Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 44

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Dear AOA Member,

Today, Aviation Minister Kelly Tolhurst appeared in front of the Transport Select Committee, for a challenging session. MPs raised concerns about the DfT’s handling of aviation in the wake of COVID-19 as well as concerns over consumer refunds. It has provided us with a number of points to follow up with MPs, which we will be doing in the coming days. On Friday, we have a briefing session planned for backbench MPs with an airport or aviation interest, and that looks to be a popular session.

Air bridges seem to have taken the media’s interest, with significant further coverage today. The Minister confirmed the Government is looking at this currently. We discussed the latest iteration of the concept proposal with IATA today, and we feel it is in a good place for Government now to take a number of decisions around implementation. Airports have a call with the Aviation Minister tomorrow as well as another meeting of the Expert Steering Group, so we will hopefully be able to update you on next steps after those.

There has been some positive news on business support, with the Northern Ireland Executive granting business rate relief to Northern Irish airports. We have used it as an opportunity to call publicly for the UK Government to act similarly, and will be writing to the Chancellor – again – on this.

Finally, a number of smaller items:

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive