Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 97

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Dear AOA Member,

This morning the AOA attended the airlines sub-group of the Expert Steering Group. The session focused on cash-burn with the airlines proposing a variety of measures to reduce costs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Principal among these proposals were: reform of EU261, a waiver for ATC charges and an extension of the current 80:20 slot waiver for the winter season. The airports and aviation services sub-group is due to meet tomorrow and will discuss the main asks from the airports sector, including business rates relief, employment support and assistance with/deferral of further regulatory costs and burdens.

AOA Chair and I met this afternoon with DfT Permanent Secretary Bernadette Kelly to emphasise the need to make urgent progress in a number of areas including: adopting a regionalised approach to quarantine measures in future to better reflect risk; determining the potential role for a testing regime in place of quarantine measures for travel from higher risk countries; and evaluating the benefits of financial measures to support the sector as it begins the recovery. Many of these themes are featuring in the work of the ESG and its sub-groups so it is helpful to ensure the very top of our sponsor department is well briefed on the industry’s concerns.

The Department for Transport has circulated the latest version of the Passenger Locator Form. The linked presentation outlines the flow of the form and perhaps highlights the complexity and length of the PLF. Airports and airlines have fed back to the Department and Border Force on the issues with the PLF, as mentioned in yesterday’s update, but it appears there is still some considerable work to do in order to make the form simpler and shorter.

Other items of note:

  • ICAO requirements for assessing and reporting of runway surface conditions have had their implementation dates delayed by a year. Further information can be found in the ICAO letter to member states here.
  • A recording of the BEIS-facilitated webinar on the future of UK carbon pricing, written about in last Thursday’s update, is now available here.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive