MP celebrates landmark for group that focuses on impact of aviation

PUBLISHED: 08:36 20 August 2019

Kemi Badenoch (centre right) cuts a celebratory cakes with SASIG honoury vice president, Jackie Cheetham. Picture: SASIG

Kemi Badenoch (centre right) cuts a celebratory cakes with SASIG honoury vice president, Jackie Cheetham. Picture: SASIG

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Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch hosted an event in Westminster which marked 20 years of the Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group (SASIG) of the Local Government Association.

SASIG is a forum for local councils and other regional representatives to come together to share information and resources on regional aviation issues. Topics cover a wide range of aviation activities and airport-related developments.

The 20th anniversary celebrations took place on July 10 and were also attended by fellow MPs and SASIG members, and recognised the influence of the group, which is the longest serving special interest group of the association.

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Speaking at the event, Mrs Badenoch said: "I would ask my parliamentary colleagues, those in this room and also those who have been unable to attend today, to take some time to find out about SASIG, its achievements and look at ways in which their own regions may benefit from ministerial involvement with this group."

Chairman of the group, Councillor Keith Artus, a Hatfield Broad Oak parish councillor, reminded guests of both the vision and mission of SASIG: to advance "sustainable aviation policy on behalf of local communities".

He said: "SASIG has very helpful, supportive and thought-provoking interaction and dialogue with our 30 local authority members together with ministers and bodies like Department for Transport, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Civil Aviation Authority, Airspace and Noise Engagement Group, the Airport Operators Association and Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, to name a few.

"With SASIG's expanding membership and extending reach this event not only celebrates our first 20 years, but is a springboard for our next."

Key speakers were Rob Light, chairman of the newly formed Independent Commission of Civil Aviation Noise, and Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay. MPs who, like Mrs Badenoch, have airports in their regions, attended, such as Sir Roger Gale for North Thanet, Luke Pollard for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, and Stephen Metcalf for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

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