SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

European News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons Questions

Media News


SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Dates

24 October 2014

6 March 2015

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


Regional News

30 June 2014 – The owners of Durham Tees Valley Airport, Peel Holdings, have written to Middleton St George Parish Council ‘objecting strongly’ to the sites inclusion in a local area plan. In a letter sent to the council’s planning department, Peel Holdings Strategic Director, Mr Peter Nears, said ‘A neighbourhood plan that seeks to include the airport is wholly unnecessary and potentially counter-productive given the significant resources involved in preparing the airport masterplan. It would undermine the substantial efforts the airport has put into securing a viable future for DTVA. As a key regional asset and international gateway, the airport is not the kind of major economic asset neighbourhood planning is designed to deal with. It is questionable whether the parish council has the resources available to deal with what is an extremely specialist area’.

30 June 2014 – A delegation from Thanet Council will meet the owner of the Manston Airport site, Ms. Ann Gloag in London this week. The meeting will be led by Thanet Council leader Cllr Iris Johnston, together with her deputy Cllr Richard Nicholson, acting Chief Executive Madeline Homer, and a legal representative.

30 June 2014 – Flight training company TG Aviation’s bid to get an injunction against the closure of Manston Airport has been postponed. The company’s application to the High Court on Friday has been adjourned until July 9.

1 July 2014 – Representatives of Manchester Airport have spoken out against the closer of the rail link to Cleethorpes. The Government is currently examining the option of terminating the TransPennine Express service from Manchester at Doncaster with a replacement Sheffield to Cleethorpes service being operated by Northern Rail, possibly as an extension of the existing hourly Northern Sheffield to Scunthorpe service. The proposals are part of what Rail Minister Stephen Hammond, describes as a ‘huge opportunity to create a railway system fit for the 21st century’. But a Manchester Airport spokesperson says rail links such as the one from Cleethorpes are vital to their service, adding that ‘Manchester Airport supports the development and provision of effective rail links to all parts of our catchment area and for the 24 million people that live within it’.

2 July 2014 – The new Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, Mr John Holland-Kaye, spent his first day meeting with pupils and staff at Cranford Primary School and Hounslow Heath School, listening to their concerns about aviation noise. Following the visits, Holland-Kaye met with Cllr Steve Curran, the new Leader of Hounslow Council to discuss how Heathrow Airport can better support the Council’s priorities for improving school facilities and teaching in the Borough. Mr Holland Kaye committed to complete the glazing programme by April 2015, subject to support from local authorities and schools to allow the works to take place.

3 July 2014 – Guernsey IslandTreasury Minister Gavin St Pier, has said that the purchase of a new jet to serve the Guernsey-Gatwick Airport route was ‘absolutely essential to secure the lifeline route’.

4 July 2014 – The Education Secretary Mr Michael Gove, spoke about whether Heathrow Airpot should pay towards the redevelopment of local schools. Mr Gove said, ‘It’s a good thing if local businesses can play a part in helping support state education, and I know that Sky wants to help ensure there are more good school places. I know Heathrow is one of the borough’s biggest providers of apprenticeships but when it comes to thinking about the provision of new school places the principal responsibility rests with the Department for Education and the local authority. To my mind Heathrow is a good corporate citizen and I wouldn’t want to prejudge and issue like that’.


Industry News

1 July 2014 – The new Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport has signalled that Heathrow Airport is looking to increase the landing fees it charges airlines by as much as 20 per cent in order to secure a return on a £17bn investment in a third runway. 4 July 2014 – While the Financial Times is reporting that Heathrow Airport are attempting to allay fears that charges for travellers will increase significantly to pay for any expansion – by promising not to charge air passenger duty for some long-haul flights.

1 July 2014 – China’s airlines are settling into a changed market from Shenzhen and Guangzhou to Xiamen in southern China, where a high-speed 200 km/h rail line (HSR) opened on 28-Dec-2013 and reduced travel time between Shenzhen and Xiamen from 11 hours to three hours and 50 minutes. What was once a journey where air had a distinct advantage is now a trip where air has only a minor advantage. Subsequently flights from Shenzhen to Xiamen have been cut, by a third, with 53 weekly flights decreasing to around 35. Flights from Guangzhou to Xiamen have dipped 12 per cent from 91 a week to approximately 80. (Fare information is unavailable, which could show discounting to better compete with rail.) The changes are real, but their relative impact in the wider scheme of things is very small: China in Jun-2014 had approximately 31,000 weekly domestic round-trips. Taking a few dozen flights out is a rounding error, although more realistically the slots and airspace can be used to open new routes.

2 July 2014 – A new report entitled ‘Supply Side Considerations. Perspectives arising from the Airports Commission Interim Report’ has been published by aviation analyst Chris Tarry. The report focuses on the impacts of new generation aircraft, along with other key areas the Airports Commission have highlighted as central to the UK’s runways debate including: the growth of low-cost carriers; the future of hub traffic through London; and how the long-haul market & point-to-point services will grow.

4 July 2014 – British Airways has experienced problems with its baggage handling processes following technical issues with conveyor belts at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. The airline operator is saying that the issues could mean that some customers do not receive their correct baggage for days.

2 July 2014 – Final planning consent has been given for a £100m development of London Luton Airport. The work will aim to increase annual passenger capacity from 12 million to 18 million by 2031. The plans, including an expanded and modernised terminal building and improved surface access. Final planning consent was provided by Luton Borough Council after the Department for Communities and Local Government ruled in April this year that the planning application could proceed. The project has commenced with the launch of a procurement process.

3 July 2014 – Norwegian Air Shuttle has launched low cost, long haul services on the Dreamliner aircraft between London Gatwick and the USA.

3 July 2014 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today confirmed that a temporary Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) will be put in place around London Southend Airport. The RMZ, which was requested by the airport operator, will go live on 18 July 2014 and will remain in place until a decision is made regarding the airport’s application for controlled airspace. The CAA will review the RMZ in spring 2015. In its request to the CAA, the airport suggested the establishment of an RMZ would allow air traffic controllers to provide enhanced traffic information and de-confliction advice to aircraft landing or taking off at Southend. This will augment the safety measures employed by existing air traffic control procedures.

London Southend Airport, which sits within Class G airspace, has seen a significant increase in commercial air transport movements in the last two years. The airport completed its consultation on establishing controlled airspace in the vicinity at the end of December 2013 and formally submitted an airspace change proposal in June 2014. Although an ATC clearance is not required, to gain entry to an RMZ, a pilot must establish two-way communication with air traffic control before entering, they must then remain on frequency while in the zone unless instructed otherwise*. Pilots planning to fly through the Southend RMZ will need to contact Southend on 130.775MHz before entering the zone. Aircraft not fitted with radios can still operate in the RMZ providing the pilot is able to co-ordinate arrangements with Southend ATC prior to departure.

3 July 2014 – Dutch airline operator KLM has claimed that the number of people using its flights from Bristol Airport to Amsterdam Airport, to make long-haul connections, has increased. The airline said connecting traffic on flights between Bristol and KLM’s Schiphol headquarters has increased 12 per cent following the introduction of a larger aircraft.

4 July 2014 – Runway designations at Jersey Airport will have to change due to the movement of the magnetic poles. The designators are the two digit numbers displayed at the each end of a runway showing its direction to the nearest 10 degrees. They are used by pilots during take-off, landing and taxiing and are part of Civil Aviation safety regulations. The drifting magnetic poles mean the numbers are no longer accurate to 10 degrees and will be changed in October.

4 July 2014 – Spain’s Public Works Minister, Ana Pastor has said the country will freeze airport tariffs until 2025 in an effort to boost air traffic. The measure, announced following Spain’s weekly cabinet meeting, comes three weeks after the Government put national airport operator AENA up for sale.

4 July 2014 – The owner of Nightel Humber, the offshore engineering company in Kirmington, North Lincolnshire, Mr Paul Green, wants to build a branded hotel at Humbershide Airport, in what would be a £7million investment. A planning application is expected soon, with bar, restaurant and gym part of the offer.

4 July 2014 – Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has expanded its noise management capabilities by selecting the new airport noise and operations monitoring system (ANOMS 9) from Bruel & Kjær. Using ANOMS 9, MAG can monitor and report on noise and operations at multiple airports with a single system. As part of the contract, the airports will also receive WebTrak and WebTrak MyNeighbourhood, which are part of several web-based applications that assist airports in building good community relationships.

6 July 2014 – Ryanair is the only airline operator to fly passenger flights out of Prestwick Airport, which was taken into public hands late last year by the Scottish Government to prevent its closure.


European News

25 June 2014 – A recent series of European airlines of different sizes, shapes and geographies have been prompted to announce a lower outlook for 2014 earnings, including Lufthansa, Finnair, Aer Lingus and Icelandair. Notably, these are all legacy carriers. Although the details differ in each case, two broad trends have been identified from the announcements. The first relates to signs of overcapacity in some markets, leading to revenue weakness. This is also linked with the growing competitive threat posed by alternative business models to Europe’s legacy carriers, whether by LCCs on short-haul or Gulf carriers on long-haul. The second is the impact that labour has on profitability, whether damaging it through industrial action, or assisting it through cost savings.

30 June 2014 – The Council of the European Union voted on regulation to extend the duration of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) until 2024.

1 July 2014 – The European Commission has agreed on a first set of essential changes for the modernisation of the European air traffic management system known as the Pilot Common Project. This is the first of a series of projects resulting from SESAR, the technological pillar of the Single European Sky – and will be implemented by a Deployment Manager to be selected by the end of the year.

1 July 2014 – Lithuania’s three airports have merged in to one as part of long term plans to rationalise air travel in the country. State Enterprise (SE) Kaunas Airport and SE Palanga International Airport will be merged into SE Vilnius International Airport, with the latter entity taking over rights, obligations and contracts of the two remaining airports. SE Vilnius International Airport will change its name to SE Lithuanian Airports (Lietuvos Oro Uostai) as part of the new plans. SE Lithuanian Airports will be structured as a company with three branches – Vilnius Airport, Kaunas Airport and Palanga Airport. All three airports shall continue operations under the Lithuanian airport network.

3 July 2014 – The air traffic control services provider NATS and the Association of European Airlines have entered into a strategic partnership to drive the Single European Sky initiative.


Parliamentary News

4 July 2014 – There is a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in the register titled ‘Heathrow and the Wider Economy’. It is chaired by Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith and aims to ‘To examine the implications of new runway capacity in London, in particular at Heathrow’. Members of both Houses of Parliament met on Tuesday June 10th in the House of Commons to formally establish the new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). The cross party group was set up by Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Zac Goldsmith, who was nominated as the Chairman. Former MP for Richmond Park, Baroness Tonge was elected as the Treasurer, Mr. John McDonnell was elected as the Secretary and Mr. John Randall and Baroness Hamwee were elected as Vice-Chairs. The APPG will exist to scrutinise the arguments around Heathrow expansion, and will publicly report on the findings. The first Inquiry will be held in July and will focus on the likely new flightpaths, and the noise impact on residents.

Heathrow Airport have stated that as many as 30 per cent fewer people would be affected by air traffic noise with a third runway in 2030 than are currently affected by air traffic noise from the two existing runways. However, a recent report by the CAA/ERCD shows that Heathrow’s proposal will expose more than 1.1 million people (when placed upon 2012 population data, which will grow) to noise in excess of 55dB Lden, when fully utilised, compared to 725,000 people today. The group will examine the claims and assess the real impact of a possible expansion of Heathrow on residents.

Full membership of the Group – Zac Goldsmith, John Randall, Baroness Hamwee, Jenny Tonge, John McDonnell, Mary McLeod, Bob Blackman, Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Chris Holmes, Lord True, Angie Bray, John Cryer, Virendra Sharma, Andy Slaughter, Seema Malhotra, Lord Faulkner, Joan Walley, Kate Hoey, Baroness Jenny Jones, and Caroline Lucas.


Government News

1 July 2014 – The Department for Transport has published a terms of reference providing guidelines to Network Rail, on a study it is conducting about southern rail access options for Heathrow Airport.

1 July 2014 – The Airports Commission has published a report, Discussion Paper 7: delivery of a new runway. This discussion paper calls for evidence on issues which the Airports Commission has identified as being of interest to the delivery of new runway capacity. The final date for submissions is the 15 August 2014.

4 July 2014 – The Airports Commission has published ‘Open consultation: Inner Thames estuary airport studies’.

4 July 2014 –The Department for Transport has published the UK and Ireland’s functional airspace block’s performance plan and supporting document for the reference period of 2015 to 2019 (RP2). The document sets out targets for en-route and terminal air navigation services (ANS). It meets the requirements of the single European sky (SES) performance scheme, an EU initiative to improve the performance of ANS by setting targets in the 4 performance areas of: safety; environment; capacity; and cost-efficiency. The document submitted by DfT to the European Commission’s Performance Review Board for assessment on 27 June 2015.


House of Commons Questions

Robertson, J – Capacity of aviation fuel in the south east of England

2 July 2014

John Robertson, PPS to Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper (Labour, Glasgow North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what estimate he has made of the duration in days that airports in the south east of England would be able to run at full aviation fuel demand capacity in the event of an emergency on the scale of the Buncefield explosion in 2005; (2) what estimate he has made of the duration in days that the South East of England fuel demand could run at full capacity based on current stock levels of (a) refined petrol and (b) diesel products in the event of an emergency on the scale of the Buncefield explosion in 2005.

Michael Fallon, Business Minister (Conservative, Sevenoaks): UK supplies of aviation fuels are resilient to most hazards and additional protections have been put in place since the incident at Buncefield in 2005. Any impact upon supplies would depend entirely on the nature of any incident.


Media News

30 June 2014 – German business newspaper Handelsblatt is reporting that the German airline operator Lufthansa is considering launching a budget brand for long-haul flights. The report cites a ‘high-ranking company manager’ as saying ‘we have concrete ideas for how to start a budget service in the long-haul businesses. A Lufthansa spokesperson has described the Handelsblatt report as ‘speculation’, pointing only to a planned strategy update by new Chief Executive Carsten Spohr is scheduled for July 9.

6 July 2014 – The founder of the airline operator Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson has said that both Heathrow and Gatwock Airports ‘need two new international runways each if Britain is to remain economically competitive’.


PDF Icon SASIG ParliamentaryNews Bulletin 30 June – 6 July

PDF Icon SASIG Regional&IndustryNews Bulletin 30 June – 6 July

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