Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 72

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Dear AOA Member,

The Prime Minister and Transport Secretary made an expected announcement this morning of significant investment in the country’s transport networks, with funding for specific road and rail investments highlighted. This investment is the start of the Government’s efforts to re-energise the UK’s economy post-COVID-19 and forms parts of the “Build, Build, Build” narrative. We’ll have to wait and see how extensive the Government’s interventions in the economy are, ahead of an expected fiscal statement at some point in July 2020. The AOA will be writing to the Chancellor ahead of the statement to set out areas where we feel Treasury support would have the most impact in the aviation sector.

Reporting and speculation regarding the removal of quarantine measures continues and I look forward to the day that I no longer update you on this topic. While all signs point toward quite a positive announcement from the Government at some point later this week, with many countries due to be in the amber or green categories of the new RAG system set up for classifying destination countries, the AOA will be prepared to respond in any scenario; overall it is welcome news that the Government is pursuing a risk-based approach now. Meanwhile the EU has agreed their first list of third countries which will have an EU travel ban lifted, specifying that destination countries must reciprocate the access granted to passengers if the EU is to lift the travel ban, which perhaps highlights a problem that the UK system may run into in the future.

Today AOA facilitated a Virtual Freeports Roundtable with HM Treasury and DfT. The Government plans to introduce up to 10 Freeports across the UK which will be national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce and wanted, before the consultation closes on 13 July, to hear airports’ views on Freeports and how they can benefit the aviation industry. Today’s discussion was an opportunity for the Treasury and DfT to hear from airports and to answer their questions. It proved to be a productive session for everyone.

Other items of note:

  • As part of restart work for air traffic services, the CAA has allowed for individual ATCOs recency requirements to extend beyond the usual 90 days, provided permission has been granted by their CAA ATS inspector. More details can be found here.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive