Editor’s Highlights

The Whitsun recess means there is relatively little Parliamentary news this month, but the ‘Climate Emergency’ protests, which successfully raised climate change as a political issue again, have filtered their way through into news stories about aviation and airports – always a traditional bête noir of the environmental movement. The extent to which the industry deserves to be billed ahead of (or even alongside) de-afforestation, energy generation, other modes of transport, a wide range of dirty industries and livestock farming on the environment’s most wanted list is evidentially questionable. However, with a political response to the protests inevitable, what is absolutely clear is the industry will need to raise its game substantially in terms of carbon reduction targets and initiatives – something which SASIG will be pressing for in its forthcoming response to the Aviation 2050 Green Paper. It also invites speculation about whether any change to climate change policy could even at this late stage have implications for the Heathrow third runway project.

Finally, a reminder that, following the Group’s AGM on 10 July, SASIG will be celebrating its 20thanniversary as an LGA Special Interest group, with a reception on the Terrace overlooking the Thames at the House of Commons between 4-6pm. If you have not already expressed an interest in attending, please contact the Secretariat who will need to issue formal invitations before the event. It is an opportunity to mingle with MPs, Whitehall officials and industry representatives and network with other SASIG members and we can promise canapes, wine, speeches and cake!

Chris Cain

Head of Secretariat

Monthly Highlights

9th May – CAA launches a consultation on the planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic through changes in air traffic control operational procedure (PPR).

15th May-Heathrow announces that its statutory consultation on its expansion planswill launch on June 18th and end on 13th September 2019.

Events, Meetings and Conferences

SASIG Meetings

  • 10th July 2019: 11am-1pm – SASIG full meeting/AGM followed by informal Workshop (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London). 
  • 10th July 2019: 4-6pm – SASIG’s 20th anniversary reception at the House of Commons, Westminster between 4pm-6pm
  • 7th November 2019: 11am-1pm – SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square,          London)

External Meetings and Conferences

  • 13th-15th June 2019:AeroExpo:Wycombe Air Park. The UK’s festival of aviation.

Parliamentary and Government News

Both Houses rose on 23rd May 2019 for the Whitsun recess and will return on 4th June 2019.

Transport Questions:  House of Commons: 

There were no transport questions in the House of Commons this month.

Transport Questions:  House of Lords

15th May – Heathrow Airport

A question was asked by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb as to what plans theGovernment have to review the expansion of Heathrow airport.  The debate can be seenhere.

Parliamentary Questions:  

Q.1. Question (251392) asked by Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South) on 7th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultation his department has undertaken with (a) local authorities, (b) Local Enterprise Partnerships and business organisations, (c) trades unions and (d) voluntary sector bodies in the south of England on the potential benefits of a southern rail link to London Heathrow Airport”.

Q.2. Question (254201) asked by Andy McDonald (Middlesborough) on 14th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 249314 on Railways, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) a Western Rail Link to Heathrow Airportand (b) a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Airporton the level of emissions of (i) greenhouse gases and (ii) other atmospheric pollutants in relation to (A) the existing configuration and (B) the addition of the North West Runway at London Heathrow Airport”.

 Q.3. Question (254202) asked by Andy McDonald (Middlesborough) on 14th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 249314, what (a) meetings, (b) correspondence and (c) other engagement his Department has had with (i) local authorities, (ii) the Mayor of London and (iii) the aviationindustry on Western and Southern Rail Access to London Heathrow Airportsince the publication of the Nicholls-Agilia reports on 19 December 2018”.

Q.4. Question (254062) asked by Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham) on 14th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to aircraft noise nuisance, which communities will receive compensation and noise insulation as a result of the third runway at Heathrow airport; and on what criteria that decision was based”.

Q. 5. Question (HL15709) asked by Lord Bradshaw on 14th May 2019: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect (1) funding to be approved and (2) an application for a Development Consent Order to be made, for a Western Rail Link to Heathrow Airport”.

Q.6. Question (253535) asked by Justine Greening (Putney) on 13th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the (a) legal (b) other costs to the public purse of the judicial review of the Airports National Policy Statement”.

Q.7. Question (255289) asked by Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire) on 16th May 2019: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to reduce carbon emissions in aviation”.

Q. 8. Question (HL15705) asked by Lord Berkeley on 14th May 2019: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 15 March (HL14180), what type, or types, of Government support have been considered to support the Southern Rail Link to Heathrow; and whether the criteria for assessing proposals to deliver the project include a requirement to operate trains on the line”.

National and Regional News

1st May – Heathrow campaigners lose battle over 3rd runway.High court judges rejected the campaigners’ arguments and have ruled the plans as “lawful”.

1st May– Solihull Council set to introduce new parking bans near Birmingham Airport. They are cracking down on holidaymakers who park there before flying out of the airport.

1st May– UDC leader says delay Stansted Airport expansion could ‘bankrupt’ the council. A’requisition’ to convene a 2nd extraordinary meeting to examine the Section 106 agreement means the Airport’s decision notice will not be issued until after the local elections.

3rd May– Bristol Airport ranks high in ACI’s Airport Quality Survey in UK airports. It did well for overall satisfaction, business passenger satisfaction and the arrivals passport process.

7th May– Southampton Airport expansion plans to be submitted. Numbers of passengers passing through the airport could double if approved.

8th May– An article in Insider Media titled ‘Airports must be “beating heart” of Northern Powerhouse’ as agreed by business and civic leaders across the region can be seen here.

9th May– Scottish Government may abandon support for Heathrow third runway. This is due to increasing concerns over climate change.

10th May– Anti-noise campaigners criticise application to relax Luton Airport noise controls.They don’t want expansion prioritised over lessening the impact of aircraft noise.

14th May– Liverpool Council is to sell half its shares in Liverpool Airport. The move means the authority will still half a 10% stake in the airport.

14th May– Gatwick expansion to continue as French firm takes over. Vinci Airports has 50.01 per cent stake with the rest still being managed by Global Infrastructure Partners.

15th May– Plans submitted for major development at Bournemouth Airport.  If approved, they have the potential to generate £93m annually for the local economy.

15th May– Cambridge Airport is facing development. The Marshall Group has signalled its intent to local authorities/key stakeholders to develop the site as part of the next Local Plan.

15th May– Launch day is set for statutory consultation on Heathrow expansion. Heathrow has announced that its statutory consultation on its expansion plans will launch on June 18.

15th May– New images show latest plans for Heathrow’s 3rd runway. They show how the airport may look as it begins 3rd/final consultation on expansion plans before they’re submitted.

18th May– Flights from Carlisle Lake District Airport to begin in July.  The airport is viewed as key in the county’s economy.

20th May– An article in ITPro about how Heathrow is looking at help from AI including robot baggage handlers, facial recognition technology and driverless cars can be seen here.

23rd May – New 2,700 space car park for Manchester Airport could get the go ahead. Plans will go before the council in a few days.

23rd May– Plans to build a new park and ride near Bristol Airport have been submitted. It would serve the airport near to the M5 junction for Weston Super Mare.

24th May– Some London councils may have to pay for opposing London expansion. They face paying the Government’s legal bills after their opposition challenges failed in court.

24th May– Heathrow proposes vehicle access charge. In a bid to tackle emissions they proposea potential £15 charge for vehicles entering car parks and drop-off areas.

25th May– Someone from Warrington was so annoyed about noise at Liverpool Airport that they complained 842 times in one day.  Further details can be seen here.

26th May– London Luton Airport appoints a new Chairman. Keith Ludeman is the current Chairman of High Speed One.

31st May– The CAA rejects new flight routes for Leeds Bradford Airport. They say the decision is based on how the airport consultation was presented.

31st May– Parking charges at Manchester Airport will rise. 50p increase will apply to motorists picking up arriving passengers and those departing who haven’t booked long stay.

31st May– HS2 Chairman is keen to improve links with Birmingham Airport. He’s outlined how HS2 and the airport’s growth plans are crucial to improve future connectivity and prosperity for the region.

Other Aviation Industry News

2nd May– MAG secures £350 for airport development projects. The money has been raised through the issuance of a 25-year bond.

8th May– ‘U-turn’ on air departure tax is a huge blow for Scottish airports. The Scottish Government has said it’s abandoning plans to cut ADT after declaring a climate emergency.

9th May – CAA launches a consultation on the planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic through changes in air traffic control operational procedure (PPR). Further details may be seen here.

9th May– Proposal to reduce Dublin Airport airline charges criticised by DAA. Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) proposes to reduce passenger charges it levies on airlines. 

10th May– ACI and ICAO highlight importance of managing airports’ environmental footprint.The message came across at the ICAO Seminar on Greener Airports.

12th May– Aviation facing curbs over climate change. The DfT says it may have to consider the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) recommended policy approach for aviation.

16th May– An article in the Lancashire Postclaims recent research shows that airports in the north-west of the UK are among some of the most expensive for car parking.  

20th May– Jersey uses digital remote tower technology. It’s the first time this type of system has been used to actively control commercial aircraft movements at a British airport.

22nd May– An article in Airport World says that Europe’s regional airports face network, economic and green challenges.  Further details may be seen here.

28th May– An article in Airport World about how technology is helping airports and also the different sorts of technology available can be seen here

29th May– Stobart Group is focusing on airport expansion.It is looking to invest in expanding London Southend Airport which it owns.

30th May– Dublin Airport gets new set of e-gates for speedier passport control. They will feature flatbed scanners and increase speed and ease of use for passengers.

31st May– An article in the New Statesman by the Green Party advocating that councils need to divest their shares in airports can be seen here.

SASIG Library Additions

On 30th April, the SASIG Chairman was a guest speaker at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum Keynote Seminar: Priorities for the UK Aviation Strategy – infrastructure, innovation and global connectivity. His presentation and notes can be seen here