Editor’s Highlights

Well what a month March 2020 proved to be for the aviation industry in the UK. First the collapse of long-standing regional airline Flybe, then the Judicial Review decision which brought work on Heathrow R3 to a grinding halt and then the coup de gras, the virtual shut down of the industry as a result of the coronavirus – and with no real end to the crisis in sight. The monthly highlights capture the chronology of what has happened to an industry that is used to dealing with and recovering from shocks, but it is fair to say has never faced anything on a scale like this. What will emerge at the end of the current crisis, is at this stage difficult to predict – the more so because of HMT’s re-framing of its original offer of assistance, to one which few airlines or airports expect to be eligible for. However, what is very likely is the industry will be smaller for some time and face new logistical challenges associated with managing social distancing until vaccination for COVID 19 becomes widespread.

It is understood that DfT is making yet another change to the structure of its aviation Directorate, with a Re-start and Recovery unit being set up under the leadership of Ian Elston, shadowed by a similar unit in CAA. Given that the timetable for Brexit transition remains, it has been announced that the UK is leaving EASA and that GA continues to be the SoS’s ‘pet cat’. What that means in terms of resources available for long term mainstream strategic policy, hitherto lead by the National Policy Statement, Green Paper, Airspace Modernisation Programme and nominally the Regional Aviation Review set up by Paul Maynard, is at this stage unclear. However, SASIG is continuing to engage with DfT on its Freeports initiative and the consultation on de-carbonising transport and with HMT on its APD review, while this is decided, although delays to submission dates are expected.

And finally, the Secretariat have been in discussion with a number of member authorities about the possibility of undertaking research into the impact that COVID-19 has and will cause to local economies that have significant exposure to the aviation and travel industry. The aim will be to develop a database covering both small and large airports and generate supporting analysis of direct, indirect and induced local authority finance and economic losses within relevant authorities, and to highlight any other relevant material losses. 

There is a recognition, including from DfT, that SASIG is ideally placed to co-ordinate such a study and hence we are asking any member authorities who might like to participate to get in contact with the Secretariat to express interest by 27 April. A scope of work has been agreed and can be provided on request. The aim is to present a report of the work to Government in May and to highlight the policy responses local authorities are seeking in the short term, during the recovery phase and until the industry is fully open again. This is an opportunity for SASIG to significantly raise its profile within the LGA and in Whitehall and your support for the work would be much appreciated.

Chris Cain

Head of SASIG Secretariat

Monthly Highlights

  • 5th March – Flybe airline collapses into administration.
  • 11th March – The Chancellor presented his budget to Parliament.
  • 20th March – Heathrow operations to reduce during coronavirus outbreak.
  • 23rd March – UK goes into virtual lockdown.
  • 24th March – CAA extends Airspace consultation deadline to 27 May.
  • 25th March – Parliament shuts down for Easter amid COVID-19 crisis.

Events, Meetings and Conferences

SASIG Meetings

  • 17th July 2020: 11am-1pm: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London). Potential postponement or use of video base participation under consideration – to be updated.
  • 19th November 2020: 11am-1pm: SASIG full meeting (Venue: LGA, Smith Square, London)

External Conferences

Please note: some changes due to COVID-19 crisis

  • 27-29 April 2020: Routes Europe: Bergen, Norway. (Postponed to later in the year – date to be confirmed).
  • 11-13 June 2020: AeroExpo UK: The UK’s festival of aviation. Wycombe Air Park. (Cancelled until June 2021-see below).
  • 30 June-2 July 2020: LGA Annual Conference & Exhibition: Harrogate. (Cancelled-future date tba) 
  • 10-12 June 2021: AeroExpo UK: The UK’s festival of aviation. Wycombe Air Park.

Parliamentary and Government News

Easter Recess: both Houses rose on 25th March and will return on 21 April.

Transport Questions:  House of Commons: 

2nd March – Airport Expansion
The Secretary of State for Transport was asked to make a statement on airport expansion. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Aviation) responded on his behalf.  Details may be seen here.

3rd March – Aerospace Sector: Innovation
A question was asked on what plans there are to support innovation in the aerospace sector. Further details may be seen here.

5th March – Flybe
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Aviation) Kelly Tolhurst MP made a statement about the collapse of Flybe. The statement may be seen here. A written statement may be seen here.

10th March – Aviation Banning Orders (Disruptive passengers)

There was a motion for leave to bring in a Bill to make provision for court orders to prohibit disruptive passengers from flying. More details can be seen here.

12th March – Airport Expansion: Paris Climate Change Agreement

A question was asked whether there are plans to take into account the Paris climate change agreement in future decisions on airport expansion. Details may be seen here.

12th March – Noise: Heathrow Airport Flight Paths

A question was asked about what plans there are to reduce the number of people affected by aircraft noise living (a) near and (b) under Heathrow airport flight paths. Details here.

12th March – European Aviation Safety Agency Membership

A question was asked as to what the policy is on the UK’s membership of the European Aviation Safety Agency after the end of the transition period. See details here.

12th March – Airports National Policy Statement Review

A question was asked as to whether an estimate has been made of the time it will take to review the Airports National Policy Statement. See details here.

Transport Questions:  House of Lords

2nd March – Airport Expansion
A statement given in the Commons on airport expansion was repeated in the Lords by Baroness Vere of Norbiton and can be seen here.

5th March – Flybe
A statement given in the Commons on the collapse of Flybe was repeated in the Lords by Baroness Vere of Norbiton and can be seen here.

19th March – European Union Aviation Safety Agency

A question was asked what assessment led to the Government’s decision not to participate in EASA and what plans they have to address any gap in regulatory oversight which results from that decision. Details can be seen here.

Parliamentary Questions: 

Q.1. Question (23550) asked by Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge & Malling) on 2 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance is given to local planning authorities on assessing the effect of aviation noise on proposed developments through (a) Local Plan allocations and (b) individual planning applications”.

A. Christopher Pincher on 5 March 2020: “National planning policy and guidance include strong protections against noise effects, making it clear that the planning system should prevent new and existing development from being adversely affected by unacceptable levels of pollution. Plan-making and decision making need to take account of the acoustic environment and in doing so consider whether or not an adverse effect is occurring or likely to occur when development may create additional noise, or would be sensitive to the prevailing acoustic environment (including any anticipated changes to that environment from activities that are permitted but not yet commenced). Planning guidance is clear that this can include noise pollution from aircraft, where this could subject residents or occupiers to significant noise impacts”.

Q.2. Question (HL2262) asked by Lord Empey on 5 March 2020: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will ensure that the disposal of landing slots at Heathrow and Gatwick, formally owned by Flybe, will not disadvantage access to those airports from regional airports in the UK”.

A. Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 17 March 2020: “Her Majesty’s Government recognises that airports are vital for local economies, providing domestic and global connectivity, employment opportunities, and a hub for local transport. To demonstrate this, a review of Regional Air Connectivity was recently announced to ensure all nations and regions of the UK have the domestic transport connections local communities rely on – including regional airports. Her Majesty’s Government plays no part in, and through regulations is legally prevented from intervening in, the airport slot allocation process”.

Q.3. Question (25746) asked by Colum Eastwood (Foyle) on 5 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support she will provide to Belfast City Airport to help ensure that vacant routes are filled by other airlines following the collapse of Flybe”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 10 March 2020: “We are urgently working with industry to identify opportunities to re-establish key Flybe routes throughout the UK and have kept in close contact with airlines and airports over the last few days to emphasise this. We are pleased to see that a number of airlines have already committed to operating many of these routes in the near future, including from Belfast City Airport”.

Q.4. Question (26172) asked by Alex Sobel (Leeds North West) on 6 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage Heathrow Airport Holdings to reduce its carbon emissions”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 13 March 2020: “I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 26 February 2020, to Question 18648.”

Q.5. Question (26174) asked by Alex Sobel (Leeds North West) on 6 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that funding from the public purse for Heathrow airport expansion is allocated in line with the recent judgment on that expansion”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 13 March 2020: “We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable and delivered in the best interest of consumers. It will receive no public funds!

Q.6. Question (24296) asked by Philip Dunne (Ludlow) on 3 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provisions are included in the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill 2019-20 to protect national parks and AONBs from aircraft noise”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 11 March 2020: “The Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to direct an airport, air navigation service provider or another body to take forward an airspace change that is considered necessary for the delivery of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Airspace Modernisation Strategy. Any Airspace Change Proposals that are taken forward as a result will be covered by the department’s existing Air Navigation Guidance which is reflected in the CAA’s airspace change process. The guidance for this process states that, where practicable, it is desirable that airspace routes below 7,000 feet should seek to avoid flying over Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks”.

Q.7. Question (24297) asked by Philip Dunne (Ludlow) on 3 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) scrutiny and (b) appeal mechanisms there are for the assessment of the effect of aircraft noise on (i) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and (ii) and National Parks”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 11 March 2020: “The government expects airports to monitor the effect of aircraft noise on their surroundings, and to seek to address any specific concerns arising from it. There are no specific scrutiny arrangements or appeal mechanisms related to the assessment of aircraft noise on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Parks. The airspace issues surrounding AONB and National Parks were considered in the department’s airspace and noise project. The outcome of this work was reflected in the Air Navigation Guidance 2017, which the department issued to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in October 2017. The guidance requires the CAA to have regard to the statutory purposes of AONB and National Parks when considering proposals for airspace changes. When airspace changes are being considered, it is important that local circumstances, including community views on specific areas that should be avoided, are taken into account where possible. However, given the finite amount of airspace available, it will not always be possible to avoid overflying AONB and National Parks”.

Q.8. Question (24302) asked by Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) on 3 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what oversight his Department has of the work of the Civil Aviation Authority in (a) setting and (b) maintaining flight routes”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 11 March 2020: “The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for deciding whether to approve changes to the UK’s airspace design, including changes to specific flightpaths. In carrying out the activities associated with its airspace role, the CAA has to follow the Department’s Air Navigation Directions and the Air Navigation Guidance. Both of these documents are kept under review and amended as considered necessary”.

Q.9. Question (24451) asked by Nick Fletcher (Don Valley) on 3 March 2020: “To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing Doncaster Sheffield Airport as a freeport”.

A. Jesse Norman on 11 March 2020: “The Government is committed to running a fair, transparent and robust allocation process to select up to 10 freeports across the UK. The Government is currently consulting publicly on freeports policy; the finalised policy and a bidding process will be announced in due course after the consultation has concluded”.

Q.10. Question (24310) asked by Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) on 3 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his plans for meeting the net-zero by 2050 decarbonisation target as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 of the judgement of 27 February 2020 on R (Friends of the Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport and others”.

A. Rachel MacLean on 11 March 2020: “Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement did not take account of the Paris Agreement, non-CO2 emissions or emissions post-2050, and therefore has no legal effect unless and until the Government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Government has taken the decision not to appeal the Court’s judgment. We take seriously our commitments on the environment and reducing carbon emissions. This is a complex and important judgment, which the Government will need time to consider carefully”.

Q.11. Question (26817) asked by Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) on 9 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to publish its final response to the Aviation 2050: the future of UK aviationconsultation”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 12 March 2020: “It is important that we consider the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations on aviation and net zero before we publish our Aviation 2050 strategy. Amending the timetable to publishing this year means we are able to ensure our position on climate change is up to date and takes into account recent developments. We plan to publish a consultation on aviation and climate change shortly”.

Q.12. Question (32186) asked by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) on 19 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish a revised Airports National Policy Statement that takes account of the judgement of the Court of Appeal on 27 February 2020 on Heathrow Airport”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 24 March 2020: “We are still considering the Court of Appeal’s judgment. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport. The Department is currently focused on the response to Covid-19”.

Q.13. Question (32187) asked by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) on 19 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he will publish a new Airports National Policy Statement”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 24 March 2020: “The Court of Appeal has ruled that the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement has no legal effect unless and until this Government carries out a review. The Government will need time to consider the judgment carefully. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport. The Department is currently focused on the response to Covid-19”.

Q.14. Question (32188) asked by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) on 19 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he or his officials have had with (a) Heathrow Airport Ltd and (b) other stakeholders on a revised Airports National Policy Statement since 27 February 2020”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 24 March 2020: “We are carefully considering the Court of Appeal’s judgment and will set out our next steps in due course.   The Department is currently focused on the response to Covid-19”.

Q.15. Question (31539) asked by Stephanie Peacock (Barnsley East) on 18 March 2020: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to prevent airports throughout the country from closing”.

A. Kelly Tolhurst on 23 March 2020: “Following the Chancellor’s recent announcement, we are working urgently to develop proposals to support the UK aviation industry – we are committed to ensuring the sector and its employees come through this crisis”.

Q.16. Question (31591) asked by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) on 18 March 2020: “To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his package of support to airlines and airports will also include support for businesses that rely on the normal operation of airports and airlines”.

A. Steve Barclay on 25 March 2020: “A range of measures to support all businesses has been made available. These include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, allowing businesses to benefit from loans of up to £5m, with the first 12 months of that finance interest free, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep people in employment. This scheme means businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed. They will receive the grant from HMRC, and all UK organisations can self-certify that it has furloughed employees. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st”.

Q.17. Question (HL2177) asked by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomh on 3 March 2020: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 2 March (HL Deb, col 436), whether any future airport expansion will be conditional on all new flight capacity being filled by zero-carbon aeroplanes”.

A. Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 17 March 2020: “Airport expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity and levelling up the UK. It is crucial that vital infrastructure projects, including airport expansion, drive the whole UK economy. This Government supports airport expansion, but we will permit it only within our environmental obligations.

This Government is committed to working with the aviation sector to make sure we deliver on the opportunities available to us, while meeting our environmental commitments, whether that is through modernisation of our airspace, innovation in sustainable fuels or research and technology. On 27 February the Court of Appeal declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the Government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course. The Government is supportive of airports making best use of their existing runways, subject to the assessment and consideration of their impacts, including consideration of their environmental impacts.

The Government recognises that the fight against climate change is one of the greatest and most pressing challenges facing the modern world. The Government’s net zero target shows the UK’s steadfast commitment to tackling climate change, and we recognise that aviation has a crucial role to play. The Government is committed to setting a clear ambition for the aviation sector and is carefully considering the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

We are planning to consult shortly to update the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how aviation can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions”.

National and Regional News

1st March – An article in My London about the man who created Heathrow as we know it today can be seen here

2nd March – Manston Airport plans could see trade route through River Thames. Plans to connect proposed airport development with a new trade route to London could happen.

2nd March – Plans to expand Bristol Airport have been refused. It had wanted to increase its current capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year.

3rd March – Work starts on £200m logistics and manufacturing park at Teesside Airport. It has the potential to create 4,400 jobs and provide £3m per year to reinvest into the airport.

3rd March – Airspace review begins at London Stansted. This is as part of the Government’s Airspace Modernisation Programme. 

3rd March – Heathrow decision “threatens tremendous damage” to UK economy says IATA. They say the aim should be to eliminate carbon, not travel.

6th March – A timeline relating to Heathrow’s proposed third runway may be seen here.

6th March – Cornwall Newquay Airport issues route update after demise of Flybe.  Loganair have picked up the route to Edinburgh which will operate twice-weekly.

6th March – Heathrow to crack down on late night arrivals with increased charges. They want to reduce the number of arrivals after the start of the Night Quota Period (NQP).

6th March – Campaigners concerned over Doncaster Airport expansion plans.  They say it goes against Paris agreement and shows little concern for the declared state of emergency. 

7th March – Southend Airport says collapse of Flybe will not impact on expansion plans. Their long-term goal is to achieve 20 million passengers per year. 

9th March – Newcastle Airport wins ‘Best Airport’ award third year in a row. It was announced as the best airport for its size in Europe by the Airports Council International.

10th March – Access to East Midlands Airport has been improved. A £10m infrastructure scheme has reached completion providing a link from the airport to the A50.

10th March – New anti-drone equipment has been installed at Gatwick Airport. It’s boosting Armed Forces-standard technology brought in after drones caused chaos in December 2018.

11th March – An article in Bristol 24/7 lists seven reasons why Bristol Airport expansion has been rejected. Further details may be seen here

12th March – Concern is raised at Southampton Airport as MD says restructuring will take place. This follows the collapse of Flybe.

12th March – Plans to dual two key roads in Somerset could end if Heathrow expansion does not go ahead. The A303 and A358 were being considered for upgrading.

13th March – Claims are made that council may have to pay more to keep Newquay Airport open. This follows the turmoil created by the collapse of Flybe.

13th March – Heathrow makes deal to supply terminals with ‘green gas’. The deal will see biomethane from UK anaerobic digestion producers replace fossil fuel gas supplies.

14th March – Airport boss speaks of ‘environmentally friendly’ plans for new terminal. The goal is to update the airport’s facilities, rather than focus on boosting passenger numbers.

14th March – £1m Blackpool Airport investment will bring bigger jets. Squires Gate terminal will operate as Cat. 4 airport from April 1 allowing jets carrying up to 50 passengers to land.

15th March – Heathrow expansion now in a ‘deep freeze’ after court decision and coronavirus. Aviation industry expects the project to now fall off the agenda.

18th March – Gatwick cuts 200 jobs and bosses take pay cuts due to Coronavirus. Staff on temporary fixed-term contracts and contractors are to lose their jobs.

18th March – Southend Airport owners Stobart Group respond to speculation. It’s been in discussions regarding investment from a potential strategic airport development partner.

19th March – Cornwall Newquay Airport calls for more Government support.  It’s joined other airports/airlines in demanding more to be done as coronavirus continues to spread.

20th March – Heathrow operations to reduce during coronavirus outbreak. It will remain open enabling vital freight services and a limited number of passenger services to continue.

20th March – AeroExpo UK 2020 is cancelled for this year.

23rd March – The Government could be granted powers to close airports during the Covid-19 crisis. Further details may be seen here

24th March – Teesside Airport shuts its doors until further notice. Airport bosses say government advice to avoid non-essential travel is behind the move to try to slow virus.

24th March – Heathrow is stepping up its cargo capabilities. It’s called on airlines and freight companies to maximise the use of the hub airport’s quieter schedule during COVID-19 crisis.

26th March – Cornwall Newquay Airport closes temporarily due to COVID 19 crisis. It means all scheduled flights to and from Cornwall have been suspended.

27th March – Heathrow’s credit rating downgraded amid coronavirus uncertainty. Heathrow said its management team is continuing to reduce the airport’s cost base.

27th March – Gatwick to close North Terminal next week. It’s decided to temporarily shut its north terminal – used by carriers including easyJet – from the end of the month.

30th March – Heathrow Airport is being ‘repurposed’ as part of effort to fight coronavirus. It’s set to prioritise cargo flights carrying pharmaceutical products.

31st March – BA suspends all Gatwick flights. It’s said it’ll continue to carry out essential functions like maintenance, towing and cleaning to be ready to start up again effectively.

31st March – Luton Airport terminal remains open to accommodate flow of vital cargo. However, it will cease operations if necessary during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Other Aviation Industry News

2nd March – Cardiff Airport could get extra £6.8m loan from Welsh Government. It will carry out “analysis and financial due diligence” before the additional funding is approved.

2nd March – An article by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport titled: “Airports Policy: What next?” can be seen here

2nd March – The new Transport Committee was voted in. Further details on the 11 members of this committee including its Chair, Huw Merriman MP, may be seen here.
2nd March – IATA is contacting aviation regulators worldwide to request that rules governing airport slots be suspended immediately and for 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus. 

3rd March – An article in Passenger Terminal Today about gate and aircraft stand optimisation can be seen here

4th March – ICCAN begins work on new attitudinal noise survey. Further details may be seen here.

4th March – Scatsta Airport in the Shetland Islands is to close. It will have closed its doors by the end of June.

5th March – Flybe airline collapses into administration. The airline announced in the early hours it had ceased trading with immediate effect and administrators had been appointed.

5th March – UK is ready to support regional airports after Flybe collapse says Aviation Minister. Further details may be seen here

5th March – Flybe collapse hits council-owned airports hard. Amongst those affected are Newquay and East Midlands airports.

6th March – A BBC report asking what the implications of the collapse of Flybe could mean to some airports can be seen here.

7th March – UK aviation will leave EU aviation safety regulator says Transport Secretary. He said membership of EASA will end on 31 December 2020.

8th March – Government was ‘on the brink’ of making 3rd terminal decision for Dublin Airport. Transport Minister said calling of a General Election halted it.

9th March – There is a warning that staff at Belfast Airport may face a temporary lay-off. This is as a result of the collapse of Flybe.

10th March – The 5th British-Irish Airports EXPO is rescheduled to a new date of 5-6 October 2020 at ExCeL London.

10th March – New poll says Britons think the Government is not doing enough to boost the UK’s trading infrastructure. Further details may be seen here.

10th March – Transport Secretary urges relaxation of slot rules during coronavirus crisis. He has asked the European Commission to relax rules. 

10th March – A report claims that the UK cannot go carbon-neutral by 2050 unless people fly less and eat less red meat.  Further details may be seen here.

11th March – The Chancellor presented his budget to Parliament which provided little change in Air Passenger Duty. Further details can be seen here and here.

13th March – British Airways says coronavirus is threatening its survival. Staff were told there will be job cuts and aircrafts must be mothballed because of the worsening epidemic.

16th March – Centre for Aviation (CAPA) claims that by the end of May most of the world’s airlines will be bankrupt due to the coronavirus epidemic. Further details may be seen here.

16th March – DfT launches public consultation on amending the Civil Aviation (Aerial Advertising) Regulations 1995 to make skywriting and skytyping legal in the UK. The consultation is open until Sunday 29th March. 

17th March – AOA CE says because of Covid-19 airports may shut down within weeks without Government intervention.  Further details may be seen here.

17th March – ACI says support for the aviation industry must not discriminate during the current COVID-19 crisis. Further details may be seen here

18th March – Europe’s airports are facing total collapse mainly due to coronavirus. This warning has been given by ACI to the European Commission.

20th March – An article in Travel Daily News titled ‘Future of smart airport industry – It’s smart technology and Cloud efficiency’ can be seen here.

22nd March – EU to remove slot restrictions until October.  The waiver will apply from 1 March to 24 October this year to cover the entire summer season. 

22nd March – Warning that time is running out for aviation. Airlines/airports warn that time is running out for the government to enact promised measures to help the aviation industry.

23rd March – Joint call made for “urgent supporting measures” from European Commission. Joint letter is from ACI Europe, European Travel Retail Confederation, Airline Catering Association and Airport Services Association.

24th March – CAA extends Airspace consultation deadline to 27 May. Further details may be seen here.

24th March – UK airports and airlines told not to expect industry-wide bailout. Treasury warned that British air hubs may close without urgent Covid-19 rescue deal. 

24th March – UK airports brace for months of uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic is bringing international travel to a halt says article in Business Traveller.

25th March – ACI World publishes an updated policy brief – Airport Networks and the Sustainability of Small Airports. For further details see here.

25th March – An article in Airport Technology titled: ‘From launching airlines to sustainability: the potential of crowdfunding for aviation projects’ can be seen here.

25th March – A flight tracker reveals scale of global coronavirus lockdown as airlines ground planes to prevent spread of deadly infection. Further details may be seen here.

26th March – Government tells public not to use air travel unless essential. Further details on transport may be seen here.

26th March – DAA gets green light to change for new runway at Dublin Airport. This is despite objections from the representative body of airline pilots.

28th March – Airports will fail ‘in weeks’ without cash injection for baggage firms. Emergency funding is needed for the firms that supply baggage handlers and refuel planes.

29th March – Group of 38 MPs urge Chancellor to act urgently to save UK airlines. They want him to review support that airlines/airports have asked for in a bid to survive the pandemic.

30th March – Easyjet grounds its entire fleet during the COVID-19 crisis. Cabin crew will take a two-month leave of absence during this time.

30th March – Loganair will need Government help to survive says MD. Carlisle airport’s commercial airline says it will ask for Government help to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

31st March – EU approves slot suspension rules through summer season. This will allow airlines to stop operating “ghost flights” during the coronavirus crisis.

31st March – AOA again calls on Government to do more to help the aviation industry through the current coronavirus crisis. Further details may be seen here

31st March – An article in Airport Technology titled:  ‘How coronavirus will change aviation in the next decade’ can be seen here.

Finally, a reminder that last month (February 10th) the Welsh Government launched a consultation as part of its commitment to reviewing its existing technical advice on planning and noise (‘TAN11’), with a view to replacing it with a new Technical Advice Note covering air quality, noise and soundscape, within this Assembly term, i.e. by May 2021.  The consultation will run until 4 May 2020 and further details may be seen here.

SASIG Library Additions

For information on a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded project which was run by Airport Regions Council (an EU level equivalent organisation to SASIG) and focused on sustainable surface access to airports, please see  here.  This will link to the project site (LAirA), which contains a number of Action Plans and reports that Members will find interesting.

A presentation given by our guest hosts ICCAN at the workshop on issues relating to the development of land around airports and its subsequent usage, which followed our members’ meeting on 26 February can be seen in the members’ area on our website.

This month DfT published “Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge” and this can also be seen on our website.