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Election of Chair
To receive nominations and elect a Chair in the absence of Councillor Eke.
The Members sent their sincere best wishes to Councillor Eke. A Chair was required for this meeting in his absence. In his absence Councillor Foley was the nominated to take the Chair by Councillor Fairhurst and seconded by Councillor Caton. There were no objections and he was duly elected as Chair for the meeting.
Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies for absence and declarations of interest.
Apologies were received from Councillor Lemon.
Councillor Luck declared a non-pecuniary interest as the President of the Youth and Education Support which works with Manchester Airport Group (MAG) Youth Schools Unit at Stansted Airport.
Councillor Isham declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE).
Councillor LeCount declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of SSE.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 February 2019 were agreed and would be signed by the Chair as an accurate record at the next opportunity.
To consider Government consultation on night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports beyond 2024, plus national night flights policy.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer suggested that this item be postponed until the next meeting as the deadline for the consultation had been extended by the Department for Transport to the 3 September 2021. This was so that further evidence that was shortly to be published could be taken into account, including the CAA’s Survey of Noise Attitudes 2014: Aircraft Noise and Sleep report (“SoNA Sleep”).
The Chair suggested that the item was discussed so that Members could provide feedback on what had been published to date.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer presented the report and explained that Appendix A set out suggested responses and Appendix B gave an overview of how the existing night flights regime worked.
He particularly pointed out:-
Councillor Dean asked for a seminar to be arranged before the revised report came back to the meeting to refresh the Panel on general aviation details and it was suggested that this included what the Panel’s role should be.
The Chair agreed that there should be more regular meetings of the Panel and suggested that the next STAAP meeting took place in August or September 2021.
Councillor Caton was concerned that the report focused on noise, health, and the economy but had no environmental constraints on additional night flights.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer said the forthcoming Net-Zero Aviation Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan would provide this opportunity and would be looked at separately. The Department of Transport had confirmed that these would be separate documents, but could not confirm which one would be published first.
There was further discussion about the environmental impact of night flights and the Senior Planning Policy Officer suggested the inclusion of comments that cargo aircraft were generally more polluting and night flights added to the carbon footprint.
Councillor Pepper agreed to circulate information regarding the impact of aviation on the environment. She had noticed that there were more flights after midnight and she was concerned that this would further increase post-Brexit as overseas trade increased.
The Director of Public Services said there had been growing use of the night time period for cargo but there were some restrictions. Uttlesford District Council had previously made representations ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider Government consultation on aviation tax reform
CouncillorIsham said he thought the FFL was an obvious way to increase duty on those who flew on a regular basis both for business and pleasure. He said the administration of the scheme should not be too difficult to work out. He said the current APD should be kept and added to in order to reduce frequent flying.
Councillor Dean said he agreed with the “polluter pays” principle and said a way to administer the FFL needed to be found.
Councillor Fairhurst said it would not be too complicated to find a way to manage the FFL and impose this on each flight an individual took using FFL to fund carbon reduction.
There was some discussion as to where the FFL pot of money should go and the general consensus was that it should go into general taxation to provide for other services and should not be there to encourage more polluting activity.
Councillor Caton thought the APD cut was a populist idea without any thought behind it and he also agreed with the “polluter pays” concept. He said FFL was complicated and had privacy issues.
Councillor Reeve was not in favour of reducing APD, but did agree with the FFL concept. He thought the first flight for an individual should be exempt and then charges increased depending on frequency after that.
AGREED: to endorse the final response to be submitted to Cabinet for ratification to include the additional suggestion of a Frequent Flyers Levy within the response.
To consider the general update on aviation matters.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer said that page 52, paragraph 10 related to the Government’s Green Paper on the future of aviation. This was still being developed and a report would be brought back to a future meeting.
Councillor Luck said there were a number of items from the last meeting that needed to be revisited including passport control delays; S106 agreements and pedestrian and cycle access.
Councillor Luck left the meeting at 7:20pm.
The meeting ended at 7:30pm.