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First Meeting of National Connectivity Task Force (NCTF)

Institute of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street
13.00 – 17.00: 10 September 2014

Lord Shipley chaired the meeting. As well as Task Force members, present were two members of the NCTF Secretariat.
Two representatives from Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL) were invited, one to set out their proposals for regional connectivity, the other in an observer capacity.

Introductions: Chair welcomed members and invited each of them to introduce themselves, their backgrounds and the relevance to the Task Force’s work.

Terms of Reference (ToRs): Members discussed the role of the Task Force (TF), its objectives and work programme. The importance of the TF acting ‘independently’ was stressed repeatedly; as was its need to dovetail and inform the Airports Commission’s deliberations, not duplicate them. The Secretariat was asked to draw up proposals for engaging with external parties and seek approval of them before the next meeting. TF members also reviewed the initial ToRs as initially drawn up to frame the scope of the NCTF’s and suggested a number of amendments; the revised ToRs will be placed on the NCTF website once finally signed-off at the 16 October meeting.

Presentation from Heathrow Airport: Nigel Milton, Policy Director gave a short presentation to members to set the context of Heathrow’s proposal to the Airports Commission and the establishment of the Task Force. Mr. Milton explained Heathrow’s decision to financially support the NCTF work programme and acknowledged the importance of the NCTF taking an independent view in its recommendations to the Airports Commission – even if they did not favour Heathrow, or if they did, were in a form that HAL could not entirely endorse.

Work Programme: Members discussed and agreed the work programme, issue analysis and future meeting schedule and final report timetable.

Research presentations: Because of time constraints the Sec retariat took the meeting through only one of the three research papers on the agenda. It was prepared as a PowerP oint on the subject of Working Paper No 8 (a)+(b): Potential Mechanisms for Ring-Fencing and Protecting Regional Slots.  Subsequent to the meeting a further presentation on Benchmarking Regional Hub Access in Peer EU Member States was circulated whilst Research Working Paper Comparison of Regional Access Proposals for Short Listed Schemes had been pre-circulated.

Future Meetings The dates for updating conference calls and the next TF meeting were discussed and left with the Chairman and Secretariat to finalise.