Agenda and minutes

Airport Consultative Committee - Friday, 5 February 2021 2:00 pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting - Link to Follow via Email

Contact: Nikki Dunne, Democratic Services Officer, 02380 688298 Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 132 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Operations Director's Update


The Operations Director reported that due to the current Government restrictions, Southampton Airport had made the decision to close Saturdays and Sundays for five weekends until 7 March 2021 as passenger numbers and flights remained low. This will be reviewed weekly. BA City Flyer had confirmed 11 new routes starting 1 May 2021.


The restructure was now complete, and furlough was extended, so hopeful that there will be no further redundancies. The shops were due to re-open in May if current restrictions are eased.


It was highlighted that the current finances were concerning. In 2020 there was a loss of £6.5m recorded. The forecast for 2021 is a loss of £6.8m.


Whilst flights and passenger numbers were low, the car park at the airport had been used as a Covid Testing Site and was offered as a vaccination hub. The car park was also used for the Military Veterans Charity which was a successful socially distanced event.




Planning Update


The Head of Planning and Development at Southampton Airport explained that further consultation for the Runway Planning Application had commenced for 30 days and a date for determination was to be set by Eastleigh Borough Council shortly.


Solent LEP were to include the airport and adjacent land as one of the 3 tax sites in their Government Freeport bid. Successful bidders will be asked to set out a business case in 2021. 


Sustainability Update


GRESB looks at what the industry consider to be material issues in the sustainability performance and are aligned with international reporting frameworks. Assessment participants receive comparative business intelligence on where they stand against their peers. Aberdeen Glasgow and Southampton Airports (AGS Airports) are leading the way both within the UK and Europe.


Noise Update


It was reported that between 1 October 2020 and 31 January 2021, there were no night flights, 34 helicopter movements and 323 training flights. There were 9 noise complaints for operations to the north and 40 noise complaints for operations to the south. 32 complaints had been received from one household in the Bitterne Park area. Southampton Airport were pleased to announce that there were no Noise Preferred Route Deviations between these months.


Airpace Modernisation


There have not been any changes to the airspace or noise abatement procedures. The Department for Transport are currently considering a proposal for funding support to enable the restart of the UK airspace modernisation programme. DfT have understandably been unable to pursue this on behalf of the airport as quickly as anticipated owing to Brexit and COVID issues. A decision in February is anticipated.


AGS Airports ACP programmes are currently on “pause” on the CAA portal. The Airport hope to recommence their programme if this funding becomes available otherwise they will need to reassess their ability to continue the programme at any of their airports. We would fully review the stakeholder list and engagement processes to ensure they would be effective prior to recommencing the programme.


UKACC Virtual Conference


The Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary attended the virtual meeting on 15 December 2020. The financial position and membership of UKACC was discussed. It was recognised that the pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the aviation industry. Whilst passenger numbers at Southampton Airport were below the required membership number, in view of prevailing circumstances, membership was still acceptable.


The aviation industry does not expect traffic to recover to 2019 levels for around 4 to 5 years.


The Union Connectivity Review will provide independent advice to the Government. It will provide an overview of how connectivity between the nations of the United Kingdom can support economic growth and improve quality of life. The meetings discussed site specific matters in addition to the protection of slots for regional services at the capacity constrained London Airports, principally Heathrow and Gatwick remain a key area of concern for UKACCs.


Accessibility issues update


The Chair highlighted the need for the Accessibility Group to meet on a regular basis and was keen to get back to an ‘Excellent’ rating as the airport was recently awarded ‘Good’. The Chair will follow up with the representative, Chris Hall and the Airport to arrange for the meetings to take place.


DfT Consultation on Night Flying


The Chair provided an update on the Union Connectivity Review. The final recommendations are expected to be published in Summer 2021.


The Operations Director explained that night flights were not on the radar of the airport.