SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

European News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons Question

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

1 September 2014 – The Vice-President of the airline operator ‘Emirates-UK’ Mr Laurie Berryman has said that Newcastle Airport offers ‘fantastic potential’ for exporters from the region.

2 September 2014 – The leader of Medway Council Councillor Rodney Chambers, has welcomed the decision of the Airports Commission not to shortlist an airport in the Inner Thames Estuary, for potential development. The leader of Thurrock Council Councillor John Kent also welcomed the decision, as did the leaders of Essex County Council, Councillor David Finch, Southend Council, Councillor Ron Woodley, the MP’s Mark Francois (Wickford and Rayleigh) and Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock); and Councillor Amrit Mann from the London Borough of Hounslow.

5 September 2014 – Members of Parliament for East Lincolnshire met with the Aviation Minister Mr Robert Goodwill to discuss their campaign to secure the flood defences for the Humber and to preserve the rail line from the area to Manchester Airport.

5 September 2014 – The Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable has welcomed funding worth £6 million for the first phase of a new business park to be built at Aerohub, Newquay Cornwall Airport. The funding includes a £2,312,000 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a grant from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence programme of £3,934,856, with Cornwall Council providing the land. The construction programme will start in early October and see completion of phase one in June 2015. The 53.5 acre business park site will form part of the ‘Aerohub EZ’ and is included in the Local Development Order. It will have space for over 30,000 sq ft of buildings and phase one will ensure the Park is investor ready, delivering site services including road access, electricity, water and broadband. The HCA funding also includes a £150,000 contribution to the ‘Rialton Link’ road, adding to the improvement of local infrastructure.


Industry News

1 September 2014 – The Confederation of British Industry has released a report entitled ‘The Nub is the hub’, which argues that a single, larger ‘hub airport’ – where passengers can transfer to a range of destinations – is ‘critical’ to the UK’s long-term economic growth. The business lobby group said the UK was already ‘losing out to European rivals’ on direct flights to emerging markets, and urges action by 2020.

2 September 2014 – Stansted Airport has launched a consultation on its draft Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) that sets out how the airport will aim to use the existing capacity of its single runway. The plan establishes a framework for growth at Stansted, and states how it will grow to handle 40-45 million passengers a year – which it argues are, within agreed environmental limits, and, without the need for additional airport land. The consultation is open until 7 November 2014. Dates and locations for public exhibitions of the consultation (including details on people can take part) are available here.


European News

1 September 2014 – Russia’s national airline operator, Aeroflot, is creating a new low-budget airline to replace Dobrolet.


Parliamentary News

1 September 2014 – A session of the Transport Committee heard this week about rail connectivity in the North of England. During the session on investing in the railway, the Committee heard from: Director General, Merseytravel, representing Rail North, Mr David Brown; Chief Executive, Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, Dr Ian Kelly; Chief Executive, Transport for Greater Manchester, representing One North, Dr. Jon Lamonte; Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Liz Redfern; and Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Councillor Chris Shaw.

The witnesses spoke about, and answered questions on the following issues: Timescale for investment; electrification and rolling stock; rail and inward investment; improving east-west rail connections; Rail North, freight and franchising; franchising and confidentiality agreements; experiences of rail travel; and creating an integrated transport authority.

Opening the session, Committee Chair Louise Ellman asked if the north of England received a fair share of railway investment. The witnesses agreed that it did not. Elaborating, Mr Brown cited statistics from the Passenger Transport Executive Group to demonstrate that infrastructure spending per head was lower in the regions outside of London. He believed that the north of England got less than was expected for an area representing a significant percentage of a population and called for further investment.

Under ‘timescale for investment’, Dr Kelly and Cllr Shaw extolled the economic benefits of what they termed the ‘Cinderella effect’ that investing in rail in Humberside would bring, including stimulating economic regeneration in deprived areas. Dr Kelly said that business including Tata Steel and Humberside Airport had emphasised the importance of infrastructure development in the area. He added that he felt the Humber area needed improved infrastructure to draw inward investment and underlined the importance of a rail link to Manchester Airport.

Under ‘rail and inward investment’, Mr Vickers asked if the direct rail connection between Cleethorpes and Manchester Airport should be maintained. Answering, Mr Brown affirmed that ‘we need to have proper connectivity to and from Manchester Airport and other cities’.

Under ‘franchising and confidentiality agreements’ both Dr Kelly and Cllr Shaw stated that rail in the north of England would take a backward step if the direct connection between Cleethorpes and Manchester Airport was lost.

1 September 2014 – The Prime Minister David Cameron gave a statement in the House of Commons about the recent European Council and the measures being taken to confront political and religious extremism. During the statement The Prime Minister spoke about matters of aviation security – stating that that ‘we are … putting our long-standing arrangements on aviation security around the world on a statutory footing. Airlines will have to comply with our no-fly list arrangements, give us information on passenger lists and comply with our security screening requirements. If they do not do so, their flights will not be able to land in Britain’.


Government News

2 September 2014 – The Airports Commission have published a report setting out their decision not to add an inner Thames estuary proposal to its shortlist of options for further, detailed appraisal. The report outlines the reasons for the decision and the work done to reach this point. The report concludes that the proposal for an airport in the Inner Thames Estuary has ‘substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits’. The Commission believes that ‘there are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary. The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount’. The Commission states that ‘even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70 to £90 billion with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options probably some £30 to £60 billion in total’. A full copy of the report is available on the ‘Airports Commission’ page of the SASIG website or from The Commission’s website here.


House of Commons Question

Mann, J – Meetings between UK Export Finance and Jackson Square Aviation

2 September 2014

John Mann (Labour, Bassetlaw): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when conducting due diligence on Jackson Square Aviation and JSA International Holdings LP, when and where UK Export Finance met representatives of that company.

Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise (Conservative, West Suffolk): In the normal course of business, UK Export Finance will often meet with parties in connection with the exports it is asked to support or has provided support. UK Export Finance has met with representatives from JSA International Holdings LP on a number of occasions in the last three years in relation to support provided for the export of Airbus aircraft in 2011 and 2012. To identify the precise number and location of meetings would involve disproportionate cost. No support has been provided to JSA since 2012.


Media News

1 September 2014 – Writing in ‘Liberal Democrat Voice’, Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton has said that the ‘Liberal Democrat pre-manifesto … looks set to include a commitment to no net increase in runways across the UK’.

2 September 2014 – Various organisations have given their reaction to the Airports Commission’s decision not to short-list an airport in the Inner Thames Estuary.

Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport, Mr Stewart Wingate stated that, ‘this is an important juncture in the aviation debate because now Britain’s choice is clear; expand Gatwick and support genuine competition, lower fares and greater choice for passengers or expand Heathrow and return to the stale monopoly of the past and watch the cost of going on holiday, travelling for business and exporting goods and service go up’.

Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, Mr John Holland-Kaye stated that, ‘we have always agreed with the Mayor that Britain needs a successful hub airport to compete in the global race for jobs and growth. Heathrow is now the only hub left in the race. We would like to work with the Mayor to deliver Heathrow expansion in a way that benefits the whole country while reducing noise impacts for local people compared to today’.

Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Mary Creagh has stated that ‘time and public money should never have been spent on his vanity project whose costs have been put at up to £100 billion’.

The Chief Executives of the British Air Transport Association Nathan Stower and the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK Dale Keller, both welcomed the decision.

Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds stated, ‘we have always said that the Thames Estuary is a disastrous place to put an airport. It supports many thousands of wintering birds and other wildlife’ … ’I sincerely hope that today’s announcement draws a line under any more similar proposals. The communities along the Estuary have been fighting plans for airports here for many years and none of them have taken into account the vital importance this area holds for many threatened species’.

Chief Executive of Newcastle Airport Dave Laws welcomed the decision stating that he felt the proposal was ‘wasteful’.

3 September 2014 – Wandsworth Council leader Councillor Ravi Govindia is cautioning ministers against further expansion of Heathrow Airport stating it would ‘deal a devastating environmental blow to millions of Londoners’.


PDF Icon SASIG Regional&IndustryNews Bulletin 1 September – 5 September

PDF Icon SASIG ParliamentaryNews Bulletin 1 September – 5 September


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