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

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

This conference focuses on the future of UK aviation - including policy priorities and the sector’s prospects in the wake of COVID-19.

The discussion at a glance:

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

Relevant developments:

  • the Government’s agenda around restoring domestic and international travel
  • Aviation Strategy White Paper - expected later this year following the Aviation 2050 - the future of UK aviation consultation
  • Regional Air Connectivity Review - aimed at supporting the Government’s levelling up agenda across the UK’s regions
  • airport capacity in the south-east - including ongoing discussion around the possible expansion of Heathrow airport
  • Brexit - the EU exit transition period coming to a close at the end of this year
  • the Global Travel Taskforce - being established between DHSC and DfT, and aiming to identify areas where government support can help the sector overcome challenges posed by COVID-19
  • COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme - short-term debt purchasing by Government, which is designed to provide short-term relief for corporate costs.
  • Aviation Restart, Recovery, and Engagement Unit - set up at the DfT, working on strategy for protecting and restoring economic confidence, security and activity across the aviation sector
  • Decarbonising Transport - Setting the Challenge - setting out government aims to reduce emissions across the UK transport sector, including aviation
  • Government backs cleaner planes, ships and automobiles with £37m boost - the Business Secretary’s announced investment for technologies to help electrify planes, ships and road vehicles
  • Prepare for lift-off: Jet Zero Council to deliver carbon-free flight - bringing together academics and the aviation aerospace industries to support a transition to a zero-emission aviation sector by 2050
  • A New Deal for Britain - the Prime Minister’s plan, which includes £10m of funding for the first wave of innovative R&D projects in batteries, motors, electronics and fuel cells

The discussion in detail:


  • priorities - moving forward from the pandemic’s economic and social impacts, and tackling the fundamental challenges for manufacturers, airports, airlines and others across the supply chains
  • airports:
    • adaptation - integrating newly-needed public health measures into operations, and next steps for restoring passenger confidence and attracting flyers back to airports
    • levelling up - enabling both national and regional airports to contribute to and benefit from a resurge in national economic growth
    • support - latest thinking what is needed from funding and other support packages
    • extension and development - assessing the pipeline of projects for UK airports in the context of COVID-19 and how plans can be configured to best contribute to sector recovery and protection, in the context of environmental priorities and policy
  • airlines:
    • air travel now - the impact of the introduction of travel corridors and what can be done to improve consumer confidence and support a responsible return to business and leisure travel
    • ramping up operations - the airport slot allocation process, and ensuring that systems encourage and support connectivity and the ability of airlines to restart cost-effectively
    • implementing safety measures - the practicalities and economics for airlines of measures for protecting the health and wellbeing of staff and passengers
    • support - the scope and options for financial help, such as operational loans, further job protection measures, and support for scaling activity back up
  • financial support, and market dynamics and innovation:
    • market dynamics - 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
    • finance - immediate and long-term support needed across aviation industry, and options for protecting supply chains, and businesses and their operations, from significant demand volatility
    • utilising support - best practice for airlines and other stakeholders and the impact of emergency measures like the CCFF scheme
    • for new markets and business models - prospects within the aviation sector, such as increasing dedicated freight planes, and steps for repurposing airline fleets for freight capacity

Future demand and sustainability

  • policy - looking ahead to priorities for the Aviation Strategy White Paper, as it is prepared for expected publication later this year
  • innovation - latest developments in decarbonisation, new technology, and development of future fuels
  • regulation - priorities for ensuring that it 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
  • workforce - making sure the industry has the people and skills it needs as it adapts to new ways of working and longer term environmental targets
  • future demand - preparing the industry to meet future market activity and customer needs - 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

  • the Department for Transport’s Regional Air Connectivity Review
  • priorities for developing strong regional airports - and their role in supporting the government’s levelling up agenda
  • market dynamics - the impact of consolidation and financial challenges on the long term outlook for some regional routes
  • modal connectivity - linking regional airports more effectively with public transport, and local and strategic road networks
  • airport connectivity - expanding links between national, regional, and international hubs
  • market development - 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
  • Regulation, competition and safeguarding passengers
  • 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 manufacturers in UK aviation - regulation, innovation, and meeting decarbonisation targets
  • Developing a pathway for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, and safeguarding the skills base, wider aerospace partners, and supporting 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 - 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. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from the Department for Transport; the Competition and Markets Authority; the Department for International Trade; the Home Office; MHCLG; BEIS; Defence Airspace/Air Traffic Management; the Border Force; the Health & Safety Executive; the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise; the MOD; and the Welsh Government.

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

Karen Dee

Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association

Tim Alderslade

Chief Executive, Airlines UK

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

Paul Adams

Head of Aerospace, Defence and Security, Vendigital

Mark Burgess

Director, Process Improvement, Heathrow Airport

Tim Alderslade

Chief Executive, Airlines UK


Ruth Cadbury MP,

Member, Transport Select Committee, and Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport

Sir Roger Gale MP

President, All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation


Dave Lees

Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Airport

Martin Bowman

Director, Aviation Digital Assets, Deloitte

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

Henry Kelly

Lead Economist, Midlands Connect