Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 13 May 2019
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the (a) legal (b) other costs to the public purse of the judicial review of the Airports National Policy Statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 May 2019

The external costs to date to the Department of defending the judicial review claims are £1,608,642 for legal costs and £95,152 for other costs.

Following the judgments in favour of the Secretary of State, the Department will seek to recover up to £625,000 in costs from the unsuccessful claimants.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2018
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what dates the cross-government steering group considering the development of the Airports National Policy Statement and accompanying Appraisal of Sustainability met since June 2017; and if he will list the job titles of the members of that steering group.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 July 2018

Since June 2017, there have been four meetings of the steering group that meets to discuss the National Policy Statement and Appraisal of Sustainability on the following dates: 4 September 2017, 14 September 2017, 10 April 2018 and 30 May 2018.

The membership of the steering group is cross-Government. There is no fixed invitee or attendee list; representatives from the following Departments, Offices and Agencies are invited to send representatives to attend meetings: Department for Transport, Cabinet Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, HM Treasury, Scotland Office, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Home Office, Northern Ireland Office, Wales Office, Department for Education and Public Health England. Attendees will often vary depending on the agenda to be discussed.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2018
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what dates special advisers of his Department (a) met and (b) exchanged corresponded with (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) officials of HM Treasury from June 2017 in relation to the Airports National Policy Statement and accompanying documents and analysis.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 July 2018

Special advisers may engage with Government colleagues on a wide range of issues from time to time, and act in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

More broadly, I would note that all Departmental representatives involved in any discussions prior to the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement will have followed the propriety arrangements set out in Engaging with Stakeholders: Statement of Approach by Ministers and Officials dealing with the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement, which is published online:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653867/engaging-with-stakeholders-statement-of-approach-revised-draft-airports-nps.pdf

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2018
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what date officials of his Department gave their final advice to Ministers of his Department on Public Service Obligations in relation to the (a) draft-original, (b) draft-revised and (c) final Airports National Policy Statement; and from which directorate that advice was received.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 July 2018

The Secretary of State has set out a clear commitment that Public Service Obligations would be imposed, if required, to boost and retain connectivity from an expanded Heathrow Airport. This will complement the requirements in the Airports National Policy Statement for Heathrow to work with airlines to strengthen existing routes and introduce new connections.

As per the usual process, final advice was provided to the Secretary of State, and was subject to cross Whitehall agreement, ahead of the (a) draft Airport National Policy Statement; (b) revised draft Airports National Policy Statement; and (c) proposed Airports National Policy Statement being laid before Parliament. This advice was provided on the following dates: (a) 15 December 2016; (b) 20 October 2017 and (c) 22 May 2018.

The Airport Expansion and Aviation, Maritime and Analysis Directorate and the Aviation Directorate respectively provide regular advice, as appropriate, to Ministers on domestic connectivity, including on Public Service Obligations. The future use of Public Service Obligations and Government’s ambition on domestic connectivity more generally will be detailed in the Aviation Strategy Green Paper towards the end of the year.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2018
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the titles of the risk registers in relation to the (a) Airport Capacity Programme Board and (b) cross-government steering group on the development of the Airports National Policy Statement and the accompanying Appraisal of Sustainability; and the dates on which those risk register have been updated.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 July 2018

The Airport Expansion & Aviation and Maritime Analysis Risk Register is updated and circulated to Airport Capacity Programme Board (ACPB) members monthly, in advance of each meeting. There are 43 Airport Capacity Programme Board ‘risk register’ documents with titles constructed from the date of the meeting, the relevant paper number or the version number of the risk register.

The cross-Government steering group that meets to discuss the Airports National Policy Statement and Appraisal of Sustainability does not maintain a risk register.

The title of each risk register up to June 2018 is provided below:

140312 ACaP 1.7 Risk Register

140513 ACaP 2.6 risk register

141001 4.7 ACaP board risk register

141119 5.6 Acap Board Risk Register

141215 6.7 December Risk Register

150127 – 7.6 Risk Register

150312 8.7 ACPB risk register

150414 9.6 ACPB risk register

150429 17. ACPB stocktake risk register

150520 11.7 ACPB risk register

150625 12.6 ACAP 25_06_15 risk register

150810 – 13.6 Risk Register for ACPB 12 Aug

151007 – 15.10 Risk Register for October ACPB

151103 – 16.11 Risk Register for November ACPB

151203 ACPB Risk Register Report_Aviation Dec

160107 – 18.8 ACPB Risk Register Report January 2016

160222 – 19.9 Risk Register Report ACPB

160311 – 20.6 Post Deep Dives ACP Risk Register Report for ACPB

160408 – 21.7 160408 Risk Register for April ACPB

160511 – 22.12 ACP Risk Register Report for ACPB May 19

160615 – 24.10 ACAP Risk Register June

160713 – 25.5 ACAP Risk Register for ACPB July

160913 – 27.9 Risk Register Report Sep

161011 – Risk Register Report Oct - Final

161109 – Paper 29.4 Risk Register Report November

170116 – Paper 31.6 Risk Register Report – Jan 2017

170220 – Paper 32.7 ACPB Risk Register Report

170310 – Paper 33.6 ACPB Risk Register – March 2017

170412 – Paper 34.9 ACP Risk Register – April 2017

170510 – Paper 35.6 ACPB Risk Register – May 2017

170612 – Paper 36.7 Airport Capacity Risk Register for ACPB – June 2017

170704 – Paper 37.4 ACP Risk Register Report – July 2017 v4

170807 – Paper 38.6 ACP Risk Register Report – August 2017 ACPB version

170911 – Paper 39.4 Airport Expansion Risk Register Report – Sept 2017_ACPB

171010 – Paper 40.4 Risk Register Report – Oct 2017 - ACPB

171109 – Paper 41.4 ACPB Risk Register

171207 – Paper 42.4 AEAMA Risk Register Report

180110 – Paper 43.5 AEAMA Risk Register Report – Jan 2018

180213 - Paper 44.4 AEAMA Risk Register Report - Feb 2018

180307 - Paper 45.4 AEAMA Risk Register Report - March 2018_v6ACPB

180409 - AEAMA Risk Register Report - April 2018_v5ACPB

180504 – Item 2. paper 47.3 Risk Register – May 2018 – ACPB v1

180613 - AEAMA Risk Register Report - June 2018_v5 ACPB

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Department for Transport
Airports: National Policy Statements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the remits of the (a) Airport Expansion & Aviation and Maritime Analysis Directorate and (b) Aviation Directorate are in relation to the Airports National Policy Statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2018

The Airport Expansion & Aviation and Maritime Analysis Directorate is responsible for the policies set out in the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) which was designated on 26 June 2018. The Directorate will lead further work with Heathrow Airport Limited on their plans to deliver the Northwest Runway at Heathrow in accordance with the NPS. However, It will not be involved in decisions on any future applications for development consent, which will be handled by a separate team elsewhere in the Department to ensure propriety.

The Directorate also includes an expert multi-disciplinary analytical division which undertakes modelling and economic and statistical analysis for the Department on aviation and maritime issues. The Aviation Directorate has responsibility for aviation policy more generally, including (for example) airspace modernisation and the proposed Aviation Strategy. Both directorates have regard to where the work of one may affects the other.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Department for Transport
Aviation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what dates the Airport Capacity Programme Board met since June 2017; and if he will list the job titles of its members.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Twelve Airport Capacity Programme Boards have been held since June 2017. The membership occasionally changes. However, for the board to be quorate the following members are required to attend: two Airport Capacity Senior Civil Servants, a representative from the Aviation Directorate, a senior legal representative, a Board member who is external to the Airport Capacity Directorate (to ensure appropriate independent challenge is maintained) and road and rail representatives, for items on surface access and the M25.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Visits Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans for overseas travel on departmental business on 25-28 June, 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​It has been the policy of successive governments not to publicise itemised details of Ministers' forthcoming travel plans.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for Transport
Regional Airports: Air Routes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) domestic and (b) international routes have ceased operating at regional airports since 2015.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Between 2015 and 2017 a) 18 domestic passenger routes and b) 51 international passenger routes have ceased operating at regional airports. These figures are based on scheduled flights departing from regional airports that operate at least weekly. With regard to domestic passenger routes, in the same period 18 routes have been created.

The proposed Airports National Policy Statement sets out an expectation that expansion at Heathrow will deliver an additional six domestic routes. Separately, the Secretary of State has set out a clear ambition that about 15% of slots made available from a new runway will be used for domestic routes.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Regional Airports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund has been allocated by route in each financial year since 2013-14; and how much of such funding has been allocated for expenditure in each year from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Funding paid or allocated through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund for each financial year from 2013-14 to 2021-22 is shown in the attached table.

152102 - Table (Word Document, 12.71 KB)
Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Newquay Cornwall Airport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the Public Service Obligation designated route between Newquay Airport and London Gatwick beyond its expiry in October 2018.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Cornwall County Council are currently running an Invitation to Tender for the Newquay to London Public Service Obligation air service to operate from 28th October 2018. The Department will consider Cornwall Council’s preferred bid and any request for funding in due course.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Air Routes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what maximum time limit the Government is able to issue a Public Service Obligation air route for; and whether that time limit can be extended.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Article 16(9) of Regulation 1008/2008 states that a member state may limit access to a route to one air carrier for a period of up to 4 years, before it must be reviewed. This can be extended to up to 5 years if the route serves an outermost region.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Air Routes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Airports National Policy Statement, published on 5 June 2018, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of additional domestic connections and (b) annual cost to the public purse of subsidising a ring-fenced (i) five per cent (ii) 10 per cent and (iii) 15 percent of the newly created slots.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The proposed Airports National Policy Statement sets out an expectation that expansion at Heathrow will deliver an additional six domestic routes. Separately, the Secretary of State has set out a clear ambition that about 15% of slots made available from a new runway will be used for domestic routes. The Department expects that the majority of these routes will be commercially viable, as many are today, with support from Heathrow Airport. This support includes discounted charges for domestic passengers, and a £10 million Route Connectivity Fund.

The Government will also take action, where appropriate, to secure routes through the use of Public Service Obligations (PSOs). PSOs provide the opportunity to offer exclusive rights to airlines to operate a route. Where this does not deliver the required level of connectivity, the Government may also offer subsidies to an airline to operate the route, which includes exemption from Air Passenger Duty.

The Government’s approach to domestic connectivity will be set out in a Green Paper on the Aviation Strategy towards the end of this year, and the extent to which subsidies will be required can only be determined subject to market conditions nearer to the time of new capacity becoming operational.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Night Flying
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason the statement, this will include a highly valued scheduled night flight ban of six and a half hours between 11pm and 7am in the Revised draft Airports National Policy Statement published on 24 October 2017 was amended to read, this is expected to include a highly valued scheduled night flight ban of six and a half hours between 11pm and 7am in the Airports National Policy Statement, published on 5 June 2018.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The reason for making this amendment to the proposed Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) is to ensure Chapter 3 of the document, which sets out why the Government has stated its preference for the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme, is consistent with Chapter 5, which focuses on the potential effects of the scheme, including noise.

The Government has always been clear that should the proposed Airports NPS be designated, consideration of any ban, including timings, would be subject to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Balanced Approach to noise management, including consultation with local communities and relevant stakeholders.

The Government would anticipate there to be runway alternation at night. This means that some communities would experience additional periods of noise relief between 23:00 and 07:00, potentially up to eight hours including any ban, subject to consultation with local communities and relevant stakeholders.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, by what means the Government plans to hold Heathrow Airport to account in the event that new air routes are not secured through the Airports National Policy Statement in line with paragraph 3.34 of that statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The Airports National Policy Statement is clear that the Government requires Heathrow Airport Limited to work with its airlines to protect existing routes and deliver at least six new connections. This will be examined as part of any Development Consent Order application.

In parallel, the Government will also take action, where appropriate, to secure routes through the use of Public Service Obligations. This will include the ring-fencing of appropriately timed slots. The Government’s commitments on domestic connectivity will be detailed in a Green Paper on the Aviation Strategy which is due to be published towards the end of this year.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Treasury
Heathrow Airport Limited
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what dates (a) his Ministerial team and (b) officials of his Department have met with representatives of Heathrow Airport Limited as a result of the process to develop the Airports National Policy Statement since 2015.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Work to develop the proposed Airports National Policy Statement has been conducted by the Airport Capacity Programme in the Department for Transport. Neither officials nor ministers at HM Treasury have met representatives of Heathrow Airport Limited as part of this work.

Meetings with Heathrow Airport Limited on other topics have been conducted in accordance with the Department for Transport’s Statement of Approach, which is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-approach-for-the-revised-draft-airports-national-policy-statement

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport Limited
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what dates (a) his Ministerial team and (b) officials of his Department have met with representatives of Heathrow Airport Limited as a result of the process to develop the Airports National Policy Statement since 2015.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

Ministers and officials have met regularly with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) since 2015 to discuss a wide range of issues relating to the operation of the UK’s largest airport, as well as the potential delivery of its expansion. These meetings are governed by propriety arrangements set out in the Statement of Approach, which is published online:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653867/engaging-with-stakeholders-statement-of-approach-revised-draft-airports-nps.pdf.

As per the Statement of Approach, Ministers and officials have not discussed the merits of the content of the Airports National Policy Statement with Heathrow Airport Limited.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Transport
Aviation: Passengers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the amendments to the May 2018 guidance in the WebTAG aviation module to include the benefits to non-UK residents who are international to international transfer passengers passing through UK airports in the economic benefits of (a) Heathrow Airport Limited north west runway, the preferred scheme in the Airports National Policy Statement and (b) the Gatwick Airport non-preferred scheme.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The case for the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme does not rely on the monetised benefits accruing to international transfer (I-to-I) passengers. In the Government’s reports, benefits are clearly separated into those accruing to UK, non-UK and I-to-I passengers for all three schemes. This shows that the Northwest Runway scheme delivers greater benefits to UK residents soonest – it is not overtaken until the 2060s – and it does so without including the full economic benefits expected from this scheme. By maintaining the UK’s hub status through attracting I-to-Is, the Northwest Runway scheme delivers the best outcome for the UK’s connectivity, which in turn should deliver the biggest boost for the UK’s economy by facilitating more freight, trade and productivity growth.

In producing its analysis the Government has followed appraisal guidance wherever appropriate in line with standard advice that the guidance should be used proportionately and not prescriptively. While the Government recognises the aim to separate impacts according to whether they accrue to UK or to non-UK residents, this is not always possible. In the case of aviation, it is particularly difficult to disaggregate costs by residency. The Government’s assessment therefore presents all effects to all actors, regardless of residency, to allow a consistent comparison between costs and benefits. The amendment to the Department’s appraisal guidance provides further clarity on how to deal with this issue and is consistent with the Government’s analysis to date.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Dundee Airport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the Public Service Obligation designated route between Dundee Airport and London Stansted beyond 2019.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 18 June 2018

Officials will be having initial discussions with Dundee City Council and Transport Scotland before the end of June 2018, in which they will discuss the options available for after the current contract for this route ends in July 2019.

Q
(Putney)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Department for Transport
Aviation: Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received legal advice on the compliance with legal air quality limits of the proposal in the Airports National Policy Statement; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 18 June 2018

As would be the case for any major Government policy, the proposed Airports National Policy Statement, including the content on air quality, has been subject to a number of legal reviews.

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