Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future of UK aviation - post-COVID-19 sector recovery, changing passenger demands and low-carbon obligations, and next steps for policy

Morning, Tuesday, 17th November 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will be an opportunity to consider the future of UK aviation following the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency.

Areas for discussion include:

  • addressing  the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation industry
  • meeting changing customer demands
  • the net-zero policy ambitions for aviation
  • priorities for regional aviation and supporting local economies
  • next steps for policy, protecting the sector across the value chain, and creating a long-term vision for revitalising the aviation sector as part of the national aviation strategy

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

The discussion in detail:

The impact of COVID-19

As the pandemic presents fundamental challenges for stakeholders across aviation - from manufacturers to airports and airlines and across supply chains - we expect discussion to  centre around practical steps for safeguarding the sector from permanent economic damage, looking at:

  • Airports:
    • integrating newly-needed public health measures into operations, and next steps for restoring passenger confidence and attracting flyers back to airports;
    • enabling national and regional airports to contribute to and benefit from a resurge in national economic growth, and latest thinking what is needed from funding and other support packages
    • the pipeline of airport extension and development plans for UK airports in the context of COVID-19 and how plans can be configured to best contribute to sector recovery and protection
  • Airlines:
    • the impact of the introduction of travel corridors - and what can be done to improve consumer confidence and support a return to business and leisure travel
    • the scope and options for financial support, such as operational loans, further job protection measures, and support for scaling activity back up
    • the airport slot allocation process, and ensuring that systems encourage and support connectivity and the ability of airlines to restart cost-effectively
    • the practicalities and economics for airlines of measures for protecting the health and safety of staff and passengers
  • Financial support, and market dynamics and innovation:
    • the outlook for M&A and new partnerships - and the impact on the sector as a whole, players in the range of it segments, and on the services provided to customers
    • immediate and long-term financial support needed across aviation industry, and options for protecting supply chains, and businesses and their operations, from significant demand volatility
    • the impact of emergency measures like the CCFF scheme, and best practice for airlines and other stakeholders in utilising support
    • prospects for new markets and business models within the aviation sector, such as increasing dedicated freight planes, and steps for repurposing airline fleets for freight capacity

Reducing emissions, meeting net-zero targets and future demand

Looking ahead to priorities for the Aviation Strategy White Paper, as it is prepared for expected publication later this year, including:

  • latest on  innovation in decarbonisation, new technology, and development of future fuels
  • priorities for regulation that keeps pace with new technology - including the use of unmanned aircraft - and addressing airspace management concerns and safety risks
  • decarbonising surface transport - including priorities for improving public transport connectivity and growing its use, and developing infrastructure to support Low Emission Vehicles
  • making sure the industry has the workforce and skills it needs as it adapts to new ways of working and longer term environmental targets
  • ensuring that the industry is able to meet future demand - including new capacity in the South East - and how can this be done in a way that supports both environmental and economic goals

Developing and supporting strong regional airports

In the context of the Department for Transport’s Regional Air Connectivity Review, there will be discussion on:

  • priorities for developing strong regional airports - and their role in supporting the government’s levelling up agenda
  • the impact of market consolidation and financial challenges on the long term outlook for some regional routes
  • linking regional airports more effectively with public transport, and local and strategic road networks
  • expanding connectivity between national, regional, and international airports and opening up new routes for travel and trade, and seizing trade opportunities following the EU exit transition period

The agenda:

  • Assessing the immediate impact of COVID-19 on the UK airline industry and the next steps for recovery
  • Adapting to COVID-19, priorities for improving passenger confidence and restoring airline activity - latest thinking on financial support measures, market consolidation, and future markets
  • The future of mobility and protecting manufacturers in UK aviation - regulation, innovation, and meeting decarbonisation targets
  • Developing a pathway for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and the skills base to support the future of the sector
  • Examining the market and financial challenges for UK airports
  • Priorities for major airports in the UK - scaling up services, rolling out health checks and screening, meeting future capacity needs
  • Next steps for regional airports and restarting commercial operations - delivering connectivity to meet future demand, their role in international trade, and supporting local and national economic recovery

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect further speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved with aviation policy, alongside a wide range of stakeholders from transport and environmental services, airports, airspace management, construction and engineering firms, charities, passenger groups, lawyers, local government, academics and commentators, together with reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Dr Pere Suau-Sanchez

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Air Transport Management, Cranfield University

Cait Hewitt

Deputy Director, Aviation Environment Federation

Gary Cutts

Challenge Director, Future Flight Challenge, Innovate UK

Karen Dee

Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association

Mark Burgess

Director, Process Improvement, Heathrow Airport

Tim Alderslade

Chief Executive, Airlines UK


Zoe McLernon

Multimodal Policy Manager, Logistics UK

Simon McNamara

Area Manager, United Kingdom & Ireland, International Air Transport Association

Keith Beattie

Partner, Burges Salmon

Paul Kellaway

Assistant Director, Competition and Markets Authority