COVID-19 Update 86
Monday 20 July 2020
Dear AOA Member,
Today saw the publication of a report from York Aviation concerning connectivity and APD which highlights that the effects of COVID-19 will be long felt by UK airports, with our regions particularly hard-hit after the worst four months in the history of commercial aviation. In our press release (where you can also find a link to the report), we urged Government to implement a package of measures to help the UK industry to recover including: business rates relief for all UK airports, continuing employment support to protect jobs within the industry, and a temporary suspension of APD.
This afternoon AOA joined the weekly operational call for airports with the Department for Transport. Officials outlined the work being done to form three sub-groups of the Expert Steering Group to develop Government and industry thinking on: APD; Business Rates; and COVID-19 testing. The Department also highlighted the communications challenge of increasing the numbers of passengers who have pre-filled their passenger locator forms and the work being done to address this. On the issue of face coverings, officials explained they expected these to be made mandatory in UK airports and were intending to lay the regulations in Parliament later this week. Finally on International Travel Corridors, officials will be assessing the latest data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre this week, with the intention of potentially adding some further countries to the list of those exempt from quarantine measures on the 27th July. The Department is still considering whether it would be possible to introduce more frequent opportunities for countries to be added to the list, perhaps at fortnightly intervals instead of the current four-week review points.
Other items of note:
- AOA also attended the Aviation Noise Engagement Group (ANEG) meeting this afternoon. A lot had happened since the last meeting in January, in light of COVID-19. The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) in their update to the meeting stated that they were keen to work with all parties on better understanding different noise metrics. In terms of Airspace Modernisation, ICCAN will continue to test noise claims and press for noise to be considered as important as carbon when discussing modernisation.