Monthly Highlights

Forthcoming Events (SASIG Meetings & External Conferences)

Parliamentary News

London & South East News

Regional News

National & Other Industry News

European News

SASIG Website Additions (October)

Well, it has finally happened; more than 13 years after the last substantive Government decision to increase runway capacity in the South East (in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper), Chris Grayling, under the detached but watchful gaze of Theresa May and the rest of her Cabinet, has handed the Black Spot of favoured South East runway location to John Holland Kaye (Squire Trelawney) and the crew of HMS Heathrow. As we know from Robert Louis Stephenson’s much loved novel, all does not usually go well for those who are visited with ‘the Spot’ by Blind Pew, and so I anticipate as many twists and turns over the next few years as HAL dig for their hidden treasure, as Jim Hawkins witnesses in Treasure Island. What is not yet clear, is who is playing the role of Long John Silver. One to ponder, as that may be key to the outcome!
What is certain is that legal challenges are expected. However, accusations that the Government’s timetable moving forward builds in yet more delay are completely unfounded. As Heathrow acknowledged this is the kind of process and timetable they expected, and in fact what the Government has cleverly done is allowed time for any legal challenges to come forward and be dealt with before the draft National Policy Statement is published. It is also worth highlighting, that although local opposition can be expected to be vocal and well organised – and they do have a track record of success behind them – it is the ‘national’ dimension to the project that has received just as many column inches as the potential environmental impacts in West London. There is also reportedly a significant majority in the Commons when the NPS comes forward for approval next year.

Meanwhile, there have been more changes amongst senior DfT officials: Dan Micklethwaite is now in post as Director General of Civil Aviation, John Parkinson has been made Head of DfT’s Brexit unit and Kate Jennings former Head of Aviation Policy has been promoted and her post is being advertised. Darren Caplin is also leaving his position as CEO at the Airport Operators Association and Saad Hammed has stood down as CEO of Flybe.
In the policy arena, the CAA published is response to its Airspace Change Process consultation during October, but there is as yet no sign of DfT’s long expected Night Noise and Noise and Airspace consultations. It has also been all quiet on the Aviation Policy Framework review.
SASIG’s Technical Working Groups met again and good progress has been made in defining their focus, approach and the timetable for generating new policy position statements for SASIG to engage in discussions with Government about.

Chris Cain,
Head of Secretariat

MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTSGovernment announcement on South East runway capacity: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-decides-on-new-runway-at-heathrow

CAP 1465: CAA response following consultation on proposals for a revised airspace change process: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=7583

EVENTSThe Head of Secretariat represented SASIG at the RaeS Sustainable Aviation Conference – his presentation can be found in the Members section of the SASIG website.

A calendar of planned open public consultations has been published on ‘Your voice in Europe’.  The direct link to the calendar is: http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/consultations/docs/planned-consultations-2016_en.pdf

–  4th November – Full SASIG Meeting – Due to refurbishment at LGA, which will last from the end of October 2016 to September 2017, that venue is unavailable for this meeting. The Palmer Room, One George Street, Westminster has now been booked.
– 27th January 2017 – Full SASIG meeting – The Palmer Room, One George Street, Westminster.

– 17th-18th November 2016:  5th European Aviation Conference: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  Changing Hub Dynamics: New Models and Airlines Evolution. This conference investigates the changing dynamics of hubs, both from airport and airline points of view.  (Please note:  this was originally to be held in Istanbul, Turkey).
–  21st-22nd November 2016:  AOA Annual Conference 2016: Hilton Metropole, London.
–  23rd November 2016:  Meeting the UK’s Infrastructure Needs – De Vere Venues, London.  This conference will explore in-depth the direct impact of Brexit on UK infrastructure funding and what this means including the impact on airport expansion in the South East decision.  Speakers include both Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.
–  6th April 2017: Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum: Regional Airports in the UK: priorities for connectivity, capacity and investment – Central Birmingham. Sessions at this seminar will focus on regional airport capacity and aviation throughout the UK, following the publication of the Airports Commission report into expansion in the South East in 2015 and the expected government decision later this year.
– 23rd-25th April 2017Routes Europe 2017 – Belfast Northern Ireland.
– 4th-6th July 2017: LGA Annual Conference & Exhibition: International Convention Centre, Birmingham.  The local Government event of the year.


Transport Questions – House of Lords: 11th October 2016
Airports – London

Q. Lord Spicer (Con): “To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish their decision about additional runways for London airports”.
A. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): “My Lords, the Government are absolutely committed to delivering the infrastructure projects the country needs, including delivering runway capacity on the timetable set out by the Airports Commission. It is vitally important we get the decision right. As noble Lords will know, the Government commissioned extra work looking at the three options shortlisted by the commission. Ministers are carefully considering all the evidence, and will be in a position to announce a preferred scheme shortly”.
Q. Lord Spicer: “It sounds as though we are getting closer. Would it not be wonderful if this were the last time I asked the same Question about a third runway at Heathrow? Would it not be even more wonderful if it were the last time I got the same answer?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “I agree with the sentiments my noble friend expresses”.
Q.  Lord Cormack (Con): “My Lords, last time I asked my noble friend this question he said that “shortly” would be “soon”. Is it any sooner?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “I suspected this question might come up, so I have been thumbing through my thesaurus, which is quite well read. All I can say is that perhaps “shortly” will also mean “imminently”.
Q.  Lord Rosser (Lab): “My Lords, what is the current status of the Conservative Party pledge in 2009: no ifs, no buts, no third runway at Heathrow?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “As the noble Lord is aware, the previous Prime Minister made that statement when he was looking at a very different proposition. Since then, as the noble Lord is also aware, the commission has reported and presented three viable options. The Government will be looking to make a call on south-east capacity shortly”.
Q. Lord Bradshaw (LD): “My Lords, will the Minister give consideration, apart from all this metropolitan stuff, to the interests of regional airports in this country, particularly Birmingham, which, when we have HS2, will be as close to London as is Heathrow or Gatwick? This is the sort of thing that is stalking up and it is likely to be ready before the runaway at Heathrow”.
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “The noble Lord raises an important issue about regional connectivity and regional airports. I had the opportunity to visit Birmingham last week and I saw its plans. The noble Lord is quite right that, once HS2 has been built, it will take 30-odd minutes to go from London Euston to Birmingham. That underlines the importance of ensuring that our national infrastructure supports the general infrastructure of aviation. The regional connectivity of airports will be in my review of the airport policy framework”.
Q.  Lord Clinton-Davis (Lab): “How long have the Government and others had to make up their minds about London’s additional runways? Does the Minister believe that it is possible for some sort of decision to be advanced rather than, as I fear it will be, regarded as something that can be withdrawn?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “The noble Lord raises the important issue that a decision needs to be made. I assure your Lordships’ House that the Government are looking to make that decision. They also fully appreciate and understand the importance of making a decision in this respect to ensuring the continuing viability and growth of the British economy”.
Q.  Lord Bilimoria (CB): “My Lords, would the Minister confirm whether, in making this decision, the Government will consider the possibility of one of the two Heathrow options and Gatwick? We probably need both of them as, if one of the Heathrow options is chosen, the legal objections might drag on, and at least we would be able to get on with one airport in the meantime. Could the Minister also confirm the rumours that the current Foreign Secretary is going to go back on his promise to lie in front of the bulldozers if Heathrow is chosen and spare damage to the bulldozers?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “My right honourable friend has a very important job as Foreign Secretary and is doing a sterling job in that respect. As far as expansion is concerned, the commission reported back on the need to increase capacity by 2030 with the addition of one runway in the south-east, and that is where the Government’s decision is focused”.
Q.  Lord McKenzie of Luton (Lab): “My Lords, HS2 notwithstanding, is the Minister aware that it is currently possible to get from London to London Luton Airport in less than half an hour?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “I am fully aware of that fact, and the noble Lord will be pleased to learn that I shall be visiting London Luton Airport in the next two weeks, as my next visit since my appointment as the Aviation Minister”.
Q.  Lord Mawhinney (Con): “My Lords, can my noble friend tell us whether, when the Government make their decision shortly, they will take into account the likelihood of legal challenge?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “The important issue is that, once the Government have taken a decision, there is a set process to follow for the proposal which is given the green light. A formal process will then be initiated, and we have already agreed that there will be a national development framework through which this will be presented. After that, there will be a development consent order by those who have successfully got the green light for this. During that process, if there are legal challenges to any decision or any element of that, the Government and those who are putting forward the proposal will deal with them according to the planning process which has been determined”.
Q.  Lord West of Spithead (Lab): “My Lords, the Minister will be aware that British industry has almost completed two airports in Rosyth naval base, which will enable people to go around the world and which have been built in less time than the various debates about this runway at Heathrow have taken. Does the Minister not agree that perhaps some more orders to British shipbuilding would be appropriate, considering how well they have done in doing this in such a short time?”
A.  Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “I have always been a strong advocate for British shipbuilding, and I will continue to be”.
Transport Debate – House of Commons – 20th October 2016
Heathrow (Southern Rail Link)

Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) (Lab/Co-op): “I am grateful for the opportunity to address this topic, which is of enormous importance to my constituents in Feltham and Heston, to London and to the entire south of England. Providing southern rail access is a welcome proposal to connect areas that lie to the south of Heathrow to the airport by rail. However this is not just about getting people to their plane on time; the right scheme has the potential to transform public transport provision and regenerate areas with some of the highest levels of deprivation not just in London but in the country. In the nearby wards in my constituency where this development would take place—Bedfont, Hanworth, Feltham North, Feltham West—over 30% of children live in poverty.To me it is scandalous that the world’s busiest airport is not connected to south London and the whole of the south for want of a few kilometres of track linking Heathrow to Waterloo, intermediate stations in Hounslow and the whole of the south-east and south-west”.
Ruth Cadbury (Brentford & Isleworth) (Lab): “I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. My constituency as well as hers would benefit from the proposal, particularly those living in Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth and Hounslow. It takes roughly an hour to get from this place to Heathrow airport, by various different routes. One of the slightly longer ones is via Waterloo station, Feltham and by bus, but with my hon. Friend’s proposal of southern rail access, one could get from here, via Waterloo to Heathrow in less than 45 minutes”.
Seema Malhotra: “My hon. Friend is right. I will talk about the proposed Hounslow link from Feltham via a new station in Bedfont. That could see journey times directly from Waterloo to Heathrow of about 40 to 45 minutes depending on which route is chosen, and possibly going through my hon. Friend’s constituency. Various options for addressing this missing link have been proposed over the years, such as the airport-led Airtrack scheme, which was dropped in 2010. None has yet proved technically or politically deliverable. In 2011 Network Rail again identified that connections to the west and south of Heathrow were a strategic gap in the rail network. The Airports Commission recommended in December 2013 that the Department for Transport instruct Network Rail to conduct a feasibility study as part of its short and medium-term measures, to improve airport accessibility irrespective of airport expansion.
In 2015 Network Rail completed its early feasibility study. I wholeheartedly support its strategic objectives, which are as follows: to reduce highway congestion at and around Heathrow through an increase in rail mode share and reduced environmental impact of existing travel patterns; to improve productivity and outputs from the UK economy through enhanced local connectivity; to reduce deprivation and increase labour productivity through greater access to employment at Heathrow and surrounding areas; and to connect communities where no reasonable public transport option currently exists.​ Following a market study, Network Rail identified four indicative options through which it concluded it was feasible to deliver the necessary infrastructure and service patterns. The estimated benefit-cost ratio of this project is extremely high at around 16.4:1, representing exceptional value for money. That is pretty much unheard of among rail schemes. For comparison, HS2 and Crossrail 2 both have benefit-to-cost ratios of around 2:0. However, the work that Hounslow Council has been undertaking into a possible link from Feltham to Heathrow, which could also unlock huge regeneration, was not considered.
Today, I wish to present the arguments for the suggested option in Hounslow Council’s work and seek the Minister’s support in getting the Hounslow option on to an equal footing with other indicative options. Following this, I believe that the whole project should be considered a priority by the Department for Transport for full funding to allow it to progress to a full GRIP—Guide to Rail Investment Process—1-2 assessment. If that were achieved, we might have a stronger chance of attracting private finance to help to move the project forward. Let me outline Hounslow’s proposal.
Last year, Hounslow Council commissioned its own study from the respected transport consultant WSP-PB to review the possibility of a new rail alignment between Heathrow terminal 5 and the south-western main line immediately to the west of Feltham station. This would include a new station at Bedfont, in the vicinity of the successful Bedfont Lakes business park and near to the Clockhouse roundabout on the A30. Hounslow’s proposal tries to ensure that this nationally important infrastructure does not just deliver passengers to Heathrow. The inclusion of a new station in the Bedfont area, which would be placed on a new spur railway line running from Feltham to Heathrow airport, would allow for direct services to Heathrow from London Waterloo. The new station and the associated bus routes that would be developed to serve it would enhance the public transport accessibility level of the site from level 1—very poor—to about level 4, which would be good. In practice, this would mean a significantly enhanced public transport service, benefiting those who live and work in the area as well as opening up the potential for sustainable development and much-needed housing.
Through work completed at its own cost, Hounslow Council has estimated the benefit-to-cost ratio of a station in the Bedfont area to be between 2.78:1 and 5:1. Again, this represents very high value for money. The benefits to the community would be enormous. Around 50% of people in my constituency have jobs directly or indirectly connected to Heathrow. A recent local plan master-planning exercise undertaken by Hounslow Council identified the potential to create a whole new front door to the airport, which would be unlocked by this new rail alignment and station. This vision is finally starting to put meat on the bones of what the Heathrow opportunity area, as set out in the London plan, might look like. It is clear that any significant growth in this area would require new transport infrastructure to be both viable and deliverable. The Government therefore have a golden opportunity to deliver a step change to Heathrow’s accessibility from the south, and to help to unlock the potential for up to 13,000 new jobs and more than 7,000 new homes on London’s borders.
The Minister will also ​be aware of the need to curb emissions around the airport in order to combat climate change and improve air quality. The newly elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has championed the need to improve air quality, even during his first few months in office. Heathrow’s submission to the Airports Commission argued that this proposal would also reduce road journeys to the airport by 3%, improving air quality and reducing congestion. I am therefore pleased that Hounslow Council has this year commissioned Network Rail to review the WSP-PB report, advise the council on its feasibility, run the proposal through its models and highlight the infrastructure and environmental risks as it sees them. It is a shame, however, that we are having to play catch-up. When Network Rail undertook its research, local stakeholders were deliberately not engaged in relation to the options being considered. Indeed, it was not until after the project’s completion that Hounslow Council was informed that its proposal was not being included and would need to be considered separately. I understand that the consultation being undertaken by Network Rail at the time was curtailed by the Department for Transport due to concerns about the potential impact on the Davies commission process. The reasons were never clear, but my view is that more could have been done, even within the constraints of the Davies commission, to include the local voice. I am therefore concerned that the process did not make the best use of public money. The report did not achieve as much as it could have done had it engaged with local leaders in a more collaborative manner, which they would have been willing to do.
As a result, Hounslow Council is paying Network Rail £51,000 from limited reserves to peer review the Hounslow proposal and test it to the same level as the other indicative options proposed. While I acknowledge and appreciate the more constructive working in recent months with the DFT and Network Rail, that financial commitment is testament to the seriousness with which Hounslow Council takes this proposal. The council wants urgently to ensure that the alignment is taken forward as an option on a par with other proposed options for southern rail access into the next stage of feasibility, where it could be considered and potentially combined with other options when further work is commissioned. As mentioned before, Network Rail has estimated the benefit-cost ratio of southern rail access to be in the order of 16.4:1, but it is worth noting that some changes have recently been proposed to how the DFT is looking to appraise such projects. The changes will place greater importance on the wider economic benefits of such schemes, in particular their role in unlocking new jobs and homes. Given that and the wider benefits of Hounslow’s proposal, that benefit-cost ratio is likely to be even higher than estimated. In conclusion, improved rail access to the airport from the south is a pressing need regardless of whether Heathrow expands. The southern rail access to Heathrow project, with more direct and quicker links to Waterloo and the south, will make a huge difference for my constituency, for the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury), for London and for the country. Hounslow’s proposal ​would meet the DFT’s strategic objectives for southern rail access by reducing congestion, improving the environment, increasing connectivity to the airport, and enabling much-needed regeneration of the local area.
Q.  I will therefore be grateful if the Minister can answer the following. What steps need to be taken for the proposal to be formally included in the industry advice to be issued in 2017? What progress needs to be made for the indicative options for the southern rail access scheme to go forward into the next funding rounds for control period 6—2019 to 2024—if not before? What would the funding options be? What strategic role would the Government play in moving the project forward to the next stage of feasibility, after which securing private development funding may be a more likely option? I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak on this topic today”.
A.  The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport Paul Maynard: “I congratulate the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston (Seema Malhotra) on securing this debate on a matter that is of great importance to her constituents. She touched on the subject of surface connectivity to our airports, which is an issue of national importance, and on how public transport can address inequality across the nation and in her constituency. The hon. Lady’s points raise some eternal truths of both transport and urban policy. Cities with good airport rail links are more productive than those without. The shorter the access time to the airport, the more productive that city is. Anyone who is here today hoping to discover our decision on airport capacity can move along because there will be no clues—I am no wiser than Opposition Members. Whatever the decision, however, this subject is always at the forefront of my mind because it will ensure the continued growth of our nation as a whole.
It is also clear that there has been a long-suppressed need for improved access to Heathrow from its south. Many passengers still access the airport by road, and uncompetitive rail journey times do not help with that. I used to traverse the hon. Lady’s constituency on many occasions on the 285 bus trying to get to Heathrow, and I took a very circuitous route around the airport perimeter and sundry car parks—it took an awful long time. That does little to encourage a modal shift off the road and on to rail, and it certainly does not do much to improve air quality in her constituency, to which she rightly drew attention. The feasibility study that Network Rail carried out has to be a key part of how we consider improving southern access to Heathrow, and it is worth just thinking how access to Heathrow has changed over the decades.
Just 25 years or so ago, only 20% of Heathrow’s passengers used public transport to get to the airport. The Heathrow Express opened in 1998, following on from the start of the Piccadilly line trains running there in 1977, and so by 2015, more than 40% of passengers were reaching Heathrow by public transport. That is a great step forward, but those people are still not coming from the south of the airport, which is a point the hon. Lady is trying to make. Such statistics fuel our aspirations to do better and to have a better connected United Kingdom. I recognise ​that we can and need to do far more. The Government have come to power with a strong infrastructure mandate, particularly regarding rail, where customer numbers have doubled and freight has grown by 75%. More people are travelling by rail than ever before. We are spending £40 billion between 2014 and 2019 to support a larger and more mobile population. The hon. Lady lives in somewhere that is a key part of not only her local transport network, but an international transport network. We are under no illusions about what a huge challenge we face in upgrading a network that, in many cases, has not seen improvements since the era of steam engines in the 1950s. We are trying to fit our improvements into a relatively short timeframe, on a network that is used more intensively than ever before. That gives us limited scope for how we put into the network complicated enhancement projects that risk disrupting ongoing rail services for customers in the here and now.
We have to bear that in mind, too. It will not be long until Crossrail opens in full—in 2019—which will bring not just the heart of London’s financial district, but much of east London to within 60 minutes of Heathrow. That will dramatically improve passengers’ experience of train travel, with services carrying up to 72,000 passengers an hour through London during the peak periods. That improvement of surface access will be replicated to both Luton and Gatwick thanks to the Thameslink programme. We are going to be improving substantially surface access across the UK, which is one reason why London TravelWatch has identified southern rail access to Heathrow as a particular gap, which we still need to focus on. That is why Network Rail is developing its proposals on the western rail link into Heathrow, off the Great Western railway. Subject to a satisfactory business case, funding in the next control period and the agreement of acceptable terms with the Heathrow aviation industry, that will also open up new journey opportunities by providing four trains an hour between Reading and Heathrow airport.
Southern access to Heathrow is certainly at a less mature stage of project planning, but it is absolutely part of our considerations for the long-term strategic vision for the railway. As I said, the absence of adequate rail infrastructure in this part of London was a key finding in that London TravelWatch report, and we should not forget that. I am always conscious that when we talk about such infrastructure projects that we tend to focus on economic benefits to the nation as a whole. I certainly hear what the hon. Lady says about the regeneration of Bedfont, Feltham and other areas, and I do not doubt what she has to say for one moment. We have learned that good planning is vital and that before every decision we really have to ask how it will benefit customers. We need to show a clear link to user benefit. These things must be good value for money, affordable and deliverable, but they must also be the right solution. As a Minister, I want to start not by identifying what the output is in terms of a piece of infrastructure or kit, but by understanding properly what the problem is, and what the solutions to it are. After that comes the answer on infrastructure investment, and that was why we were very clear in asking Network Rail in its initial feasibility study to identify whether there was a potential market. That might seem self-evident—to me, it certainly is self-evident—but we need to understand the size of that market, the flows of that market and what success ​would look like in terms of meeting the needs of that market.
Network Rail looked at a range of options, with which the hon. Lady is familiar, and found very clear, strong demand for routes from Richmond and further out into Woking and Surrey, as well as inland from Waterloo. I heard some of the hon. Lady’s comments about the way in which Network Rail went about this, and she mentioned the “Guide to Rail Investment Process”. It is important to stress at this stage that, in that particular report, Network Rail was trying to define both the scale of demand and how that demand could be met with a series of indicative proposals. I do not think that, at this stage, there is any thought of excluding any one proposal, or even of recommending a particular proposal. The hon. Lady mentioned the initial industry advice, which is yet to reach Government. Network Rail is part of the rail delivery group that is putting together this industry advice. I know that it has met her and that it is closely liaising with Hounslow Council. Her proposal is now on the industry’s radar, so I have no doubt that it will be under consideration as part of the initial industry advice. There will be a series of options and investment opportunities that Ministers will be able to consider. Once again, this is about defining the problem, the outputs that could solve that problem, and the varying benefits and disbenefits of a whole range of options. I recognise that the council’s presentation has its merits, and that it needs to be included and considered as part of that process. I am sure that the industry will be doing that.
I look forward to hearing the initial industry advice before we take our decisions further. To progress the scheme further, I recognise that additional funding for further development will need to be secured. That will allow Network Rail to develop possible infrastructure solutions and to understand the costs and outputs of the scheme so that funding decisions can be taken. The Wessex route study—the feasibility study—will be taken into account in the initial industry advice, as will the Hounslow scheme, to form a coherent and integrated funding strategy. Businesses such as Heathrow Express, Great Western Railway, MTR Crossrail and TfL are all playing a role in drafting the initial industry advice, but the work is being led by Network Rail, which is helping to form the funding decisions”.
Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con): “The Minister makes some important points about the reach of southern rail. I am listening intently as Southampton airport is in my constituency. I understand the importance of the Wessex route study and connectivity to Gatwick and Heathrow. In the work that we are doing around new franchises, I would like to see us being really bold about opportunities for Network Rail”.
Paul Maynard: “I thank my hon. Friend for that comment. As a former resident of the royal borough of Richmond upon Thames, I am always conscious that, for many of the residents there, Southampton was often an easier airport to reach than Heathrow, and the journey was actually better value and more convenient. Given the physical gap between the two places, that says a lot about the absence of rail connectivity to Heathrow. I hear what she says in light of the re-franchising that will be occurring.​ I am delighted that Hounslow Council has taken the initiative to develop its own proposals and engineering solution. I know that Network Rail has met the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston and the council to take this matter forward, providing more expertise to highlight some of the key risks and issues that will need to be considered, as well as evaluating both journey time and train planning proposals.
Any proposals to add trains to a network always involve complicated timetabling challenges that certainly elude my limited brain power in working out what fits where. We should always check whether we can fit things on the network before we start to over-promise what we cannot deliver. None the less, I welcome the work that is going on. In the event that we can secure additional funding to take this forward to GRIP 1-2, we must consider it alongside other engineering schemes such as—but not limited to—those proposals that are also in the Network Rail feasibility study. We must derive maximum benefit from each and every investment decision that we make. We also have to take stock of what we are doing now to lay the groundwork for future investment. I am sure that the hon. Lady is aware of the work that is about to ​start at London Waterloo to vastly expand its capacity there, along with longer platforms for longer trains at a number of stations on the Reading line. Work is not yet due to begin at Feltham, I know, but we are working through the complicated issue of a level crossing there. There will be 30 brand-new trains providing 150 extra carriages, and more Crossrail to come, as I said earlier. There is a lot of good news in the hon. Lady’s constituency regarding rail investment, but I recognise that there is a particular gap in our network around Heathrow, so I welcome her contribution today. I hope I have reassured her that her proposals are on the Government’s radar and certainly on Network Rail’s radar. I look forward to receiving the initial industry advice and I am sure that once we have wider decisions about south-east airport capacity, this debate will take shape and grow, so I thank the hon. Lady for her time today”.
Transport Questions – House of Commons – 25th October
Airport Capacity
25th October – There was extensive debate in both the Commons and the Lords on Airport Capacity on the day of the Government announcement.  There is too much text to show in this newsletter but the Commons debate can be read here and the Lords debate can be read here.
Parliamentary Questions
Q.1. Question (46372) asked by Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) on 14th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many business cases for infrastructure projects submitted in previous years by his Department were accepted in the 2015-16 financial year in each region; and what the (a) value was of (i) public and (ii) private funds allocated to those projects in total in each region and (b) average length of time taken was for the Department to accept those cases”.
A.  John Hayes on 11th October 2016: “The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) provides expertise, practical help and independent assurance of major projects, working with all partners in infrastructure and major projects (government departments, project teams, HMT, Cabinet Office, and the private sector). The remit of the IPA does not include providing formal approval and as such departments do not submit business cases to the IPA for approval. The IPA publish an annual comprehensive forward-looking assessment of the current and planned investment in UK economic infrastructure across both the public and private sectors (The National Infrastructure Pipeline). This document contains financial information of the level of public and private infrastructure investment broken down by region currently in development and planned to 2021 and beyond. The Spring 2016 update can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-2016.
Q.2. Question (46357) asked by Gregory Campell (East Londonderry) on 14th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of offering Public Service Obligation Route status to the Londonderry to Stansted Airport service”.
A.  John Hayes on 10th October 2016: “The UK government has agreed in principle to support the air route between City of Derry Airport and London through a Public Service Obligation. It is now for Derry City & Strabane District Council take forward the tender process to identify an airline to operate the route”.
Q.3. Question (46664) asked by Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) on 15th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with her Cabinet colleagues on the effect on tourism of an expansion of Heathrow Airport”.
A.  Tracey Crouch on 10th October 2016: “The Government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the South East and the Airports’ Commission’s shortlisted options. Transport and connectivity are key issues within the tourism sector, as highlighted in the Prime Minister’s new Tourism Action Plan. The Department will be ensuring that tourism is one of the factors considered, when a final decision is taken on a preferred scheme”.
Q.4. Question (46656) asked by Martyn Day (Linlithgow & East Falkirk) on 15th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department expects an updated Strategic Noise Map for Edinburgh Airport to be available”.
A.  John Hayes on 10th October 2016: “As noise is a devolved matter, the UK Government is not able to answer questions on noise mapping for Scottish airports. This is the responsibility of the Scottish Government and they will be able to advise on this matter”.
Q.5. Question (46663) asked by Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) on 15th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the outcome of the EU referendum on the timetable for a decision on Heathrow expansion”.
A.  John Hayes on 10th October 2016: “The Government is committed to delivering the important infrastructure projects the country needs. This includes delivering runway capacity to the timetable set out by the Airports Commission. The Government’s work in preparation for negotiations to leave the EU does not affect the timing of this decision”.
Q.6. Question (47772) asked by Adam Afriyie (Windsor) on 10th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) time and (b) cost of clearing all contaminated material on the grounds where Heathrow plans to build a third runway”.
A.  John Hayes on 17th October 2016: “The Airports Commission shortlisted three airport expansion schemes, two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. The Airports Commission considered site enabling works as a part of their cost and commercial analysis and the Government is considering all of the evidence before reaching a view on its preferred scheme. The Government accepted the Commission’s shortlist in December 2015 and outlined that it will take forward a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) to deliver new airport capacity. The NPS will be supported by an Appraisal of Sustainability which will examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of the new runway proposals. This will include an assessment of the impacts on soil”.
Q.7. Question (47923) asked by Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) on 10th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to upgrade the (a) rail and (b) underground connectivity to (i) Heathrow and (ii) Gatwick Airport”.
A.  John Hayes on 13th October 2016: “Current investment plans include a number of improvements to rail and underground services to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
The Elizabeth line will significantly improve links between Heathrow and a number of central London destinations. From May 2018, four trains an hour will run between Paddington and Heathrow Airport replacing the existing 2 train per hour Heathrow Connect service. From December 2019, Elizabeth line trains will run from the airport directly to central London destinations including Bond Street, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf.
London Underground is planning new trains and signalling for the Piccadilly line, which serves Heathrow. Work on signalling will begin as early as 2019 and the first new trains will be in service from the early 2020s. The new trains will provide 60% more capacity (the equivalent of up to 21,000 customers per hour).
Network Rail is developing a rail link from the Great Western Main Line to London Heathrow Terminal 5. This proposed Western Rail Link to Heathrow will allow passengers to travel directly to the airport from Reading and Slough. Network Rail is expected to seek planning powers for this scheme in 2017.
Gatwick airport is benefiting from the investment that is underway through the Thameslink programme which is delivering more frequent services and state of the art new trains on the line between Brighton, Gatwick Airport and London, the first of which entered service earlier this year. By 2018, these trains will start operating on two new direct services connecting Gatwick to Peterborough and Cambridge”.
Q. 8. Question (47911) asked by Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) on 10th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is the Government’s policy to negotiate to continue participation in the European Aviation Safety Authority after the UK leaves the EU”.
A.  John Hayes on 17th October 2016: “The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising from the UK’s exit from the EU, including the implications for the continued participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency System. Until we leave, EU law still applies, so EU rules in this area will continue to apply in the UK, alongside national rules”.
Q.9. Question (46756) asked by Jonathon Lord (Woking) on 7th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of noise from Heathrow Airport on people living in the Woking constituency; and if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of an increase in such noise as a result of the construction of a third runway”.
A.  John Hayes on 17th October 2016: “The Airports Commission shortlisted three airport expansion schemes, two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. The Government accepted the Commission’s shortlist in December 2015 and is considering all of the evidence, including on noise, very carefully before reaching a view on its preferred scheme”.
Q.10. Question (46787) asked by Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge & Malling) on 7th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Civil Aviation Authority’s review of impact of environmental landing charges published in 2013, if he will exercise his powers under the Civil Aviation Act 1982, Section 78, to direct airports to review their charges for night flights”.
A.  John Hayes on 17th October 2016: “The Government has no current plans to use these powers. We have asked the Civil Aviation Authority to update its 2013 review of the impact of environmental landing charges at UK airports to consider the impact of changes since that date”.
Q.11. Question (906354) asked by Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) on 12th September 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the result of the EU referendum on the timetable for a decision on Heathrow expansion”.
A.  John Hayes on 5th October 2016: “As we move into the new world beyond our membership of the European Union, it is important that we are an outward-facing nation with strong business ties around the world. It is important that we get the decision on runway capacity right. We will take that decision and move ahead with our plans, ensuring that we have the right links for the future”. 
Q.12. Question (HL1983) asked by Baroness Redfern on 15th September 2016: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote the role of regional airports in stimulating the UK economy”.
A. Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon on 28th September 2016: “The government made clear in its Aviation Policy Framework, that airports across the UK make a vital contribution to the growth and recovery of regional and local economies and their role in helping to accommodate wider forecast growth in demand for aviation in the UK. The government recognises that regional air connectivity across the UK is also very important and announced in November 2015 that it will provide around £7million of start-up aid from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund over the next three financial years to support 11 new air routes from smaller airports. The Fund is also providing support to two Public Service Obligation routes from London to Dundee and Newquay. The UK government has also recently agreed in principle to support the air route between City of Derry Airport and London”.
Q. 13. Question (HL1874) asked by Lord Allen of Kensington on 13th September 2016: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the growth potential of Birmingham International Airport”.
A. Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon on 27th September 2016: “The government recognises the important contribution that airports across the UK make. The government made clear in its Aviation Policy Framework, that regional airports make a vital contribution to the growth and recovery of regional and local economies and their role in helping to accommodate wider forecast growth in demand for aviation in the UK. Birmingham Airport completed an extension to its runway in 2014 to encourage operation of larger aircraft flying to more long-haul destinations”.
Q. 14. Question (47848) asked by Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) on 10th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of Heathrow Airport expansion on UK industry”.
A.  John Hayes on 18th October 2016: “The Airports Commission shortlisted three airport expansion schemes, two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. The Government accepted the Commission’s shortlist in December 2015 and is considering all of the evidence very carefully before reaching a view on its preferred scheme. The Government is not providing a running commentary on this work before an announcement on its preference”.
Q. 15. Question (48467) asked by Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire) on 12th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on which dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department met representatives of (i) George Best Airport and (ii) the Northern Ireland Assembly to discuss the potential effect on jobs in Northern Ireland of airport expansion in South East England”.
A.  John Hayes on 20th October 2016: “My Hon Friend, Robert Goodwill, Minister of State for Transport until July 2016, met with Brian Ambrose from George Best Airport on Thursday 25 February 2016 and my Rt Hon Friend, Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport until July 2016, met with Brian Ambrose on Friday 17 June 2016. As usual for meetings with aviation stakeholders, the meetings covered a number of issues, including airport capacity.  The Airports Commission shortlisted three airport expansion schemes, two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. The Government accepted the Commission’s shortlist in December 2015 and is considering all of the evidence very carefully before reaching a view on its preferred scheme”.
Q. 16. Question (48758) asked by Clive Efford (Eltham) on 14th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor the environmental effect of flights going to and from London City Airport; and if he will make a statement”.
A.  John Hayes on 19th October 2016: “Under the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (SI. 2006 No. 2238), airports such as London City are required to produce noise action plans at least every five years. This requires an assessment of noise impacts around airports and for the airport to identify suitable measures to address noise problems. The Secretary of State is responsible for approving noise action plans. London City Airport also funds the employment of an Airport Monitoring Officer at the London Borough of Newham. This role includes ensuring that the airport complies with requirements placed upon them, including those related to the environment – such as not operating flights at night”.
Q. 17. Question (48759) asked by Clive Efford (Eltham) on 14th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what restrictions are in place controlling flights going to and from London City Airport; and if he will make a statement”.
A.  John Hayes on 19th October 2016: “London City Airport’s operational hours are limited to minimise the impact on local residents. The airport is permitted to operate flights between the following hours:

  • 06.30 and 22.30 hours on weekdays
  • 06.30 and 13.00 hours on Saturdays
  • 12.30 and 22.30 on Sundays
  • 09.00 and 22.30 hours on Public or Bank Holidays
  • Full closure on 25 December

The final 30 minutes of operation is solely for flights scheduled earlier which have been unavoidably delayed. The total number of aircraft movements (take off and landings) is limited to 120,000 per annum”.
Q. 18. Question (50202) asked by Dr Tania Matthias (Twickenham) on 25th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the proposed six and a half hour ban on night flights to and from Heathrow Airport will be given legal force”.
A. John Hayes on 28th October 2016: “The Government requires that a legally binding ban on night flights of six and a half hours at an expanded Heathrow. Consideration of any ban will also be subject to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Balanced Approach to noise management, including specific consultation with local communities and other interested parties”.
Q. 19. Question (50203) asked by Dr Tania Matthias (Twickenham) on 25th October 2016: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much financial support the Government will contribute towards the cost of surface access to Heathrow Airport in the event that a new third runway goes ahead”.
A. John Hayes on 28th October 2016: “The Government has been clear that the promoter, Heathrow Airport Limited, will meet the costs of the surface access improvements necessary to allow expansion of the airport.  The Government’s 2013 Aviation Policy Framework makes clear that developers will pay the costs of upgrading or enhancing road, rail or other transport networks or services where there is a need to cope with additional passengers travelling to and from expanded or growing airports. Where the scheme has a wider range of beneficiaries, and are not specific to the addition of a new runway, the Government will consider, along with other relevant stakeholders, the need for public funding on a case-by-case basis”.
Q. 20. Question (HL2434) asked by Lord Harris of Haringey on 19th October 2016: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implications for UK-based airlines of the Single European Sky when the UK leaves the EU”.
A. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 27th October 2016: “The Government is considering carefully all the potential implications arising from the UK’s exit from the EU for our aviation industry. This includes the implications for UK-based airlines relating to Air Traffic Management and the Single European Sky after the UK leaves the EU”.

1st October  ‘Die-in’ protest held at Heathrow. More than 100 people demonstrated at Heathrow Airport including dozens who took part in a “die-in” at one terminal.
2nd October Gatwick and Betchel partner to deliver 2nd runway by 2025. Gatwick announces a strategic partnership with the firm that project managed the Channel Tunnel and HS1 – to deliver a second runway at Gatwick by 2025.
3rd October Flybe wants ‘green light’ for Heathrow’s regional proposals. The budget airline is pushing for an enlarged Heathrow to ensure UK remains competitive post-Brexit.
4th October Long queues at Stansted border control.  Travellers arriving at the airport late last night were welcomed by queues stretching out of the passport control hall.
4th October Talks taking place to sell Blackpool Airport. Balfour Beatty closed the airport in October 2014 with the loss of 100 jobs and wants to sell their 95% share.
6th October Heathrow double win at Frontier awards. It was named ‘Airport Operator of the Year’ and won ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’.
6th October Study finds 3rd runway at Heathrow would not break pollution laws. The study led by the University of Cambridge, said general pollution level will drop below “the critical level” because increased pollution from the runway will be counteracted by reduced pollution from the wider area.
6th October Gatwick says air quality around Heathrow would make new construction unlawful.  Gatwick publishes data they are saying shows 19 of 26 separate monitoring sites around Heathrow are up to 162% of the legal NO2 limit.
7th October Heathrow welcomes aviation climate deal.  Agreement reached at ICAO in Montréal yesterday, putting aviation at forefront of global action to tackle climate change.
8th October Deal signed for new trains on Stansted Express route. Contracts worth over £600m signed for 58 trains to run between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street.
10th October Gatwick growth is decades ahead of Airports Commission forecast. Says its record-breaking September and booming long haul services reinforces its view that the Airports Commission’s forecasts are inaccurate by decades.
10th October Scottish Government backs Heathrow third runway. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said an expanded Heathrow would create up to 16,000 jobs in Scotland.
10th October PM’s local council expected to fight Heathrow expansion. Windsor & Maidenhead would spend £50,000 on judicial review if government approves the expansion.
10th October Heathrow unveils new ‘Garden Gate’ green initiative.  It believes that the Garden Gate provides “an eco-sanctuary” within Britain’s busiest airport.
10th October Police are investigating two drone sightings near Heathrow. These have prompted the airport and the BALPA to call for stronger rules and enforcement.
11th October Atlasglobal moves to London Stansted Airport. Atlasglobal Airlines will be transferring from London Luton, where it has been operating since May 2014, to Stansted.
11th October Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham all expected to expand. Government understood to be poised to give go ahead to additional runway capacity at all three airports.
12th October – Jet2.com is planning to base 6 aircraft at London Stansted next year. It will compete with Ryanair and offer direct flights to 21 destinations during summer period.
12th October London City Airport installs full body scanner. It is part of a £2m investment in security.
13th October BA threatens to shift resources from Heathrow. Says will do so if the airport tries to pass the immediate costs of building a third runway on to airlines.
14th October Stansted owners promise fight if Heathrow and Gatwick both get new runways. MAG is prepared to mount a legal challenge against the government if necessary.
17th October £50m concrete deck race for London City Airport.  Airport is looking to build a concrete deck over a section of the Royal Docks as a base for its £350m expansion plan.
17th October Greenpeace joins proposed Heathrow legal fight. Opposition by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead to 3rd Heathrow runway given boost after Greenpeace announced it would join forces with it and other local authorities if a legal fight is launched.
18th October Flybe will extend service between London City and Cardiff. This follows an overwhelming response from the business community.
19th October London Mayor hits out at runway decision delay. His comments came after Government postponed a final decision on expanding Heathrow or Gatwick for up to a year.
19th October Thousands more seats direct to Germany from London City Airport. Larger aircraft to be used and schedules increased to the 5 German cities the airport serves.
24th October London City Airport evacuation linked to CS gas spray.  The “chemical incident” which closed the airport on Friday, is thought to be linked to CS gas spray.
24th October Timing announced for Government airport expansion announcement. Transport Secretary will speak in Parliament tomorrow on the issue.
25th October Third Heathrow runway is given green light. Government has confirmed this option to go ahead.
25th October Gatwick responds to Government decision. CEO says decision is not the right one for Britain.
31st October Lord David Blunkett of Heathrow Skills Task Force calls for action on national skills shortage.  1st meeting today to identify/implement skills needed for airport expansion.

3rd October easyjet launch new winter sun flights from Bristol Airport. It has started flying passengers to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria – which can hit 25 degrees mid-December.
4th October Belfast Airport closed after plane burst tyres on runway. Flights have been cancelled and arrivals suspended at Belfast after a plane burst its tyres on the runway.
5th OctoberBlue Air launches new Liverpool services. The new flights are a daily one to Rome, 4-times-weekly to Milan and Hamburg and a 3-times-a-week service to Alicante.
5th October Doncaster Sheffield Airport welcomes 10 millionth passenger. It opened in 2006, is the UK’s newest airport and is enjoying a record year for passengers.
6th October – Flybe reveals new Cardiff routes. A new route to Rome is included in the first phase of Flybe’s summer 2017 schedule from Cardiff airport.
7th October Birmingham Airport axes passenger drop-off charges. It is investing in a ‘drop off’ car park, free for 30 minutes, connecting with covered walkway to terminal entrance.
7th October Aviation chiefs blame tax for loss of passengers from Belfast to Dublin. Claim a £13 tax on flights leaving Northern Ireland is giving the Republic of Ireland an advantage.
10th October Edinburgh Airport welcomes climate change report. It shows the Scottish Government’s 50% cut to APD can be achieved without any increase in CO2 emissions.
11th October Shannon Airport welcomes new SAS service to Stockholm. It will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 1st August until 7th October 2017.
11th October Edinburgh Airport September figures bode well.  They show substantial growth in international passenger numbers.
12th October Norwich Airport owner set for growth. Rigby Group has said it is “on course to double in size” by 2025.
13th October Dublin Airport sets new record. Almost 2.6 million passengers passed through the airport last month, making it the busiest September in its 76-year history.
13th October Manchester Airport Masterplan and Infrastructure Strategy wins top prize. Wins award at Royal Town Planning Institute North West’s Awards for Planning Excellence.
13th October Bristol Airport pledges to deal with long queues in its arrivals hall. Says it is making improvements following a major overhaul of the security search area in departures.
14th October Southampton Airport wins ERA Airport of the Year award. David Lees, Airport M.D. says they are ‘over the moon’ with winning this award.
14th October Plans for proposed £80m rail link to Glasgow Airport revealed. It could take travellers from a new station in Paisley to Glasgow Airport.
18th October New contract to run buses to/from Bournemouth Airport begins October. RATP’s Yellow Buses will pick up passengers from arrivals and Aviation Business Park.
19th October Report calls for taxi passengers to foot Aberdeen Airport drop-off charges. Councillors to be asked for permission to pass on £2 charge directly to taxi customers.
20th October Official launch for Easybus service to Manchester Airport. Passengers from Telford, Shrewsbury and Oswestry set to travel to airport for as little as £2.
29th October Aer Lingus is to close Liverpool to Dublin route. Direct flights will end on January 5th.

4th October Plans to re-open Manston as an airport are scrapped. A report by industry experts concluded it would not be commercially viable.
5th October Airtask takes on scheduled Shetland specialist Hebridean. Airtask Group has acquired Hebridean Air Services, who also fly services from Oban airport.
6th October Historic agreement reached at ICAO talks in Montreal. Agreement reached on a new measure to control CO2 emissions from international aviation.
6th October Ryanair is to receive 50 new aircraft. The Ireland-based airline is set to take delivery of 50 new aircraft over the next year as part of its fleet expansion.
8th October Monarch tipped for crucial Boeing deal. Monarch is understood to be close to agreeing a revised aircraft order with Boeing that could help to secure its future.
10th October – Tim May appointed acting Deputy Director, Aviation Policy.  He will cover this role whilst recruitment takes place to replace Kate Jennings who has taken up a new role today as Deputy Director, Rail Alternative Delivery Models. (Internal source).
10th October China to open 1st phase of potentially world’s largest airport by 2019. Representatives of the Beijing New Airport project showed off the construction site.
12th October Monarch Airlines secures £165m lifeline from owners. Greybull Capital has convinced the regulator to renew Monarch’s ATOL until next September.
12th October British Airways set to lose 66 jobs from Cardiff base. The B.A. maintenance base in Cardiff is set to cut the jobs as the company considers ‘restructuring proposals.’
17th October Dublin Airport welcomes SAS expansion. Scandinavian Airline’s overall capacity to and from Dublin will increase by 11% next year.
18th OctoberSamsung opens airport booths for users to hand in Galaxy Note 7 phones. It is now banned on many airlines worldwide because of explosion fears.
27th October Flybe CEO steps down. Flybe today announced that Saad Hammad has by mutual agreement stepped down from his role as CEO with immediate effect.

10th OctoberACI Europe reports passenger traffic growth slow down. Passenger traffic across the European airport network in August reported an average increase of just +2.0% – the weakest monthly performance in 3 years.

An updated list of SASIG regional authorities and relevant airports plus other airports and authorities within the UK can be seen here.
A presentation by Stuart Lindsay, Manager, Airspace Regulation, CAA given at the Technical Working Group: Environment, Planning & Airspace meeting of 20th October, can be seen here.
The presentation by Chris Cain, Head of Secretariat entitled: ”Delivering Sustainable Growth in Aviation – What does Sustainable Airport Development Look Like?” was presented at the RAeS Greener by Design Conference on 17th October 2016 and at the Technical Working Group: Environment, Planning & Airspace meeting of 20th October 2016 and can be seen here.
Outcome of the CAA consultation on proposals for a revised Airspace Change process
In March 2016, the CAA began a consultation on proposals for a revised Airspace Change process.  During the consultation period, they contacted more than 1,000 individuals and met or presented to around 50 different organisations, groups and companies including SASIG, to discuss their proposals. They received 110 responses to the consultation including one from SASIG.
21st October – CAA published its consultation response which is their analysis of these responses and a summary of the new version of the process they will introduce. They will move forward with draft guidance, which will be published for further consultation in spring 2017.
Alongside the consultation process, CAA is in the process of completing an internal review of the way in which they currently manage airspace change work.  This review will also consider the information and guidance that is currently available to stakeholders and look to identify opportunities where they can do more to provide clarity around their expectations of all of the parties that are involved in the process.
For full information please see CAA consultation outcome document.
25th OctoberThe government announces a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport as its preferred option to deliver airport expansion in the south-east.  The press notice, oral statement and other documents can be read here.