Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 89

Thursday 23 July 2020

Dear AOA Member,

As you will now be aware, face masks will become mandatory in indoor parts of transport hubs, including airports, from tomorrow (Friday 24 July). The Department for Transport communications toolkit with new campaign material will be updated on Friday and will set out that passengers should wear face coverings at transport hubs and will also remind people that some passengers are exempt. Overall, the message to passengers from Friday will be that they should wear a face covering when using the transport network.

This afternoon, I attended the first meeting of the Expert Steering Group’s sub-group on testing in the aviation system. The group will explore whether testing could have a role to play in further opening up air travel. The terms of reference for the group will be finalised at a meeting early next week. AOA will continue to engage with this subgroup and keep members informed on developments going forward.

Today the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published its report on the impact of Coronavirus. AOA submitted evidence to this inquiry although there was little in the report of note for our sector; the Committee did state that the timing and guidance on the quarantine measures have been far from clear. In addition the report called for DCMS to work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Department for Transport to clearly communicate information about international travel agreements to the tourism sector, including the science behind the decisions and the plans for reviewing the effectiveness of the agreements.

Other items to note:

  • The CAA has reviewed the Rescue and Firefighting Services (RFFS) easements against the latest government guidance and has concluded that they may be applied until 31 October 2020. This coincides with the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Please find version 1.3 of the RFFS FAQ and Easements document, with amendments highlighted.
  • The AOA Sustainability Group met to discuss aviation noise issues this afternoon. Airports were interested in the recent public statements from the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN), and the approach the Commission has been taking to industry engagement thus far. Members shared their experiences of noise complaints and the AOA resolved to increase its efforts to engage with ICCAN and help the body better understand the concerns of industry.
  • Following their joint statement with the Department for Transport last week, the Civil Aviation Authority has provided an update on its intentions with regard to Airspace Modernisation, which can be found here. The CAA will be reviewing the Airspace Modernisation Strategy, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the process for accepting the airspace change masterplan. It restated the commitment to airspace modernisation and stressed the importance of avoiding a situation in which airspace change sponsors lose any progress made.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive