August is usually a slow month for policy with Parliament (and the European Commission) both away for the summer holiday period, but this year we have had a number of important publications appear that are of significant interest to SASIG members.

First, DfT’s Aviation Strategy consultation – essentially a scoping report for their work on wider aviation policy over the next 18 months. This was discussed at a specially arranged SASIG meeting to which all members were invited. Notes from that meeting will be circulated later in the month and the Secretariat will be aiming to invite comments on a draft response in early October. Second was DfT’s Economic Impacts of Night Flights research (29 August); and third, the CAA’s commencement consultation for the next Quinquennial review. The latter will have a major bearing on the way R3 is progressed at Heathrow.

On 25th August SASIG was called into a meeting with DfT officials to discuss practicalities associated with their policy of asking Local Authorities to take responsibility for signing of ‘Balanced Approach” considerations associated with major applications and development proposals. A follow-up letter is being sent. And finally, the new Chairman of SASIG (Cllr Keith Artus – Uttlesford) has written to the new Aviation Minister (Lord Callanan) requesting a meeting to follow up matters originally broached with his predecessor and to secure a commitment for enhanced bilateral engagement with Aviation Officials over the next 18 months.

Chris Cain,
Head of Secretariat

Monthly Highlights
4th August – A letter was sent to Lord Callanan, the new Aviation Minister, introducing SASIG and requesting a meeting in the near future mainly to discuss the forthcoming new Aviation Strategy and work associated with it.
25th August – SASIG representatives met officials from DfT to discuss the Group’s insight on current work regarding wider airspace and noise reforms within the aviation industry.
29th August – The DfT published the Economic Impacts of Night Flights Research Study: Final Report.  The report can be seen here.

Editor’s Forward Look
Other consultations, anticipated or ongoing, can be found on the Milestone Timetable accessible via this link.

This list gathers European Commission public consultations in one place and replaces the former ‘Your voice in Europe’ website:

A reminder to all members regarding the CAA’s Noise Impact Survey which began on 6th July 2017 and ends on 18th January 2018.  The CAA is keen to ensure that as many people as possible who are affected by aviation noise get the chance to respond. The survey can be accessed here.


Meetings and Conferences 

SASIG Meetings

–           11th October: Airports, Cities & Economic Growth Technical Working Group (Venue, CIHT, London) (Note: this has been postponed to a later date to be advised).
–           11th October:  Aviation Strategy Work session/discussion (Venue: CIHT, London)
–           1st November: Surface Access Technical Working Group and Environment, Planning and Airspace Technical Working Group (Note: these meetings have also been postponed to a later date to be advised).
–           16th November: SASIG full meeting (venue tbc)

External Meetings and Conferences
–           6th-8th September 2017: Aviation Festival, Business Design Centre, London.
–           14th September 2017: Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum– Central London.  Title: Developing a UK Aviation Strategy: Heathrow Implementation and the future of airport capacity across the UK.
–           23rd-26th September 2017: World Routes 2017, Barcelona: The 23rd World Route Development Forum.
–           3rd-4th October 2017: ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit: Geneva, Switzerland.
–           30th-31st October 2017: 
AOA Annual Conference, Royal Lancaster Hotel, London
–           13th-14th November 2017: 6th European Aviation Conference: Dublin City University, Ireland
–           6th-7th December 2017: AEI: 2017: Airport Expansion and Improvements:  Hosted and Sponsored by Heathrow Airport, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel.
–           14th-16th May 2018: 11th ACI Europe Regional Airports Conference & Exhibition: Naples, Italy.


Parliamentary and Government News 

Friday: 21st July to Monday: 4th September, 2017: The Houses of Parliament in recess.

Parliamentary Questions
There are no Parliamentary Questions as Parliament has been in recess.

Government News

24th August Labour Party set to vote against Heathrow 3rd runway. The Financial Times says senior allies of party leader say Labour MPs are ‘almost certain’ to block the plans, mainly on the issue of air quality.

National and Regional News

1st AugustGatwick plans further investment. The new 2017 capital Investment programme (CIP) anticipates growth in demand and is aiming for improved efficiency and record levels of passenger satisfaction.
4th August 550% rise in complaints about noise at London City Airport. This has happened since the introduction of the new concentrated flight paths.
4th AugustTechnical Skills College at Stansted Airport gets the go-ahead. Councillors approved plans this week for a new £11million technical skills college on the site.
4th AugustGatwick awards two new Construction frameworks as part of expansion. This is in support of its recently announced five-year Capital Investment Programme.
6th AugustLuton Airport plans further growth over next 10 years. It’s planning to expand to 25m passengers, which campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution.
7th August – New routes announced out of Durham Tees Valley Airport. Scottish airline Loganair has launched new services linking the airport to Aberdeen and Norwich.
7th August Manchester and Stansted Airports C.E.s are to swap roles. This is in a bid to put their skills to best use as each site, both owned by MAG, deals with a major project.
8th AugustDamage caused to cars parked in residential areas to avoid airport car parking charges.  The cars were all parked on residential streets near to Luton Airport.
8th AugustLuton Airport capacity could reach 25 million passengers. The airport could expand this much within the next 10 years, according to newly released documents.
8th AugustNorth-eastern growth could be affected by decline in business at Newcastle Airport.  Think-tank, Policy North, says North-East should be able to set its own APD level.
8th AugustLargest commercial plane in London City Airport history, lands. Swiss Air says the Bombardier C series design offers noise reduction and better fuel efficiency.
9th AugustFlybe is scrapping its route from Cardiff to London City Airport. The airline is blaming the decision on the high rates of Air Passenger Duty for local flights.
9th August Bournemouth residents say planes are flying too low. Bournemouth Airport says its flight paths have not changed in any way.
14th AugustMAG sees continued growth at its airports. MAG owned airports in the UK saw continued growth in both passenger numbers and cargo tonnes flown in July.
14th AugustStansted Airport runway temporarily closed.  Flights were cancelled, delayed or diverted yesterday evening after a hole was spotted. The runway was closed between 5.30pm and 6.10pm for minor repairs.
14th AugustHeathrow records busiest month ever. July was the busiest recorded in the airport’s history with over 7.5 million passengers travelling through.
18th AugustWork is underway on Edinburgh Airport expansion. Work has started on the airport’s new extension to the terminal as part of an £80m investment plan.
20th August People flying out of Stansted Airport can avoid airport car parking. They can do this by using an alternative parking service that lists nearby driveways and garages.
21st August – Owner-occupiers and investors take Doncaster Sheffield Airport business park to capacity. Fountain Court now has only limited availability left.
21st AugustHeathrow boss denies claims that airport charges will be doubled. C.E. branded the Sunday Times claims “categorically untrue” pointing out that “Heathrow has been working hard to reduce airport charges”.
22nd AugustManchester Airport would be ‘devastated’ if no post-Brexit deal is struck. This is according to a new study commissioned by leading British airports including Manchester.
23rd August Backers of rival Heathrow expansion plan claim it could save £7bn. Senior adviser on rival plan for airport’s expansion says it can be done for £10billion.
23rd AugustGatwick passenger numbers are boosted by low-cost long-haul carriers.  August bank holiday passenger numbers boosted as the airport continues to push for a second runway to meet the growing demand.
24th August Labour Party set to vote against Heathrow 3rd runway. The Financial Times says senior allies of party leader say Labour MPs are ‘almost certain’ to block the plans, mainly on the issue of air quality.
24th August Luton Airport boss calls for increase in inter-city services to Airport Parkway. He says LLA is the only major London airport without a dedicated express-style service of four fast trains per hour to the capital.
25th August MPs’ plans to block Heathrow expansion are ‘frustrating and short-sighted’.  So says the Guild of Travel Management Companies who have stated that the expansion is a “must for the UK economy, not a nice to have”.
30th August – Environmental opposition to flying is in decline.  A report published by the DfT found more people supported new runways than actively opposed airport expansion.

Other Aviation Industry News  

1st August Delays at European airports after tougher border controls. Passengers arriving at airports in Spain, France and Italy can stand in immigration lines for ‘up to four hours’.
5th August New aviation academy opens at Norwich Airport. It’s been described as the first aviation academy in the world, and it opened today next to Norwich Airport.
9th August – ‘A pre-Brexit aviation agreement is needed to avoid travel chaos’.  An article by Padraic Regan, Lecturer in Strategy, Researcher in Aviation, Trinity College, Dublin, appeared in The Conversation.  The article can be read here.
9th AugustTravellers can pay up to 14 times more to fly from some UK airports. According to a report by currency exchange provider Fairfax, families can face hikes of up to £1,177 for the convenience of departing from a nearby airport.
15th August Air passenger growth is the fastest for 12 years. Airlines are witnessing the biggest growth in passenger traffic since 2005 according to latest data from IATA.
21st August Increase in numbers preferring rail to air for travelling between London and Scotland. This is according to a report by transport charity Transform Scotland.
22nd August UK air traffic faces slump without Brexit deal, says airlines. This comes from a confidential report submitted to Government by Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports, which urges the EU and the UK Government to target October next year as the deadline for an interim aviation arrangement. The report, by consultancy WPI Economics, is understood to have been sent to ministers recently.
22nd August Tidy Planet plant generating 22,500kW of daily energy at London airports. The technology hit the headlines back in November 2016 when Gatwick became the world’s first airport to begin disposing of food and catering waste on-site.
24th August Hampshire based ATC signs a multi-million pound deal with Belfast Airport. NATS is teaming with Belfast to provide ATC and engineering for the next nine years.
25th August – British Airways attacks Home Office over long immigration queues. They say British nationals and visitors are being forced to wait in long lines for over an hour.
29th AugustAir industry calls for action over EU border ‘havoc’. Aviation groups including IATA, ERA and ACI have written to the EU to complain about the “chaotic” way new border checks have been implemented at European airports this summer.
29th AugustPlanes fuelled by waste could take off from British airports.  As part of plans to promote clean alternative fuels, Govt is offering funding for projects in the UK to develop low carbon waste-based fuels for planes and lorries, with matching funding from industry.
29th August – The DfT published the Economic Impacts of Night Flights Research Study: Final Report.  The report can be seen here.
31st AugustRyanair joins Airlines UK despite EU threat. Ryanair boss insists joining Airlines UK will allow Ryanair to make progress on urging the Government to secure a Brexit deal.
31st August – Heathrow CEO’s response to the Government consultation on landing cards can be seen here.

SASIG Library Additions   

A letter received from Lord Porter, LGA Chairman, congratulating SASIG on its annual report submitted to the LGA Leadership Board and also its achievements over the past year can be seen here.