Commons Transport Committee set up inquiry to scrutinise the Government’s aviation strategy
The Transport Committee has published the terms of reference for a new inquiry that will examine the Government’s aviation strategy and will focus on aviation capacity in the UK. The Davies Commission will not produce its final report until 2015. Louise Ellman, the Transport Committee’s Chair, said she believed a strategy for aviation capacity should not be delayed further. She is inviting the public to submit their views, by 19th October. Her committee aims to influence the Government during the policy development process “with sensible but challenging recommendations and to make sure that aviation policy stays high on the political agenda.” The Committee will look at connectivity, economic impacts, APD, making best use of existing airport capacity, noise and carbon emissions.And “Do we need a step-change in UK aviation capacity? Why?”
This does not appear to ask whether an increase in capacity is needed. It just presumes it is, after asking sensible questions in the first two sections. The second two sections betray that the committee appears to already have decided that an increase in capacity is going to happen. Then it asks “Will the Government’s proposals help reduce carbon emissions and manage the impact of aviation on climate change?” Presumably, if there is huge aviation expansion planned, the answer is NO, it will not reduce carbon emission.
Transport Committee pledges to scrutinise the Government’s aviation strategy
The Transport Committee has today published the terms of reference for a new inquiry that will examine the Government’s aviation strategy and will focus on aviation capacity in the UK.
Launching the inquiry in Parliament, Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Committee, said:
“The debate about airport capacity in the south east has recently intensified. The Government has announced that an independent commission will be set up to look at hub capacity but it is not expected to produce its final report until 2015.
I believe that a strategy for aviation capacity should not be delayed further. We want the public to get in touch now to make sure they have their voices heard on this important issue. We aim to influence the Government during the policy development process with sensible but challenging recommendations and to make sure that aviation policy stays high on the political agenda.”
The issues which the Committee will examine, along with an indication of the questions it will pursue, are set out below:
- What should be the objectives of Government policy on aviation?
- a. How important is international aviation connectivity to the UK aviation industry?
b. What are the benefits of aviation to the UK economy?
c. What is the impact of Air Passenger Duty on the aviation industry?
d. How should improving the passenger experience be reflected in the Government’s aviation strategy?
e. Where does aviation fit in the overall transport strategy?
- How should we make the best use of existing aviation capacity?
- a. How do we make the best use of existing London airport capacity? Are the Government’s current measures sufficient? What more could be done to improve passenger experience and airport resilience?
b. Does the Government’s current strategy make the best use of existing capacity at airports outside the south east? How could this be improved?
c. How can surface access to airports be improved?
- What constraints are there on increasing UK aviation capacity?
- a. Are the Government’s proposals to manage the impact of aviation on the local environment sufficient, particularly in terms of reducing the impact of noise on local residents?
b. Will the Government’s proposals help reduce carbon emissions and manage the impact of aviation on climate change? How can aviation be made more sustainable?
c. What is the relationship between the Government’s strategy and EU aviation policies?
- Do we need a step-change in UK aviation capacity? Why?
- a. What should this step-change be? Should there be a new hub airport? Where?
b. What are the costs and benefits of these different ways to increase UK aviation capacity?
Written evidence would be welcome on some or all of these issues and must be submitted by Friday 19 October.
A day earlier:
Commons Transport Committee shortly to hold inquiry into airport capacity – to report by summer 2013
Date added: September 12, 2012
The Commons’ Transport Committee will launch a major inquiry into aviation tomorrow – 13th September – pre-empting the interim results of the Government’s independent Davies Commission report on UK airports – which are expected by the end of 2013. The transport select committee is likely to reach a conclusion in 6 -9 months, so by early next year, on whether there is a need for more capacity, or as the Standard puts it ” on where a major London hub airport should be sited.” Boris will be invited to give evidence to the committee, as will Government ministers, airline chiefs, environmentalists and campaigners against airport expansion. The inquiry will also examine regional airports, passenger experience and APD.