.

19 May 2014 – Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker, who is also on the board of Heathrow, said European airports should open 24 hours a day if they want to compete with the emerging Gulf hubs in Dubai and Doha. In response to questions about aircraft noise Mr Al Baker said that home owners living under flight paths ‘wouldn’t even hear the aircraft’ after a while. 21 May 2014 – Heathrow Chairman Sir Nigel Rudd has stressed that Mr al-Baker’s views are very much ‘his own’, and ‘do not represent the views or policy of the Heathrow board or executive committee’. ‘Round the clock flying from London is not an option,’ Sir Nigel has said.

19 May 2014 – The ‘final stages’ of an £80m airfield refurbishment at Guernsey Airport have begun after delays caused by rain. Airport Director Colin Le Ray said the main hard surfacing and construction works were completed in October, but the final stage of restoring and reseeded the ground around the runway had been held up by heavy rain.

19 May 2014 – Heathrow Hub has submitted more details of its proposal for additional runway capacity to the UK’s Airports Commission. Heathrow Hub’s proposal say that it includes an integrated air and rail facility that doubles Heathrow Airport’s capacity and creates new opportunities for noise mitigation.

20 May 2014 – Exeter Airport has hosted a Chinese delegation representing an investment syndicate looking to identify major projects in South West England. Speaking on behalf of the Devon & Cornwall Business Council, Chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Mr. Tim Jones said, ‘we were extremely fortunate to have secured a visit for this very important Chinese delegation’.

22 May 2014 – A ComRes survey of 2,000 people commissioned by Medway Council and Kent County Council found that 38 per cent of residents supported the idea of a new airport in the Thames estuary. However, the figure fell to 16 per cent when respondents were told that existing major facilities would have to close as a result.

23 May 2014 – Gatwick Airport have launched phase 2 of the London Airspace consultation. The consultation will aim to engage communities affected by impacts not consulted on as part of phase 1 of the consultation. These impacts include: changes in noise contours; changes to or new noise preferential routes; and rotating respite options.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and Gatwick Airport are looking for feedback on the following design options:

  • Options for departure routes and associated Noise Preferential Routes (NPRs) for departure flight paths – this includes options for realignment and options for respite
  • Night-time respite options for arrivals
  • Updating existing Noise Preferential Routes and their associated swathes to take account of changes to flight path concentration as a result of the switch to Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes implemented in November 2013

Full consultation documents are available here.

Information on phase one of the consultation, can be found here.

23 May 2014 – Possible alterations to flight paths to and from Gatwick Airport have been published. The airport said no new communities will be over flown, with the exception of those affected by a potential new departure route to the west of the airport. Further details on the changes will finish on 15 August are available here

26 May 2014 – A new fire and rescue station is being planned in Castle Donington this year. The site of the station, in Beverley Road on the East Midlands Airport site, has not get been purchased but Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service says it is in the ‘closing stages’ of the buying process.


Manston Airport

19 May 2014 – Campaigners seeking to reopen Manston Airport have said they are pressing for a compulsory purchase order to reopen the site.

19 May 2014 – North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale is supporting calls for the compulsory purchase of Manston Airport.

21 May 2014 – The Save Manston Airport Campaign group have marched in a bid to urge Thanet District Council to push through a compulsory purchase of the site.

21 May 2014 – Thanet council says it cannot yet say whether or not it would have the power to acquire Manston airport through a Compulsory Purchase Order.

24 May 2014 – The Unit union have criticised the owner of Manston Airport Ann Gloag, of never being serious about keeping the airport open.


Industry News

19 May 2014 – Ryanair plans to offer flights to the USA by 2019. However, new aircraft are currently too expensive and out of stock due to heavy orders by Gulf airlines such as Emirates.

19 May 2014 – Heathrow Express staff have voted in favour of a 48-strike this bank holiday weekend. Staff belonging to the RMT union will not work from 3am on Friday 23rd May 2014 to 2.59am on Saturday 24th May; and again from 3am on Monday 26th May to 2.59am on Tuesday 27th May.

19 – 21 May 2014 – Four airline operators added new routes from English regional airports this week. The airline operator Flybe will operate two new routes from Birmingham Airport this winter – a daily service to Hamburg and Oslo from 26th October through to 27th March 2015. The airline will also extend six services being launched this summer to operate year-round – to Reykjavik, Florence, Oporto, Cologne, Toulouse and Bordeaux. The operator are to offer flights from Humberside Airport to Spain. The first flight of this year will take off on Saturday May 24. While the operator Jet2 is adding three new destinations from East Midlands Airport. New routes to the Kefalonia, Malta and Antalya in Turkey have been announced today. Ryannair have also said it plans to run three additional routes from Bournemouth Airport this winter, to Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife.

21 May 2014 – Chief Executive of the Stobart Group Andrew Tinkler, has said that more work needs to be done to improve profits in the aviation division of the group, which includes Southend airport and Stobart Air. The message came as the group reported a drop in earnings from its aviation arm to £100,000 in the year to February from £400,000 in the previous 12 months.

21 Nov 2014 – Growth in premium travel slowed in March, according to the International Air Transport Association’s monthly assessment of premium and economy travel. The figures showed premium travel up just 1.9 per cent, compared to 4.1 per cent in February.

22 May 2014 – Heathrow has released its annual report for 2013, tracking developments against its 2020 sustainability goals.


European News

19 May 2014 – The head of ACI Europe’s Regional Airports Forum, Thomas Langeland, has said that the economic and social importance of regional airports to local communities and entire regions ensure that they are assets that need protecting. Speaking at last week’s Regional Airports Conference & Exhibition in Madeira, Mr Langeland, who is also Managing Director of Kristiansand Airport in Norway, warned that the vital role they play is often overlooked by regulators and the public. He went on to reveal that his airport’s close proximity to nearby gas and oil fields meant that a single oil rig supply company in Kristiansand was responsible for 3,000 of the city’s 80,000 population and essentially filled KLM flights to Amsterdam Schiphol.

20 May 2014 – European airports trade body ACI Europe says there is a need for regulation to ‘evolve to better reflect market reality’. The call comes after the European Commission  released a report yesterday on EU member states’ implementation of the EU directive on airport charges. In its report, The Commission explains that there is increased transparency in the setting of airport charges, but there is ‘uneven implementation of rules by the member states’. A full copy of the report can be found here, with a press release giving the details of the report available here.

21 May 2014 – According to reports from the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol, the growth of air traffic is expected to exceed airport capacity by 1.5 million flights in 2035. As the industry explores ways of optimising processes across the sector to accommodate this growth, Eurocontrol and ACI Europe are trialling out Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) in an effort to squeeze more out of the current infrastructure. Sharing data and information across the various stakeholders is the cornerstone of A-CDM. Airport operators, aircraft operators, ground handlers and air traffic control all have a role to play in optimising aircraft turnaround. By segmenting the turnaround process into different milestones, A-CDM makes it possible to highlight issues which might affect performance and manage resources accordingly, pro-actively mitigating risks in the process.

23 May 2014 – Netherlands’s Eindhoven Airport has developed a new airport operations website, in association with the Alderstafel advisory committee. Implemented under an agreement with Alderstafel, the website will provide accurate information about the airport, using tools such as Brüel & Kjær’s WebTrak and WebTrak MyNeighbourhood. These provide the community with information about their local airport’s complaint handling process, noise measurements, answers to frequently asked questions and a better understanding of airport operations


Government News

23 May 2014 – The Department for Transport (DfT) has published Government Major Project Portfolio data that supports the 2014 Major Projects Authority annual report. The full details are available here. This includes a downloadable spreadsheet identifying progress on a range of infrastructure projects.


Media News

20 May 2014 – The rail union RMT today criticised Heathrow Express over claims that they will run a ‘normal’ service during strike action starting on Friday and continuing during the Bank Holiday weekend.

22 May 2014 – The voluntary climate change initiative, Airport Carbon Accreditation, was named as one of two runner-ups for the International Transport Forum’s (ITF) Transport Achievement Award at this week’s ITF 2014 Annual Summit.

23 May 2014 – Managing Director of London Luton Airport, Mr Glyn Jones has welcomed the news that Govia Thameslink Railway Limited  will operate the Thameslink Rail Franchise serving the Airport from September 2014.


PDF Icon SASIG Regional&IndustryNews Bulletin 19 May – 26 May

PDF Icon SASIG ParliamentaryNews Bulletin 19 May – 26 May