SASIG 2013/14 Meeting Dates

Regional News

Industry News

European News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons Oral Questions

House of Commons Written Questions

Media News


SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Date

6 March 2015

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


Regional News

15 October 2014 – Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council have published a letter they have written to the Airports Commission regarding the short-listed proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

20 October 2014 – Liberal Democrat Councillor for Horsham Park Ward in West Sussex, Francis Haigh has spoken about his reasons for supporting a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

20 October 2014 – Blackpool Airport Ltd owed divisions of its parent company Balfour Beatty £19.2m while unsecured creditors, firms and individuals supplying goods and services to the airport, were owed £2m.

21 October 2014 – Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Councillor Keith House has welcomed the sale of Southampton Airport stating that he believes it will make the airport more successful. Heathrow Airport Holdings has agreed to sell the airport to a consortium led by infrastructure company Ferrovial and Australia-based company Macquarie. The two firms are leading a £1.048 billion purchase of Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports expected to be finalised by January. Cllr House also said Sir Peter Mason, who is the Chairman of the new partnership, had stressed to him their intention to use local management and that they were keen to work with the council.

22 October 2014 – The campaign group ‘Junction 24’ has said that a 250-acre freight distribution hub planned for land close to East Midlands Airport will ‘destroy the area’. If granted planning permission, the East Midlands Gateway freight depot will be built on land close to junction 24 of the M1 motorway. Opponents have said the development would cover one of the last remaining green spaces in the area. Developers have said the proposed site would allow good access to the UK motorway network.

23 October 2014 – Aviation minister Robert Goodwill is asking for an explanation as to why Durham Tees Valley Airport  lifted its concerns over plans for wind turbines near Melsonby in North Yorkshire, after previously stating they could confuse air traffic controllers.

24 October 2014 – Member of Parliament for Fylde Mark Menzies, has asked receivers in charge of Blackpool Airport Ltd not to sell off vital equipment needed to run the terminal. A spokesperson for the receiving company Zolfo has said that they ‘planned to auction the non-airside assets before Christmas and the airside 
assets after Christmas’.

25 October 2014 – A group of MPs calling themselves The Gatwick Coordination Group, Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley and Charles Hendry, have written to the Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport Stewart Wingate, to tell him that they believe the airport’s application for a second runway is ‘a developmental disaster waiting to happen. They go on to state that, ‘the sooner this damaging pipe dream is abandoned, the better for its neighbours, and the real answer to the future of the UK’s aviation capacity can be reached’, adding that Gatwick’s application ‘lacks any serious proposals” on providing the transport infrastructure needed to support a second runway.

26 October 2014 – Member of Parliament for East Surrey Sam Giymah has expressed concerns of his constituents in Lingfield, Dormansland and Felbridge, over aircraft noise caused by planes taking off from Gatwick Airport. Over the last few weeks, Mr Gyimah says he has responded to ‘extreme concern’ voiced by his constituents following the introduction of the Precision Area Navigation system, which allows planes to fly with increased accuracy along a much narrower 250-500m corridor of airspace. He is demanding the UK Civil Aviation Authority takes action to mitigate the effect of flight path changes that are causing misery for residents under the new, tighter flight paths, and encouraged those affected to make their views known.


Industry News

19 October 2014 – The Scottish Government is to provide an additional £10 million in support to Prestwick Airport which it now owns.

20 October 2014 – The Transport Committee has published, ‘UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – Aviation Resilience work streams summary’. Since April, the CAA has undertaken three broad work streams focussed on managing disruption at airports, both within their statutory powers and acting beyond them where action can be taken to protect consumers. The first builds on the Authority’s inclusion of conditions related to resilience within both Heathrow Airport Limited and Gatwick Airport Limited’s economic licences. Alongside this work the CAA has also begun a project with the Airport Operators Association and their members to develop best practice guidance on resilience at all UK airports with scheduled flights. As well as working closely with the UK’s airports, the CAA has also engaged airlines, where the legal obligation to protect passengers during disruption lies. Further details are available here.

21 October 2014 – Airline operator ‘Jet2’ has acquired a new aircraft for East Midlands Airport meaning it will be able to carry over 750 thousand extra passengers in summer 2015. The extra capacity means that it will be operating more than 150 flights per week, including new routes to Antalya, Malta and Tunisia in the New Year.

21 October 2014 – Stansted Airport have published their ‘Corporate Responsibility Report 2013/14’.

22 October 2014 – Dorset-based engineering company Meggitt PLC has won a contract for a new line of business jets. The company, based at Bournemouth Airport, has secured the ‘multi-million dollar contact’ to provide an advanced wheel and braking system for Gulfstream Aerospace’s new G500 and G600 aircraft.

22 October 2014 – Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty has been to Belfast in an attempt to convince local business representatives that the city will benefit if the airport expands with a new runway.

23 October 2014 – The Chinese airline operator Hainan Airlines has applied to fly from Beijing to Heathrow and Manchester airports from next summer. The carrier wants to operate a daily London route from June. It also plans to fly to Manchester Airport four times a week from May.

23 October 2014 – A delegation from the American investment company RiverOak is set to discuss the future of Manston airport with Thanet council representatives.

23 October 2014 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched the consultation, ‘CAP1221 Economic regulation of new runway capacity – a draft policy’. The CAA is currently looking to provide clarity on its expected approach to the economic regulation of any new capacity expansion of London airports and any associated costs that may be incurred during Q6 and subsequently.  Stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on the draft policy statement before the CAA publishes its policy statement in spring 2015. The consultation will be open until 18 December 2014.

26 October 2014 – Airline operator Monarch Group has described its future plans as ‘exciting’, after agreeing a £125 million acquisition deal with the investment company Greybull Capital. Greybull now owns 90 per cent of the group, which will end its long-haul and charter flying by April 2015, concentrating instead on scheduled short-haul European routes.


European News

21 October 2014 – Executives of the air navigation service providers of the Functional Airspace Block of Central Europe (FAB CE) signed the foundation deed of a joint venture on October 17th, 2014, at Brnik, Slovenia. FAB CE Aviation Services Ltd was established with the participation of the ANSPs of Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, while it is expected that BHANSA from Bosnia and Herzegovina will join the association at a later stage. The joint venture will be responsible for the support of the implementation of the FAB CE programme. The establishment of FAB CE Aviation Services Ltd – which is the second company in Europe established under a FAB umbrella besides NUAC (Nordic Unified Air Traffic Control) – is a significant milestone in implementing the European Union’s Single European Sky (SES II) programme.

23 October 2014 – A study, conducted under the European Union QUIET project1 has found that environmental noise and air pollution are believed to have similar biological effects on human blood vessels that increase the risk of stroke – for instance, they may lead to hardened arteries and high blood pressure. Air pollution is thought to cause damage when it is inhaled and enters the bloodstream. Noise may have more indirect effects – disturbing sleep and increasing stress, which can raise blood pressure. The study investigated the combined effects of traffic noise and air pollution. It analysed data, from a population study of health and lifestyle of over 50 thousand residents in Copenhagen and Aarhus over 11 years. The participants were aged 50-64 years at the point of enrolling onto the study. The researchers modelled air pollution and traffic noise levels for every participant’s home. National medical records showed that 1999 of the participants had been diagnosed with stroke. For air pollution, the study focused on nitrogen oxides (NOx) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which are good markers of traffic air pollution and correlate closely with both ultrafine particles and PM10 (10 micrometres or less in diameter). Noise was calculated as Lden: measured over a 24 hour period, with a 10 dB penalty at night (22:00–07:00) and a 5 dB penalty in the evening (19:00–22:00) to reflect people’s extra sensitivity to noise during these times.

23 October 2014 – Emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides have fallen significantly across Europe since 1960. According to recent research, this is caused by a combination of factors including improved energy efficiency, a changing fuel mix and specific emission control measures. At the same time CO2 emissions have only increased moderately, mainly due to improvements in energy efficiency.

24 October 2014 – The European Union has reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gasses by at least 40 per cent domestically by 2030. The target is part of a package of measures announced by European leaders at the European Council meeting in Brussels.


Parliamentary News

21 October 2014 – During a short hearing on the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Communities and Local Government Committee of the UK Parliament heard from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins. Labour Committee Chair Clive Betts MP asked about the renewable sector and the politicisation of wind farms. The issue was not politicised, said Mr Hopkins. Since October 2012, there had been 295 wind farm applications and only three of these had been called in. He added that there was a difference between calling in and recovering applications. The Chair asked about applications turned down against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate. Each individual application was, Mr Hopkins said, decided on its own merits. Decisions were evidence-based and not political. The Chair asked about the time taken to reach planning decisions in this area. Responding, Mr Hopkins said guidelines and the process were under constant review. Applications were complex and there had to be room for debate, and groups such as the National Trust and English Heritage wanted to contribute to this process. The Chair asked about the comparison with complex housing applications. Mr Hopkins explained that he looked at cases and evidence individually. The Chair asked if this showed ministers were concerned about the operation of the NPPF. Clear guidance, Mr Hopkins stated, had been issued. The recovery process was a matter of appraising available evidence.


Government News

23 October 2014 – The Transport Committee have published the Government, CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), and Oil & Gas UK responses to Committee’s report on Monday 27 October 2014.


House of Commons Oral Questions


Marsden – Aviation safety over specific conflict

23 October 2014

Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South, Labour): May I associate myself with the Minister’s condolences to the families, not least our own UK citizens? After MH17 was shot down, I wrote to the Minister in August to ask how the Government would ensure that all airlines had equal access to recommendations based on authoritative intelligence about safety over specific conflict zones. I also asked him to reconsider his reserved powers so that passengers, pilots and airline staff in the UK could have confidence in the process. His reply was that he was looking into it. After eight weeks in which conflicts in Iraq and Syria have intensified those concerns, what changes has he made?

Robert Goodwill (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Scarborough and Whitby, Conservative): I have already explained that work is being undertaken at an international level. Indeed, the Secretary of State has power to direct airlines not to fly over particular locations and the independent Civil Aviation Authority can issue a notice to airmen in no time, instructing pilots not to fly over those areas. Ultimately, it is up to the airline and the captain to take the decision, based on the best available information they have.


Bain – Departmental discussion with stakeholders in the aviation industry about flight paths over conflict zones

23 October 2014

William Bain (Glasgow North East, Labour): What recent discussions he has had with stakeholders in the aviation industry on the use of flight paths over conflict zones

Robert Goodwill: The Department keeps in close contact with UK carriers about the whole range of threats to aviation, including the risks of flying over conflict zones. The Secretary of State recently met the secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and discussed this very issue.

Mr Bain: Our thoughts remain very strongly with the families and friends of those who died in the terrible disaster that affected flight MH17. Since then, conditions have become even more dangerous, particularly in relation to the Middle East. What are the Government doing, through the ICAO, to ensure that information about international flights is shared between domestic countries?

Mr Goodwill: May I extend the Government’s condolences to the families of the 283 passengers and 15 crew, including 10 British citizens, who were killed? Indeed, at the European Council in Luxembourg, we had the opportunity to express condolences to my Dutch counterpart; a very large number of the casualties came from his country. The ICAO has set up a taskforce to look at the provision of over-flights in conflict zones, and the UK is participating actively in that work.


House of Commons Written Questions


David T. C. Davies – Meeting with Cardiff Aviation

17 October 2014

David T. C. Davies (Monmouth, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will meet Cardiff Aviation to discuss access to the landing facilities at MoD St Athan.

Anna Soubry (Minister of State for Defence, Broxtowe, Conservative): The Ministry of Defence has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Mr Nigel Evans – Government support for the aviation industry following job losses at British Aerospace

17 October 2014

Nigel Evans (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, Ribble Valley, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans his Department has to support the aerospace industry following the announcement of 440 job losses at British Aerospace.

Matthew Hancock (Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Portsmouth, Conservative): We will work closely with BAE Systems and local leaders to manage the impact of the losses, including through the Talent Retention Solution which is available to match skilled workers to jobs in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. In addition support will be available through Job Centre Plus, the Skills Funding Agency and other local partners. Government is committed to working with industry through the Defence Growth Partnership to help identify and capitalise on opportunities for growth, building on our strengths in areas such as air capabilities. The DGP’s Implementation Plan, launched by the Prime Minister at the Farnborough Airshow in July, builds on the Strategic Vision published last year and will help industry maximise defence exports through a new UK Defence Solutions Centre and a strengthened UKTI DSO. For the civil aerospace sector Government and industry set out a joint strategy and implementation plan for growth in the Aerospace Industrial Strategy published in March 2013. A progress update on these was published in July.


Wilson – Potential effect on Northern Ireland of the operation of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund

22 October 2014

Sammy Wilson: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on Northern Ireland of the operation of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat): Airports across the UK play an important role in securing connectivity for local populations and contribute to local, regional and national economies. The aviation sector’s economic output to the whole UK economy in 2011 was approximately £18 billion, and it employs around 220,000 workers directly and supports many more indirectly. The Government has not made an assessment of the potential effects on Northern Ireland of the operation of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. Airports in Northern Ireland will be able to apply for support from the Fund if they meet the qualifying criteria.


Stringer – Estimate of social costs caused by air Pollution

23 October 2014

Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 May 2014, if she will make an estimate of social costs caused by (a) large particulates (PM10), (b) small particulates (PM2.5) and (c) nitrogen dioxide emitted to air in the UK by (i) domestic biomass generation of heat and (ii) biomass for power generation in the latest year for which figures are available.

Dan Rogerson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Water, Forestry, Resource Management and Rural Affairs, North Cornwall, Liberal Democrat): I refer the honourable Member to the reply previously given on 9 June 2014, Official Report, column 272W. Social costs caused by air pollution are not routinely assessed. The 2010 Defra report ‘Valuing the impacts of air pollution’ estimated that the overall health impact from anthropogenic PM2.5 is £16bn per year (with a range of £9-19bn). The social costs of biomass heat have been assessed for specific policy development purposes in the past.


Wilson – Assessment of the relationship between additional airport capacity in the South East and the economies of other regions

23 October 2014

Sammy Wilson (East Antrim, Democratic Unionist Party): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the relationship between additional airport capacity in the South East and the economies of other regions of the UK.

Robert Goodwill: The Department last updated its forecasts of aviation growth for UK airports, to 2050, in January 2013. The analysis can be downloaded from:

The independent Airports Commission was established in September 2012 to consider the need to deliver additional airport capacity, and the impacts of doing so. The Airports Commission has published a discussion paper, “Aviation connectivity and the economy”, and included the potential use of regional capacity in its Interim Report. These documents can be downloaded


Media News

23 October 2014 – It is being reported that new flight paths being tested by Heathrow Airport are not the reason for an increase in complaints about planes flying over the Epsom area.


PDF Icon SASIG Regional&IndustryNews Bulletin 20 October – 26October

PDF Icon SASIG ParliamentaryNews Bulletin 20 October – 26October

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