SASIG 2014/15 Meeting Date

Regional News

Industry News

European News

Parliamentary News

Government News

House of Commons 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

2 February 2015 – Campaigners have been posting flyers in the village of Datchet calling for residents to take part in a consultation about proposed airport expansion at Heathrow Airport.

2 February 2015 – Members of Parliament and campaigners against expansion at Heathrow Airport plan to staged a protest at Downing Street marking the end of the Airports Commission public consultation on its shortlisted options for a new runway. Supporters from the ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign also travelled to Westminster to show their support for expansion.

2 February 2015 – Blackpool Council are considering launching a bid to have the airport included in the Lancashire Enterprise Zone. The bid would mean that the current owners of the site, Squires Gate, would be an extension of the zone which is currently centred around BAE Systems operations at Warton and Samlesbury. A full report is yet to be submitted to Blackpool’s Executive, but the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council have been contacted and have agreed to the proposal in principal.

2 February 2015 – Gatwick Airport’s proposal for a second runway has lost the support of Sevenoaks District Council over concerns about aircraft noise. The council said there was already ‘significant concern’ over airport noise in the south of the district, especially from aircraft landing at night. It feared any increase in aircraft would also lead to an increase in noise. The council’s cabinet Member for Planning Councillor Robert Piper said, ‘We have carefully considered the proposal put forward by Gatwick. Taken on balance, we are not satisfied that the development of a second runway would be delivered along with a reduction in existing noise impacts and we are unable to support this proposal’.

3 February 2015 – London City Airport have had plans for a £200m extension approved by Newham Council. The proposal includes an extension to the terminal, more aircraft stands plus a 260 bedroom hotel. The scheme was approved by Newham’s Planning Committee at Stratford Town Hall on 3 February. Sunil Sahadevan, on behalf of the council’s planning office, which recommended approval, said, ‘There is growing demand for more planes, the planes are getting larger and the growth in demand is supported’.

3 February 2015 – The former owner of Manston Airport Ann Gloag has been accused of misleading a Kent MP over her intentions as to the future of the site which closed in May 2014. The Member of Parliament for North Thanet Sir Roger Gale told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that he believed Ann Gloag had ‘no intention’ of running it as an airport. The airport was closed by Mrs Gloag, whose company Manston Skyport Ltd bought it for £1 the previous October. A spokeswoman for the Gloag Foundation said Mrs Gloag did not give evidence to the select committee and was not doing interviews before or afterwards. Further details of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee evidence session are available later in this bulletin.

4 February 2015 – Welsh Assembly Members are to vote on whether there have been improvements at Cardiff Airport since the Welsh Government took over. The debate will request an update on progress following a £3m plan to increase the number of destinations reached from the airport. A Welsh Government spokesperson said, ‘Our investment in Cardiff Airport is an investment for the long-term benefit of Wales’.

4 February 2015 – East Grinstead Town Council has voted to oppose plans to expand Gatwick Airport. At a meeting in the town’s council offices, councillors were asked to vote for or against proposals for a second runway at Gatwick. The votes counted were 14 against the proposals, with three abstentions, due to conflicts of interests.

5 February 2015 – Proposals for Rochester Airport, which includes a paved runway, three hangars and a control tower, have been given full planning permission by Medway Council.

6 February 2015 – Plans for a new £500m rail link connecting London from the west with Heathrow Airport are going out to public consultation. The proposed link, subject to planning permission, includes a 3.1 mile (5km) tunnel from the Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Terminal 5. A series of public consultation events is to be held in Iver and Slough.

7 February 2015 – Durham Tees Valley Airport has set up a new microlight flying school, after a reported rise in popularity for the activity.

8 February 2015 – Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s proposed Leeds Bradford International Airport Parkway Station on the Harrogate line has been rejected by a Government Assessment report.


Industry News

3 February 2015 – Direct flights from Luton Airport to North America are set to resume in April. A business class-only service from Luton to New York will be operated by French airline La Compagnie, which also flies from Paris. Four-times-a-week flights will operate from the airport, carrying 74 passengers on Boeing 757 aircraft. La Compagnie said it hoped to increase the number of flights to six times a week from June. Previously, the Silverjet carrier had operated services from Luton to New York and Dubai before folding in May 2008, less than two years after its first flight.

3 February 2015 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published its response to the Airports Commission consultation on shortlisted options for a new runway. In its response the CAA has stated that local communities must not be expected to simply suffer the consequences of airport expansion. It calls on industry, Government and all those involved in delivering the new runway to do much more to ensure communities can be confident that disturbance is minimised. It believes that communities must also be fully engaged in the expansion process and fairly compensated for the disturbance they experience.

Without improved action to tackle aviation’s environmental impacts and more support for the communities that are affected, the CAA believes it is unlikely that any of the shortlisted schemes will ever come to fruition – leading to passengers facing higher charges, lower service standards and fewer routes to choose from, greatly limiting consumer choice and opportunity. Measures the CAA believes should be taken to tackle the environmental impacts of aviation include:

  • Minimising noise by using the quietest aircraft in the quietest fashion- making the most of advancing technology and making more efficient use of airspace.
  • Significantly increasing spending on noise mitigation and compensation for local communities – reversing the current situation where spending is lower than at major airports in Europe and the US.
  • Establishing an airport community engagement forum for local communities, aviation industry and policy-makers- to ensure communities have a say in decisions and creating an opportunity for genuine collaboration between all parties on compensation and noise management.
  • Being more transparent about the impacts of changes to ensure communities have a clear picture of how new capacity will affect them.

The CAA state that it has not endorsed any of the three shortlisted schemes being considered by The Commission, but believes building any of the three schemes would benefit UK consumers. They further state however that these benefits can only be realised by taking a ‘more ambitious approach to community engagement and compensation’.

The CAA’s response to the Airports Commission’s consultation on its appraisal of the three shortlisted schemes is available here. All of the CAA’s contributions to the Airports Commission’s work are available here.

4 February 2015 – Stansted Airport has announced the next phase of its development – an £8million upgrade of its Satellite One departure gate area.

4 February 2015 – and Jet2holidays have launched direct flights from Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport to New York.

5 February 2015 – The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have given an update on the UK’s implementation of the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) and said that it is working with the European Commission, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Department for Transport (DfT) to conclude the work. The UK’s exemption from SERA allowing existing arrangements for flying clear of cloud within controlled airspace has been extended. An exemption from certain Special VFR requirements contained within SERA has also been put in place. The UK is now working with EASA and other European partners such as the Commission to develop proposals to enable these arrangements to continue in the long-term. The CAA also confirmed that glider flying and parachuting within Class A airspace will still be possible where there are agreements with air traffic control. The exemptions run until 4 August 2015 and mean that:

  • The UK’s existing ‘clear of cloud’ rule governing flight in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) within Class C, D and E airspace continues.
  • Air traffic control will be able to issue a Special VFR clearance, within a control zone, when the ground visibility at the reporting aerodrome is below the specified SERA criteria, to aircraft flying away from the affected aerodrome and able to be flown either under a Special VFR clearance or in VMC.

On 2 April 2015 the UK will complete the move from quadrantal to semi circular cruising levels. This change affects pilots flying under instrument flight rules outside controlled airspace below flight level195, but higher than 3,000ft above mean sea level, as semicircular cruising levels have been used in controlled airspace for many years. The timescale for this change has been extended to allow a safe transition to the new arrangements. Detailed information can be found on the CAA’s SERA web pages at


European News

6 February 2015 – Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) have released a study on the Economic Impact of European airports – billed as ‘the first economic impact study to consider the direct, indirect, induced and catalytic economic impacts of airports across Europe’. The study is published as the European Commission conducts a review of aviation policy and prepares a new Aviation Package. The authors of the study state that their objective was to demonstrate that airports and their associated aviation partners are a key driver and facilitator of economic growth and prosperity.


Parliamentary News

2 February 2015 – Members of Parliament have debated the changes to flight paths at Birmingham Airport. Responding to a debate on flight path changes at Birmingham Airport, Conservative Transport Minister Robert Goodwill expressed sympathy with the concerns of affected constituents and emphasised the complexity of the case. A summary of the debate is presented below with a full transcript available here.

Hailing the Airport’s plans for the future, including its inaugural flights to Beijing in the summer of 2014, Mr Goodwill extolled the benefits of improving international connectivity for the city of Birmingham. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) would deliver a saving to the industry of £180m a year in respect of fuel, emissions and delays by 2020, the Minister asserted. He outlined that a key component of the strategy was centred on the introduction of new performance-based navigation routes using satellite-based navigation. Mr Goodwill told the House that Birmingham Airport had developed plans for its runway extension to meet with the requirements set down by the International Aviation Organisation and the CAA. He said that, ‘During the consultation period, it was clear that although there was some support for the proposals there was significant opposition from specific communities to aspects of them. The airport then took steps to determine whether alternative options could be developed to mitigate some of the concerns raised’. Concluding, the Minister said that the final decision on flight path changes at Birmingham would be taken by the CAA, probably in the Autumn of that year.

Opening the debate, Member of Parliament for Meridan Caroline Spelman explained that she had received a call from the Chief Executive of the airport notifying her of new flight paths in line with the extension of the runway. Whilst she praised Birmingham Airport for pursuing an option which would lead to the least noise nuisance, Ms Spelman was critical of the ‘poor’ flight path trials process. She claimed that the local community did not feel its views had been listened to. Ms Spelman also criticised the CAA for not forcing the airport to trial an alternative option developed by local residents. Under the airport’s preferred option, residents in the Balsall Common area would be quite badly affected by noise. Highlighting issues with the timeline of the trials, Ms Spelman indicated that these included some aircraft experiencing difficulty in sticking to the preferred route because of technical reasons, ‘If you will forgive the pun, Mr Deputy Speaker, it rather feels like the airport has adopted a trial-and-error approach to the flight path trials,’ she said.

2 February 2015 – The House of Commons Transport Select Committee have held an evidence session on smaller airports. Issues discussed covered: an interest in Manston Airport, Kent County Council, and local opinion on development. Members of Parliament heard evidence from Member of Parliament for North Thanet, Sir Roger Gale; Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter; Director of Economic Development for Kent County Council David Smith; Leader of Thanet District Council, Iris Johnston; Acting Chief Executive of Thanet District Council, Madeline Homer; and Interim Director of Corporate Resources at Thanet District Council, Paul Cook. A summary of the session is available below.

An interest in Manston Airport

Opening the session, Labour Committee Chair Louise Ellman asked whether the witnesses had been aware that Manston Skyport and Anne Gloag had maintained an interest in Manston Airport. In reply, Mr Cook said he was aware that a majority interest had been acquired in the site. Ms Homer explained that that she understood commercial property developers Chris Musgrave and Trevor Cartner had purchased the majority stake in the site. Adding to this, Cllr Johnston said she had met Mr Musgrave and Mr Cartner to discuss the site, ‘I became apparent to me that Cartner and Musgrave did not in any meaningful way own 80 per cent of Manston Airport’, Sir Roger said. He added that the men had complained of those comments being made publicly, and that he had yet to receive a response to them. Cllr Carter explained that he was not disturbed by the evidence revealed concerning Ms Gloag’s majority stake in the previous session.

The Chair asked why Thanet District Council had not proceeded with a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the Airport site. Responding, Cllr Johnston said that it was very difficult for an American company, specifically private equity company RiverOak in this case, to meet the requirements of a district council. For example, she explained that the company had had been unable to meet the requirement to provide three years’ worth of accounts, owing to the company being registered in Delaware., ‘I like people to pay tax in this country’, Cllr Johnston said. She added that Thanet District Council had not been satisfied with the financial information provided by RiverOak and had not felt comfortable proceeding.

Karen Lumley asked how much Thanet District Council had spent on receiving external advice in relation to Manston Airport. The Council had spent £26,000 on external advice, Ms Homer confirmed.

Kent County Council

Questioned by the Chair over the position of Kent County Council on the situation at Manston Airport, Cllr Carter insisted that Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave had a track record in delivering on business parks, such as Sandwich. Their development on the site had helped safeguard jobs threatened by the withdrawal of Pfizer four years ago. He also revealed to the Committee that he had met with Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave over their ‘evolving ideas for the master plan’ for Manston Airport. He added that the plan would be focused on drawing enhanced manufacturing to the site. Mr Smith had also been present at the meeting as well, Cllr Carter said.

Tom Harris asked why Cllr Carter had shifted his position to support the new owners of Manston Airport. Responding, the witnesses insisted that Kent County Council had voted to retain aviation operations at the site as long as it came with a viable business plan. Cllr Carter insisted that RiverOak had never submitted any such plan to Kent County Council. He added that he had not seen any evidence of any plan that was worth the process of a CPO.

Local opinion on development

Questioned by Ms Lumley over local opinion on Manston Airport, Cllr Johnston said that most people would support having an airport in the area. Adding to this, Sir Roger said that the ‘overwhelming’ amount of opinion in East Kent was behind Manston Airport. He added that it was an asset of county and national importance, which could house search and rescue helicopters. Outlining his involvement with the history of the Airport, Sir Roger emphasised his approval for the RiverOak proposals in recognising the need for a cargo hub to serve Northern Europe and an aircraft breaking-up business. Sir Roger said that he had not known any of the RiverOak team, apart from RiverOak Investment Corp Partner Tony Freudmann, prior to its emergence with the offer, ‘I think [RiverOak] can do it. I wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t’, the Conservative MP declared, underlining his faith in the company’s commitment and plans for Manston. He later clarified that he was not representing the company, but instead wished to support ‘the show in town’ to keep Manston open as a going concern.

Responding to a line of questioning from Conservative MP Martin Vickers, Sir Roger declared that he had been ‘completely mislead’ by Ann Gloag over her intention to run Manston Airport. He believed that had instead been her intention to turn it into an ‘assert-stripping operation’. The Chair asked if there was a role for the Department for Transport (DfT) in the process. The DfT was reviewing one paper connected to the case, Sir Roger said, calling on the Department to make a ruling on Thanet District Council’s decision over whether or not it should proceed with a CPO. He also underlined the importance of national infrastructure and called for a status that could protect such sites of national value. Sir Roger pointed out that in the event of a closure at Gatwick Airport, Virgin aircraft could have been redirected to Manston, ‘These are assets that we really have to protect in the national interest’, the Conservative MP declared. Responding to Sir Roger’s comments, Cllr Carter called for clarity over Ms Gloag’s potential for entering into a joint venture.

2 February 2015 – The House of Commons Transport Select Committee have held an evidence session on smaller airports. Issues discussed covered: success of Manston Airport; development of Manston Airport; and an asset of national importance. Members of Parliament heard evidence from: A representative of the campaign group ‘No Night Flights’, Rosalyn McIntyre; Chair of the campaign group ‘Save Manston Airport Group’, Dr Beau Webber; and A representative of the campaign group Why Not Manston?, Squadron Leader Angela Sutton. A summary of the session is available below.

Success of Manston Airport

Opening the session, Committee Chair Louise Ellman asked if the witnesses wished to add anything to the evidence given to the Committee in earlier sessions. Responding, Squadron Leader Sutton said that she had been informed that she could not hold an air show at the location in 2014. Dr Webber called for a number of new safeguards around the process of closing airports, including a one-year consultation. He also emphasised other benefits of Manston Airport as a diversionary airport, including being comparatively fog-free. Manston had been failed in the experiment to turn a World War II airport into a modern one, Ms McIntyre said. She claimed that it was a ‘tiny airport that had never succeeded commercially’.

The Chair inquired about the witnesses’ views on the commercial viability of proposals to develop the Airport. Responding, Ms McIntyre said that she supported any plan that would help foster much-needed jobs in Thanet.

Development of Manston Airport

Tom Harris, Ms McIntyre said that Manston had never undergone under any environmental impact assessments and claimed that noise levels in excess of 1,000 decibels at been recorded on Ramsgate’s roofs. She added that a previous consultation had found that respondents were against night flights by a margin of two to one. Her campaign group was not ‘anti-airport’, but was simply against night flights.

Addressed by the Chair, Dr Webber voiced his support for RiverOak’s bid to develop Manston Airport. He claimed that the present owners were damaging the Airport’s infrastructure by tearing down derelict buildings. It would be possible to deliver cargo flights by 2016 and have a prospect of passenger flights by 2017, Dr Webber claimed.

Asset of national importance

Chloe Smith asked why Manston Airport was an asset of national importance. Dr Webber said that the airport could be up and running ‘within a year’ to provide a solution to the UK’s aviation capacity issues. Squadron Leader Sutton said that Manston had been used by both military and civilian runways, noting it had the capability to cope with disruptions at other airports such as Heathrow or Gatwick. In particular, she extolled the resources that the site offered for dealing with a range of issues, including a high-jacked aircraft. Other benefits included the Airport’s location and the ability to turn a 747 aircraft around in 90 minutes. Ms McIntyre said that statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority had shown that there were not high numbers of diversions, insisting that they had simply ‘tailed off’ in some years. She added that airlines did not want to base their flights there.

Pressed by the Chair, Squadron Leader Sutton hailed the length of Manston’s runway as one of its main offerings, alongside the benefits of general aviation for the local and national economies.

2 February 2015 – The House of Commons Transport Select Committee have held an evidence session on smaller airports. Issues discussed covered: RoyalOak and Thanet District Council; closing Manston Airport; RiverOak offer; RiverOak and Manston Airport; prospects of Manston Airport; and purchasing Manston Airport. Members of Parliament heard evidence from:  Director of Manston Skyport Limited, Pauline Bradley; Interim Directors of Kent Airport Limited, Alastair Welch and Alan Mackinnon; and Representatives of the RiverOak Investment Corporation, George Yerrall and Tony Freudmann. A summary of the session is available below.

Purchasing Manston Airport

Opening the session, Committee Chair Louise Ellman asked how much Manston Skyport had paid Infratil to purchase Manston Airport and the role of its debts in the process. In reply, Ms Bradley said that her company had paid £1 for the shares and had taken on debts of £4.5m by the time the decision was made to close the Airport. Adding to this, Mr Welch said that Infratil had turned £55m of debt into share capital prior to the sale.

Pressed by the Chair for details of Manston Airport’s financial situation, Ms Bradley said that her company had been given a tight deadline to purchase the Airport and had therefore not had time to complete the due diligence process. She explained that many parties close to Manston Airport had expressed concerns over missed opportunities to grow the business under Infratil’s tenure, ‘We believed that the operators had the correct strategy for growing the revenue at Manston’, Ms Bradley said, adding that Manston Skyport did not believe that Infratil had had sufficient presence on the ground to realise the goal.

Mr Welch was asked if he had believed that the Airports Commission would recommend any expansion of capacity at major airports in the South East. He confirmed that he had believed there was a possibility that no incremental increase of runways in the South East would be recommended by the Commission. Subsequently, Mr Welch said, there had been discussions about moving cargo flights to Manston Airport, alongside the possibility of Ryanair basing its flights there. Ms Bradley explained that there had been a ‘real, credible opportunity to do business with Ryanair’, including establishing five so-called ‘sunshine routes’ from Manston.

Closing Manston Airport

The Chair asked why the shareholders had taken the decision to close Manston Airport following such optimism. Responding, Ms Bradley said, ‘Ryanair, in effect, pulled out [of the deal]’ .She added that British Airways Cargo had been impacted by the lack of night flights. The consequence was that the areas identified for improving Manston Airport’s profitability had dried up.

Questioned over when the key aviation assets, including emergency equipment and runway lighting, had been sold off, Mr Welch said that the process had run until September or October 2014.

RiverOak offer

The Chair asked when RiverOak had offered to purchase Manston Airport. In reply, Ms Bradley said that RiverOak had made two verbal offers to give Manston Skyport its ‘money back’ and £2.5m, followed by other offers in writing. Interjecting, Mr Yerrall claimed that RiverOak had offered between £5m and £6m in writing over the period of a fortnight. He later added that £7m had been the ‘asking price’, ‘The offers ranged between £1 and £7m’, Ms Bradley said. She later agreed that £7m was the asking price. However, she insisted that the final offer had come with a lot of conditions. She later claimed that details of offers from RiverOak had been known by third parties and insisted Manston Skyport had ‘lost faith’ with the deal.

Later in the session, Ms Bradley was pressed over her position as a Director of the company Lothian Shelf (710) Ltd, which she confirmed that she was. The Chair asked where the fund of £7m to secure the site had come from. Responding, Ms Bradley offered to write to the Chair to provide further details.

The Chair went onto press the witnesses over who held financial control over the Manston Airport site, specifically querying the role of Ann Gloag. In reply, Ms Bradley said that Ms Gloag had a financial stake in the business, but did not believe she had financial control over it.

The Chair asked if the Committee had been misled to believe that Manston Airport had been sold to commercial property developers Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, ‘I do not believe that the presence of a charge would mean that Ann Gloag would have any kind of financial control over the business’, Ms Bradley said.

RiverOak and Manston Airport

Chloe Smith asked if RiverOak had any previous experience with running aviation projects. In reply, Mr Yerrall confirmed that his company had not previously embarked on an aviation venture, but had since brought on board expertise, including Mr Freudmann. Mr Freudmann also confirmed that he had been a director at Manston Airport under the ownership of a previous company. RiverOak had approached the idea of Manston as a cargo airport that could run 22 flights a week, Mr Yerrall said. He described RiverOak as ‘investors’ who formed joint ventures with property developers looking for capital. There had been the ability to run a repair, maintenance and teardown facility at Manston as well, ‘There are a lot of reasons why cargo works at Manston, not least […] the enormous amount of space’, Mr Yerrall said, adding that RiverOak had found it was quicker to move freight into London from the site than from Heathrow.

Ms Smith asked if RiverOak had ever offered advice to any members of the team which had taken over Manston Airport. Responding, Mr Yerrall did not believe he had been present for any such conversations.

Prospects of Manston Airport

Questioned by Tom Harris, Ms Bradley reiterated her belief that Ryanair’s decision to pull out had harmed the prospects for Manston Airport to be turned into a viable operation, ‘Can you understand why a lot of people from the outside are looking at this and thinking there is something fishy going on?’, Mr Harris pressed. Responding, Ms Bradley said that she could understand why many people would think there was an opportunity to make a profit, but added that the Airport had been losing between £10,000 to £12,000 a day by the time that it had closed. She also confirmed that Ms Gloag stood to make a profit if the new venture for the Manston site was successful, but that she did not stand to make any money herself. Mr Harris agreed with Mr Welch’s belief that the Airports Commission might not recommend any new runways in the South East. It had been considered likely that there would be such a recommendation and Manston Airport had made recommendations to Sir Howard Davies that there was available capacity in the region, Mr Welch said. However, he affirmed that he now believed the Commission would recommend a new runway.

RoyalOak and Thanet District Council

Questioned by the Chair over RoyalOak’s input into the process for Manston Airport and compliance with the due diligence process, Mr Yerrall said that his company had gone to some lengths to explain who they were, but had not found a great response. He explained that Thanet District Council had rebuffed further offers to base the operator and funding in the UK in order to operate the Manston site as an airport.


Government News

30 January 2015 – The Government have published the Inspector’s report giving recommendations for the A6 to Manchester Airport relief road. This inspector’s report concerns an inquiry into the A6 to Manchester Airport relief road. The report features the inspector’s recommendations on the:

  • Metropolitan Borough of Stockport (Hazel Grove (A6) To Manchester Airport A555 Classified Road) (Side Roads) Order 2013.
  • Metropolitan Borough of Stockport (Hazel Grove (A6) To Manchester Airport A555 Classified Road) Compulsory Purchase Order 2013.
  • Exchange land certificate.

The Secretary of State for Transport responded to the inspector’s report on 26 January 2015.

3 February 2015 – The Airport Commission public consultation on their shortlisted proposals for a new runway ended on 3 February. The Commission will make a recommendation to the Government about the UK’s future air capacity in the summer.

3 February 2015 – The Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced six projects which will share £80 million for aerospace research in areas of technology and innovation. Among the projects receiving funding are,

  • £14 million for 9 partners, led by Airbus, to design improved landing gear for future aircraft, including introducing electric taxi technology so that engines can be switched off immediately after landing, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
  • £9 million for 7 companies, led by Airbus Group, to improve the management of power used on aircraft and replace hydraulic systems with electric control systems. This will deliver lighter, greener aircraft, reducing CO2 emissions and saving airlines up to an estimated £2 billion annually.
  • £17 million project led by Rolls-Royce working with suppliers to develop new concepts for future engine architectures to improve environmental performance.
  • £16 million for Airbus, Marshalls ADG and Bristol, Loughborough and Cranfield Universities to research and test innovations in wing design.


House of Commons Questions


Shannon, J – Gibraltar’s inclusion in the EU air safety system

2 February 2015

Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that Gibraltar is not excluded from the EU air safety system.

Robert Goodwill (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Scarborough and Whitby, Conservative):The EU air safety system is established under Regulation 216/2008. Gibraltar is within the scope of this Regulation and there are no proposals to change this. I remain resolute that Gibraltar Airport must be included in all EU aviation legislation and we are lobbying on the importance of this to the UK in Brussels and EU capitals.


Campbell, G – Wind shear detection and alert systems fitted to commercial aircraft

2 February 2015

Gregory Campbell (Democratic Unionist Party, East Londonderry):To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority on requiring airlines operating in UK airspace to have wind shear detection and alert systems fitted to commercial aircraft.

Robert Goodwill : International civil aviation is governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Under the Convention, the International Civil Aviation Organisation is responsible for establishing the minimum safety standards for international aviation. Subject to compliance with those international standards, the State in which the aircraft is registered is responsible for determining what equipment it should carry. Within the EU, aircraft equipment requirements are introduced through EU legislation adopted on the advice of the European Aviation Safety Agency. There are currently no plans to introduce EU legislation to require the carriage of wind shear detection and alert systems on aircraft registered in EU Member States. We believe that this position is reasonable because the Civil Aviation Authority is not aware of any safety case which would justify the introduction of such a requirement.


Media News

2 February 2015 – DeHavilland Political Intelligence have published a briefing reviewing the possible shape of the next UK Parliament, including coalitions, a minority government and issue-by-issue cooperation.

2 February 2015 – The Secretary for The Department for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has issued a statement responding to recent media reports about noise complaints. Mr Pickles said, ‘In recent years, too many town halls have been over-zealous in trying to silence church bells and village clocks which have chimed for decades, if not centuries. We need some common sense about such long-standing community uses, and recognise such sounds are part of the fabric of Britain’s national life, rather than trying to white-wash all the character out of our heritage in some politically correct, ‘elf and safety purge. ‘My department has now issued new, clear guidance to councils that the local character of a place should be taken into account during noise disputes, whilst ensuring councils still have powers to tackle new noise pollution that was never previously there. ‘If people don’t like the chime of a church bell that has sounded for centuries, they reflect on whether they want to live next door to a church in the first place, or they should consider the merits of double glazing’.

2 February 2015 – The campaigning organisation AirportWatch have collected together a number of responses made by different organisations to the Airports Commission’s consultation on shortlisted options for a new runway.

3 February 2015 – The Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport has released a statement issuing his support for the expansion of Gatwick Airport.

3 February 2015 – Heathrow Airport have released a statement through their Director of Sustainability Matt Gorman saying that they agree with the CAA’s position on airport expansion.

3 February 2015 – In its closing submission to the Airports Commission, the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, has stated that it supports expansion at Heathrow Airport.

3 February 2015 – The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has responded to the Airports Commission’s consultation on options for a new runway, by supporting Heathrow Airport, with the condition that the impacts must be capped.

4 February 2015 – In his response to the Airports Commission consultation The Mayor of London has said that he believed the Heathrow Airport schemes for expansion before The Airports Commission would cost the taxpayer more than had been estimated. He also said that he believed they contained significant safety risks not approved by the aviation authorities, and would expose more London residents to excessive levels of aircraft noise. The Mayor also highlighted what he believed would be poor economic benefits from any expansion at Gatwick airport and the major investment in new surface transport links that would be needed to expand there.


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