SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

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

4 August 2014 – The M56 has reopened near Manchester Airport after works to demolish a bridge. The renovation saw the motorway closed between junction 5 and junction 6 over the weekend, as diggers tore down the structure to make way for a new state-of-the-art bridge. The planned destruction was part of a £5.5m project to improve access to Airport City and a future housing project.

4 August 2014 – Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate has said that the increase in noise related complaints from residents in Reigate in Surrey, could be due to aircraft from Heathrow Airport. Gatwick Airport is currently trialling a new flight path which allows aircraft to take off in a straight line – but Mr Wingate has said that flight from the airport are climbing to the south west, over Warnham in Sussex. Mr Wingate added that any appearance of more planes over Reigate was not as a result of tests at Gatwick. Though some Gatwick routes do currently pass close to the town, they are not new flight paths.

4 August 2014 – Heathrow Airport holdings, formerly BAA, said it was ‘entering a sales process’ that could see Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen Airports sold. The company once owned seven airports, but a ruling by what was then the Competition Commission told it to sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

5 August 2014 – MP’s from the London Borough of Hillingdon, Nick Hurd (Ruislip) and John Randall (Uxbridge), together with neighbouring MP for Beaconsfield, Dominic Grieve, have written another joint letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin calling for the Government to abandon plans for a Heathrow Spur to HS2 (the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham). They remind the Transport Secretary the Spur is not part of the initial preferred route for phase two of HS2 and suggest no business case has been made for it.

6 August 2014 – The laying of 27 concrete beams, which form the foundations of the Finningley and Rossington regeneration route, has been completed. They will carry the £56 million road over the Brancliffe to Kirk Sandall railway line and will also connect to Doncaster iPort, a 337-acre warehouse site. Preparation has now begun on a second, longer bridge over the East Coast Main Line, meaning the project is on track to be completed by March next year.

6 August 2014 – Guernsey’s Treasury Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier, said that the Government-owned airline, Aurigny was ‘on track’ to break even in 2016, after it reported increased passengers numbers with the new jet serving the Gatwick route. His comments come as island business groups have started a review of the airline’s Gatwick’s fares amid concerns they are too high. The airline defended the prices, which it said had to be commercially viable.

6 August 2014 – Further details have been released about roadworks which will close key roads leading to East Midlands Airport for nearly two months. A series of overnight and weekend closures on part of junction 24 of the M1 began on Monday and will last for seven weeks. The south bridge of the junction is being altered to accommodate a third lane as part of a £6 million scheme.

7 August 2014 – East Midlands Airport’s profits have risen from £14m in 2009 to £16.4m in 2014 due in part to rising revenues from increased parking provision. Figures show that there was also a 9 per cent increase in passenger numbers. The airport, part of the Manchester Airport Group, has invested £2m to increase parking capacity with the opening of a 1,400-space car park. This brings the total number of parking spaces at EMA to 10,520 across its long, medium and short stay car parks.

7 August 2014 – Carlisle City Council have spent the £441,000 on legal advice in a five-year planning process at Carlisle Airport. The proposal, from Stobart Air, is to build a freight distribution centre at the airport. The council granted planning permission in 2009, but a resident from Irthington took the decision to judicial review, arguing the council did not carry out an environmental impact assessment.

7 August 2014 – An investigation into complaints about increased noise from aircraft approaching or departing from Guernsey Airport has found ‘no evidence’ of extra noise. A Public Services spokesman said the complaints from ‘a relatively small number of residents’ suggested planes were taking a more southerly route. It followed the runway being moved 120m (390ft) and safety areas being increased as part of a £80m project. A review by the Director of Civil Aviation reached the same findings.

8 August 2014 – Members of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Transport Forum have called for a new railway station to be built at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, with links to Doncaster Central railway station and Sheffield station.

8 August 2014 – Residents of the Holmwoods, Brockham, Betchworth and Leigh in Surrey have complained about the level of aviation noise in the area after aircraft departure routes from Gatwick Airport were changed in November last year.

8 August 2014 – The owner of Manston Airport, Ann Gloag has said that she decided to close the airport because, ‘the prospect of new passenger and freight opportunities failed to materialise and the scale of the losses meant that there was no credible prospect of the airport becoming profitable’.

8 August 2014 –  The Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clarke, has called on Gatwick Airport to reconsider the ‘flawed’ consultation on aircraft noise and emissions, which closes next week, urging them to ‘go back to the drawing board’.

8 August 2014 – The Unite union has raised concerns about the sale of Southampton Airport, and the impact on its members at the site.

9 August 2014- A six-month trial of new flight paths to and from Gatwick Airport has ended. The trial was intended to gather information about how the airspace can be used more efficiently to make the most of the airport’s runway. Conservative MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt, said his constituents had complained of increased aircraft noise.


Industry News

4 August 2014 – Russian airline operator Dobrolet has had all flights cancelled as increased European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis caused its aircraft leasing agreements to be stopped.

4 August 2014 – More passengers are travelling to Stansted Airport by coach instead of train, according to new figures released by the Department for Transport. Almost 30 per cent of those who are travelling to the Essex airport are boarding a bus, pushing the proportion of train travellers to its lowest figure since records begun. But despite seeing its share of passengers fall from 29 per cent in 2003 to 22 per cent last year, operator Abellio Greater Anglia said the Stansted Express was still seeing year-on-year growth.

4 August 2014 – The environmental and operational efficiency of UK airspace improved during the first half of the year, according to figures released by UK air traffic services provider, NATS. NATS measures the efficiency of an aircraft’s route and trajectory using its three dimensional inefficiency (3Di) metric where each flight is compared to a scale where zero represents total environmental efficiency. Most flights typically score somewhere between 15 and 35. The air traffic management services provider says direct routes, smooth continuous climbs and descents and optimum flight levels, air traffic controllers can help reduce aircraft fuel burn and carbon emissions, thereby earning a low 3Di score. During the period January to June 2014, NATS was able to achieve a rolling average score of 23.3 against the new tighter year end target of 23 set by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

5 August 2014 – BAE Systems has signed a five-year agreement with Emirates, the world’s largest Boeing 777 operator, to provide maintenance and technical support for its entire Boeing fleet.

6 August 2014 – The International Air Transport Association has reported that global passenger traffic results for June showed a modest deceleration in demand growth compared to the prior month.

7 August 2014 – In a new survey by AbilityNet, only one  airline operator sampled met the minimum accessibility standards. The companies surveyed were British Airways, Carnival, Club Med, EasyJet, First Choice, Monarch, Qantas, RyanAir, Saga, STA Travel, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic. Of these only Club Med met the base level of access requirements needed to research travel and accommodation options and make flight or holiday reservations. Of the remaining eleven companies, ten require immediate attention meaning that disabled users on some sites took over an hour to make their bookings and on others were unable to complete the process altogether. A full report outlining the survey results is available here.

7 August 2014 – In its response to the Airports Commission, Discussion paper 6, Gatwick Airport argues that the ability of regional airports to compete and grow would be threatened if Heathrow Airport is allowed to expand and dominate the UK aviation market. The Chief Executive of Gatwick, Stewart Wingate said that a third runway at Heathrow would ‘threaten the commercial viability’ of other UK airports by reducing choice and giving the London hub more market power. However, he went on to add that building a second runway at Gatwick would generate more ‘rigorous competition’ between airports in London and the southeast, help regional airports to compete, specialise and grow and would give passengers from the UK regions more choice of flights to London, helping to reduce fares, the submission claims. Mr Wingate said that, ‘a new runway at Heathrow would give the airport too much market power. However, if Gatwick built a second runway, it could compete more vigorously with two-runway Heathrow, which would deliver benefits for both consumers and other UK airports’. 7 August 2014 – Newcastle Airport, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director, Graeme Mason has responded to the concerns of Mr. Wingate. Mr. Mason said that Newcastle Airport had made their own submission to the Airports Commission Discussion paper.


Media News

4 August 2014 – The professional body The Guild of Travel Management Companies has responded to the Airports Commission Discussion paper 6 on domestic air connectivity. The response claims the UK economy is missing out on air travel investment from the north of England as growing numbers of business travellers choose foreign hubs over Heathrow due to poor connectivity. The organisation, which represents major UK-based Travel Management Companies is sharing its survey data with Government and policy makers with the objective of encouraging expansion at key UK international airports to improve capacity and ensure the UK maintains its position as a ‘leading country to do business’.

5 August 2014 – Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones has welcomed the ‘One North’ report which sets out how better transport connections in the North will stimulate economic growth. Mayor Jones, said, ‘Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield is the international gateway to the Sheffield City Region. Over £113million is currently being invested through the Regional Growth Fund and the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal to improve its connectivity which will increase passenger numbers, improve its strategic importance for the region and deliver economic benefit for Doncaster and the North. The first phase of the Finningley And Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS) which links the airport to the motorway network is underway and we have secured Government funding to support the final part of this new link road. FARRRS will dramatically reduce journey times to the airport making it a more attractive proposition for visitors and private sector investment in the Enterprise Zone located there’.


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There will be a reduced Parliamentary service over the summer while both Houses are in recess