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Article from BTNews 2 DECEMBER 2019

AOA and the former ministers!

Former aviation ministers in general agreement and not trying to score political points off each other was the highlight of this year’s Airport Operators Association annual conference at London’s County Hall last week. 

Starting off the two-day gathering, Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour) was negative on HS2, suggesting a slower scheme while Sir Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative) made clear the high-speed solution to Britain’s rail problems is the way forward, their only main divergence.

Highlight of a most interesting two days was a panel discussion led by Professor Jason Lowe, head of climate services at the Met Office, leading a panel discussion on how airports can best adapt to environmental changes taking place.

In an investment session reply to a question by Simon Calder of The Independent, London City Airport (LCY) CEO Robert Sinclair said the failure to build a Crossrail station at Silvertown was a complete disaster.

“It breaks my heart to see Elizabeth Line test trains running past just 150m from my office,” Sinclair said. Panel member David Stanton, MD of Ontario Airports Investments (OAIL), the majority LCY shareholder, remained stoic.

An insight into the broader UK economic picture was provided by Dr Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Moderated by award-winning broadcaster Mishal Husain, Virgin Atlantic’s Shai Weiss concluded in his own inimitable style a successful conference.


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