DfT non-public “information gathering” on Airport Consultative Committees

The Department for Transport is seeking views on Airport Consultative Committees (ACCs), but it is not a public consultation – just for members of the committees. These bodies are generally managed and paid for by the airport, and usually have one environmental representative, compared with many from councils, the airlines, business and the industry.  Many airport groups have for years felt that the consultative committees do not give affected communities, or environmental issues, the proper consideration they deserve.  Instead airport community groups say most consultative committees are just an extension of the airport’s PR machine. It would be better if the committees were funded independently, rather than having the airport pay the Chair and Secretary – which currently creates an underlying sense of obligation to the airport and its interests. Airport groups are suggesting that there needs to be a better, more independent process, and more democratic choice of chairs. With the recent abolition of ICCAN, there is even less independent oversight of airport operations. Providing greater independence for ACCs could help to redress this.


Call for information on Airport Consultative Committees

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) writes:

The Department for Transport (DfT) has invited Airport Consultative Committees (ACCs) and similar organisations to participate in an information gathering exercise to assess current working arrangements. Some of our members have a seat on their ACC and may have received the DfT’s invite. However, the invite has not been extended to members of the public.

In our 2016 Members Survey, many of you expressed concern about the way that your ACC was organised and run. Given this, AEF has selected and summarised those points raised by the DfT that we felt would be relevant to members, and is seeking your views about your ACC to formulate a response to the DfT. Please let us have your thoughts on any or all of the following:

  • the governance and transparency of your ACC (e.g. whether it make advance meeting schedules, meeting minutes and discussion papers/presentations publicly available);
  • the diversity of your ACC and the importance, or otherwise, you place on this and why;
  • whether your ACC ensures its members (e.g. community groups or local authorities) have the authority to represent the group or organisation on whose behalf they attend meetings;
  • the independence, or otherwise, of your ACC’s chair or secretariat, and the importance you place on this;
  • whether your ACC has a neutral funding source and the importance you place on neutrality of funding;
  • whether your ACC is engaged with key government policy developments relating to decarbonisation, such as the net zero agenda.

The AEF is inviting people who have opinions about their local airport’s ACC to send in their comments, to their local ACC representatives.

Department for Transport guidelines for Airport Consultative Committees  2014