COVID-19 Update 59
Thursday 11 June 2020
Dear AOA Member,
This morning began with the long-awaited publication of the Department for Transport’s guidance for aviation industry operators and passengers. The AOA team have worked hard with officials and other stakeholders in the industry to get these over the line, and I now hope that they can form the basis for our pathway out of the current quarantine restrictions on travel. AOA released the following statement in response to the announcement. We look forward to working with Government over the next few weeks, in order to get as many air bridges as possible set-up in time for the end-of-June review point of the quarantine policy. Meanwhile I’ve also written to the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, following Labour’s announcement of an alternative means of providing border health measures, which would include a 48-hour testing regime instead of the quarantine.
Later this morning I attended the latest meeting of the Expert Steering Group which focused on the importance of opening up the market for flights for summer (via airbridges). In a separate meeting with the Department’s external affairs team, it was made clear that further guidance on the mandatory face mask policy would be released this upcoming Sunday or Monday.
Following the launch of five “recovery roundtables” by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, the AOA has wrote to the Business Secretary to express concern over the fact that the aviation industry is not represented on these groups. The themes of the roundtables, including a “Green Recovery” and “The UK open for business”, certainly lend themselves to at least one representative from our sector. I will keep members updated as to our progress on this matter.
Finally, I have concluded my day of letter-writing with another to the Aviation Minister, jointly with AirlinesUK, to ask that the Department for Transport fund the Civil Aviation Authority for the remainder of the 2020/2021 charging period thus removing the need for charges to airports and airlines. In light of the quarantine policy effectively delaying any restart to the aviation industry, we felt this could be a meaningful act of support from the Government.
Other item of note:
- The AOA Planners Forum met today and discussed the impact of COVID-19 on development programme at airports, status of masterplans, freeports and the green recovery. Airport members let us know if you want to be involved in future meetings.