The bumper Summer edition of Airport Operator magazine is now available to download. In this quarter's magazine, we hear from Liverpool John Lennon Airport CEO John Irving, Birmingham Airport CEO Nick Barton, London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair and George Best Belfast City Airport CEO Matthew Hall about how each of them is taking advantage of the opportunities they have. Chair of the House of Commons Transport Committee, Iain Stewart also shares his thoughts with us on how he and his committee will be championing the cause of aviation in Westminster. Finally, AOA partners SES Aviation, LB Foster Europe, and UK Power Networks Services give us their thoughts on the role service providers can play.

This week I, along with colleagues from SA, met with representatives from DfT’s forecasting team, to discuss the new passenger growth estimates published in ‘Jet Zero Strategy: One Year On’. We expressed our disappointment that there had been no consultation with the industry about the changes, which saw the estimates of passenger growth to 2050 reduce from 70% to 52%. DfT confirmed that there will be further opportunities for discussion ahead of a more formal forecasting exercise in the first half of next year. The reductions in forecast growth were principally due to a drop in foreign GDP growth rates, and changes to UK exchange rates. AOA will continue to engage on this subject and I’ll provide updates on progress, but in the meantime please email for more information.

The DfT and CAA have written to the aviation industry, announcing the intention to establish a ‘SDE’ (Single Design Entity) to progress Airspace Modernisation as per CAP1616. This follows discussions I have had through the Aviation Council at which industry has voiced concerns about the current approach and the risks to delivery, particularly because of the large number of airspace interdependencies in the Southeast. The DfT and CAA are currently establishing governance structures, engagement and reporting plans, and key milestones for the ‘SDE’, but will also be considering its role, scope and funding model and the regulatory, legislative and consultation requirements. DfT has promised continued engagement as the ‘SDE’ develops, and we will be working to ensure it meets the needs of the industry in terms of the modernisation of UK airspace.

The team also joined the Airspace Integration Working Group (FAIWG-AI) group to collaborate on the UK Research and Innovation's Future Flight Vision programme. This aims to shape the future of aviation, focussing on three areas: infrastructure; air vehicle capabilities; and regulation. Both industry and government are working together to develop a ‘Future of Flight’ plan that will maximise the benefits of new technologies while ensuring safety and security. For more information about this work, please email

And finally, I am delighted to confirm that Schiphol Airport will be joining us for our panel discussion on Next Generation Security at our Security Conference, sponsored by Dallmeier and ICTS UK & Ireland, taking place next month in York. Please remind your teams to book their spaces for this event, where the line-up also includes expert speakers from DfT, the CAA, ACI Europe, airports, airlines, industry and academia.

Items to note:

  1. EUROCONTROL has published the 133rd edition of the European Network Operations Plan (NOP) – Rolling Seasonal Plan.
  2. Expressions of interest for companies wishing to participate in the UK Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai are now open, with government particularly keen to showcase SAF manufacturers.
  3. CAA is consulting on 'The future of remote pilot competency', outlining its perspective on the future of remote piloting and of unmanned aircraft operations.
  4. The UK government published an updated National Risk Register, underlining what it views as the most likely and most significant negative events we face, including in aviation.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive