To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport and the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment & Transport and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member.
(1) The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained the draft discussion document setting out Kent County Council’s (KCC) proposed view on how the UK can meet its aviation needs for the consideration of the Committee. Paul Crick, Director Environment, Planning and Enforcement, and Joe Ratcliffe, Principal Transport Planner – Strategy, were in attendance to introduce the report and in particular referred to the following:
(2) Facing the Aviation Challenge took account of KCC’s earlier discussion document ‘Bold Steps for Aviation’ (May 2012, with revisions in July 2012) and was consistent with KCC’s submissions to the Airports Commission between March 2013 and May 2014 including proposals for expansion of some existing airports, better utilisation of regional airports, improved accessibility to airports by rail and reform of Air Passenger Duty (APD); as an alternative to a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, which is strongly opposed. Improvements to the noise environment around airports also forms part of the proposed discussion document.
(3) In ‘Facing the Aviation Challenge’, KCC recommends to Government:
• The need for correction of the UK’s competitive disadvantage in terms of APD.
• The creation of a National Policy Statement (NPS) for airports that supports the growth of existing airports with one net additional runway added in the South East by 2030.
• The NPS should not however, support the development of new airports.
• The NPS should support a phased approach to adding runway capacity to keep pace with demand, therefore allowing existing airports to add additional runway capacity when the need arises, most likely a second net additional runway in the South East by 2050.
• The need for better utilisation of regional airports, especially in the short and medium terms, as this will provide much needed capacity across the South East and bring significant economic benefits to regional economies.
• Investment is needed to improve surface access to airports; especially rail access and the development of an integrated air-rail transport system that will be beneficial to London and the South East’s connectivity to global markets.
• An independent noise authority should be set up (as recommended by the Airports Commission) and measures taken to properly measure, minimise and mitigate the noise impacts of existing airport operations and airport expansion.
• Proposals for a new hub airport must not be progressed any further. Action is needed now and this can only be achieved by building on the UK’s existing airport infrastructure.
• In the interests of the national economy, action on these issues is needed now.
(4) Members commented and raised concerns over the lack of reference in the paper to Manston. At the full Council meeting on 17 July 2014 Members had voted unanimously to explore with Thanet District Council ways in which it could support proposals to retain Manston as an airport. Members stated that Manston should be treated as feasible until it became ... view the full minutes text for item 14