Summer 2021 – Undertook urgent work resulting in the post Covid Northern Ireland Domestic Aviation Kickstart Scheme (NIDAKS) 2021

Spring – Summer 2021 – Prepared submissions to various government consultations eg Sir Peter Hendy’s Union Connectivity Review; HMT’s consultation on APD reform.

Winter 2020-2021 – Organised series of expert roundtables for upcoming report on Regulatory and Policy implications of Emerging Aviation Technologies for the Independent Transport Commission; The CAA and SASIG on following themes – Implications For Local Authorities; Environmental Technologies Roundtable; Air Transport Infrastructure & Service Providers; Air Traffic Management and Navigation Systems; Policy-Makers & Regulators Roundtable

Spring 2020 – Northpoint has now used their emergent Multimodal Carbon Assessment Model (MCAM) with some early clients with interesting outputs.  It more accurately reflects the realities of domestic aviation in comparison with road and rail travel.  The enhancements the Northpoint model provides include:

  • Evaluating turbo prop aircraft (which are much more fuel efficient) rather than just jet aircraft.
  • Considering the specific rail technology in use in the study area-which in much of the UK is very largely ageing diesel driven stock.
  • Measuring distance of train routes and car routes more accurately rather than assuming straight lines. Only aircraft can travel as the crow flies and therefore typically have much shorter journeys and travel times.
  • Making realistic assumptions about region-specific rail and car-based load factors.

The model is likely to be of interest to a range of transport and policy stakeholders interested in accurate comparative carbon burden assessments, both to better capture the current situation and better guide decision-making into the future.

January 2020 – Northpoint delivered an important study on the possibilities surrounding PSO supported enhanced air services between Caithness and North Sutherland and Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

October 2019 – RABA Group Autumn Members meeting had well attended interchange with DfT officials on forthcoming Aviation White Paper at which the Northpoint secretariat also contributed.

10th July 2019 – Northpoint organised a House of Commons reception in its role as secretariat for the Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group (SASIG) who were celebrating their 30th Anniversary on the occasion.

July-September 2019 – Northpoint team visited Galway to examine options surrounding the future ownership and management of Connemara Airport which acts as the hub for the Aran Islands Air services.  Their report is to support local agencies decision-making in the matter.

3-5th July 2019 – Chris Cain and Basil O’Fee attended the annual Air transport Research Society (ATRS) in Amsterdam and presented papers on “Neighbouring Airports and Issues Relating to Permissible State” and “Regional Air Cargo Operations; Hub Feed or Essential Infrastructure for Globally Connected Regional Cities?”.

June 2018 – Noprthpoint attended and exhibited at the British Irish Airports Expo in Olympia on behalf of the UK Regional and Business Airports Group who also held their ATM around the event.

June 2019 – Northpoint drafted and submitted six topic papers to the UK Aviation Strategy Consultation on behalf of  the UK Regional and Business Airports Group. The topics were Strategic Value of Regional Airports; UK Regional Access Agenda; Disproportionate Costs faced by smaller airports; UK Regional Airports Contribution to Economic Development; Land Use, Terrestrial access at Regional Airports and Aviation Training and Skills Development.

2019 – Northpoint supporting ‘States of Guernsey’ in their efforts to review how they connect Alderney by air with both Guernsey and the UK.

Late 2018 – Early 2019 – Northpoint investigating and reporting on the options facing Caithness with regard to securing ongoing and future air connectivity and how the public sector may and could intervene.

June 2019“HITRANS in conjunction with HIAL and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have made a joint submission to Department for Transport’s Aviation 2050 consultation.  Aviation consultants Northpoint Aviation supported the partners by undertaking a number of meetings with a range of key stakeholders across the Highlands and Islands and also assembling the evidence base in support of the key priorities which the region advocated through its submission.  HITRANS also staged a consultation event in Inverness in March when more than 50 key public and private stakeholders heard DfT aviation officials outline their proposals within the Green Paper.  It offered local business and organisations the chance to highlight both the importance of air links to the wider economy of the Highlands and Islands and opportunities where the region is well placed to be at the forefront in developing and implementing future technologies that will help support the innovation within the aviation sector.”

Early 2019 – Chris Cain and Basil OFee separately presented analysis to two UK Freight Transport Association meetings on Air Freight trends and opportunities in the UK.

Early 2019 – Northpoint supported consultants Systra in theaviation component of the review of Food and Drink Export Resilience for the Scottish Government

October 2018 – Northpoint team attended an ESRI conference in Perth to optimise their use of Arc GIS (Geographical information Systems ) Software

October 2018 – Northpoint attended Willis Tower Watson 2 day Airport Risk Conference in Holland.

July 2018 – Northpoint was invited to exhibit alongside other local aviation and aerospace actors in the Highlands and Islands Pavilion at Farnborough’s International Airshow.  The stand proved to be very busy.

June 2018 – Northpoint attended the final meeting of SPARA2020 transnational project in Skye in Scotland.  Basil O’Fee presented at one of their sessions.

June 2018 – Northpoint manned an exhibition stand for the RABA Group at the British Irish Airports Expo at Olympia in London.

March 2017  – RABA Group members held another meeting at the London offices of of RABA Group sponsor Willis Tower Watson.  The ongoing UK Aviation Strategy Consultation featured high on the agenda.

January 2017 – RABA Group held a member’s meeting at the offices of Group sponsor Vanderlande and guests included Heathrow Airport and the British Irish Airports Expo organisers.

January 201 7– German MEP Ismail Ertug hosted a lunchtime stakeholder debate on 10 January at the European Parliament in Brussels, part of a series of discussions informing consideration of the ‘Aviation Package’ from the Perspective of: Regional Aerodromes / Airlines, General + Business Aviation.  The debate themes were more specifically European Aviation Strategy, state aid guidelines, IFR into VFR-airports, and a connectivity-index.  MEPs, European Commission, EASA, EUROCONTROL and The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) Europe, European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the European Economic Interest Group, and Airport Regions Conference, to name a few.  The CEO of the Interessengemeinschaft der regionalen Flugplätze IDRF e. V. (Thomas Mayer) acted as chair.   Basil O’Fee (RABA Group’s Secretariat) was in attendance and was able to relate on the work of both the UK Regional and Business Airport’s group and its policy asks, and also the work of SPARA 2020 on working for more sustainable small airports.   The commonality of issues shared with German and Spanish colleagues in attendance was notable.

December 2017 – In their role in providing Secretariat support for the UK Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group, Northpoint met the support team for the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation on ways that he two orgnaisations might best co-operate.

November 2017 – Northpoint Director Basil O’Fee and Swedish-based Northpoint Associate Hans Dunder met Peter Larsson, chief executive of SRF, which represents Sweden’s non-governmentally run regional airports.  They discussed future transnational projects that might follow SPARA2020 project and also RABA Group’s analogous work to SRF in the UK.

November 2017 – In our role as Expert Support for the Lead Partner in the Smart Peripheral and Remote Airports 2020 (Spara2020) Northpoint attended a project meeting in Hemavan in Northern Sweden.

October 2017 – In its role as secretariat of the UK Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group Northpoint attended a RABA member meeting hosted by NATS at Swanwick, where they were also presented on the Remote Air Traffic technology planned for use at London City Airport.

September 2017 – Northpoint day of fishing on the River Ness near Inverness with Basil O’Fee and guests Julie Cromarty and Neil Macrae from HITRANS.  Nothing was biting that day!

July 2017 – Northpoint Associates; Prof Rico Merkert of the University of Sydney, Jayne Westbrook , and Basil O’Fee and Chris Cain all were in attendance at the World Conference of the  Transport Research Society (ATRS) in Antwerp in July.    Prof. Merkert is Chair in Transport and Supply Chain Management at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia and is also Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Air Transport Management.  He is also involved in the Remote and Peripheral Airport Benchmarking study for SPARA2020.  At the conference Rico was associated with the following presentations:

  • The Relative Effect of Operational and Financial Hedging on Airlines Operating Costs (Hassan Swidan, University of Sydney; Rico Merkert, University of Sydney)
  • How to Manage Seasonality in Service Industries? – The Case of Price and Capacity Management in Airlines (Rico Merkert, University of Sydney; Tony Webber, University of Sydney)
  • Empirical Evidence on the Level of Transaction Costs in the Airline Ticket Distribution Context (Md Mahbubul Hakim, University of Sydney; Rico Merkert, University of Sydney)

Northpoint was also presenting on issues that are related to many of SPARA2020 concerns, albeit in this instance, with a focus on more UK specific issues.

  • The Impacts of the Disproportionate Burden of Regulatory Costs on the UK’s Smaller Airports (Basil O’Fee, Northpoint Aviation Services; Christopher Cain, Northpoint Aviation Services)
  • The Strategic Role of Smaller Airports in the UK (Christopher Cain, Northpoint Aviation Services Limited; Basil O’Fee, Northpoint Aviation Services)

There was also a great deal of networking in the margins of this concentrated academic event, and many old acquaintances, and new friends and contacts were established.

June 2017 – Northpoint Director Chris Cain and Associate Leslley Smith in their role as part of the Secretariat attended the UK Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group AGM whihc was held at the British Irish Airports Expo at the NEC near Birmingham

May 2017Basil O’Fee in his role as Expert support to SPARA2020 attended a Partner Meeting hosted by the Northern and Western Regional Assembly of Ireland at Ireland West Airport (Knock) and in their offices in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

April 2017 – In its role as secretariat of the UK Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group Northpoint attended the Routes Europe Show in Belfast and a member’s meeting hosted by recent new RABA member George Best Belfast City Airport.

February 2017 – Basil O’Fee visited Stockholm for a workshop with Trafikverket on Swedish PSOs.

November 2016 – Basil O’Fee in his role as Expert support to SPARA2020 attended a conference at Molde University College, Molde, Norway.

October 2016 – Chris Cain as his role of Head of Secretariat for SASIG presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society, on the topic of What does Sustainable Airport Development Look Like?  A Local Government Community Perspective.

October 2016 – Basil O’Fee presented at a Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions in Palma, on the topic of Air Transport and Insularity: State Aid, Future Proofing, & Fruitful Collaborations.

June 2016 – Northpoint completes their contribution to a study led by the University of Sydney for Transport for New South Wales in a review of their regional air services.

Summer 2016 –  Northpoint involved in a review of the inter island PSO air service in the Western Isles.

June 2015 – Northpoint attends the British Irish Airports EXPO at the NEC.  Helps organise the AGM of RABA Group.

May 2015 – Basil O’Fee appointed to expert support role for HITRANS in their lead partner responsibilities for the SPARA2020 project.

April 2016 – Northpoint completes its contribution to a review of Croatia’s domestic PSO air services.

March 2015 – Chris Cain in his role as part of the secretariat to SASIG meets Robert Goodwill, Minister of State at the Department for Transport at the UK Department for Transport.

March 2015 – Northpoint involved in a review of the inter islands air service in Orkney Islands.  The STAG Pre-Appraisal & Part 1 Report can be found here.

February 2015 – Northpoint attends a meeting of the UK Regional and Business Airports Group in London in their role as secretariat and research support.

February 2015 – Shetland Inter-Island Transport Study Tasks 1a & 1b – Aviation Baseline report extensively supported by Northpoint can be found here.

January 2015 – Northpoint appointed as one of four consultancies as part of a Transport Scotland Framework Agreement.

January 2015 – Northpoint Associate Chris Cain outlines guidance to the Welsh Government on ways of maximising the direct and indirect economic benefits of the Government’s investment in Cardiff International Airport (CIA) and St Athan Airport.  The work was undertaken for the Public Policy Institute of Wales and the report can be found here.

January 2015 –  Northpoint Associates Basil O’Fee and Dr Rico Merkert have their paper accepted for publication the Transport Policy Journal . The Paper is entitled Managerial perceptions of incentives for and barriers to competing for regional PSO air service contracts.

January 2015 – Basil O’Fee has an article on PSOs published in the European Regions Airline Association Regional International Magazine.

December 2015 – With Northpoint’s support the UK Regional and Business Airports Group launches their website here.

November 2015 – Basil O’Fee undertook fact finding trip to Orkney Islands as part of a review of their inter island air service – included visits to Kirkwall, Papa Westray, Westray and North Ronaldsay

November 2015 – Basil O’Fee attended Northern Periphery Project meeting in Donegal, Ireland

October 2015 – Northpoint Associates attended Business Aviation Airport Group meeting focusing on their special challenges

October 2015 – Basil O’Fee had pleasure of fact finding visit to Tingwall, Foula and Fair Isle in Shetland flying with Directflight’s BN2 Islander aircraft

October 2015 – Basil O’Fee had pleasure of catching up with some academic acquaintances at the Cranfield University’s Department of Air Transport

October 2015 – Northpoint team attended member meeting of the Regional and Business Airport’s Group

September 2015 – Chris Cain helped draft a response to the UK’s Treasury public consultation  on Air Passenger Duty for the Regional and Business Airports Group.

August 2015 – Basil O’Fee visited Zagreb for the second time in three months connected with a project relating to their domestic PSO air service system.

July 2015 – Northpoint attended a workshop with the UK Regional and Business Airport Group on Airport Slots and PSOs with officials from the CAA and DfT to better understand the issues and constraints around the relevant EU regulations and the UK application of these regulations.

June 2015 – Northpoint attended the Implementation Meeting of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Project SPARA 2020 (Smart Peripheral and Remote Airports 2020).  More information is on this website.

June 2015 – Two Northpoint Associates attended the AGM of the UK Regional and Business Airport Group where past collorations and future possibilities were discussed and certain action points were agreed.

June 2015 – Northpoint attended Connect2015 Aviation route development conference in Killarney, Ireland.   Northpoint Director Chris Cain moderated a discussion on Regional airports: how to overcome the common challenges facing smaller and medium sized regional airports?

May 2015 – Northpoint presented to French Regional Airports sub group in Paris on PSO benchmarking across Europe

May 2015 – SPARA 2020 project accepted by the Northern Periphery Programme.  This is a three year €2.4m project exploring various aspects of the special challenges faced by peripheral and remote airports.  Northpoint has been closely involved in the preceding preparatory project networking, budgeting and work package design.

May 2015 – Two Northpoint Associates attended the Cranfield University’s MSc Airport Planning and Management students presented their key project coursework. This year the topic was outlining various aspects of a future Airport Masterplan for London Oxford Airport.

April 2015 – Northpoint attended Routes Europe in Aberdeen, and provided an ‘On Tour’ article on the event for Business Travel News.

March 2015 – Northpoint organised the launch of the National Connectivity Task Force report ‘Air Connectivity Matters – Linking the Nations and Regions of Britain to London and the World’, in central London. The Task Force was established in early autumn 2014 to focus on the case for enhanced regional air connectivity across the UK, in light of the Airports Commission’s consultation. Northpoint provided secretariat support and coordinated the research for the wide ranging investigations of the Task Force as well as being responsible for the writing of the final report. The report itself and more information can be found on  .

February 2014 – Northpoint arranged another of a series of meetings of the UK’s Regional and Business Airports Group.  This group now represents 17 of the UK’s smaller airports and has provided a collective voice for the deliberations of the Airports Commission, the DfT, CAA, Transport Select Committee and others.  Their next gathering is in June at the Connect2015 aviation and route development gathering in Kerry.  Northpoint provides secretariat support.

December 2014 – Basil O’Fee visited various EU officials, academics and trade bodies in Brussels, better understanding issues, for some clients, around state aid in aviation issues.

Autumn 2014 – Northpoint was involved in organising three hearings of the All Parliamentary Group on Regional Aviation with various expert and industry submissions.

October 2014 – Northpoint attended a Northern Periphery Programme in Strathpeffer in Scotland and presented on upcoming project “SPARA 2020”

September 2014 – Our work on PSOs / RDFs in Baltic Bird was featured in this newsletter.

July 2014 – Our work on Destination Development in Baltic Bird was featured in this newsletter.

July 2014 – Northpoint welcomes Charles Buchanan as a new Associate to the consultancy.  He brings a wealth of hands on technical, commercial and strategic airport management and airport leadership experience.

July 2014 – Basil O’Fee attended and presented at the annual Air Transport Research Society conference in Bordeaux.  A joint paper with fellow associate, Dr Rico Merkert had its results showcased for the first time – the theme being air operator management attitudes to various aspects of bidding for European air service PSOs.

June 2014 – Invited to speak at the final wind up session of Baltic Bird in Berlin in early September.  Will allow many good friends to be re-acquainted.  Northpoint undertook two interesting bodies of work around RDFs and PSOs and Tourism Destination Development in peripheral areas for Baltic Bird.

June 2014 – Signed MOU with Uniconsult of Hamburg to explore, and possibly pursue, a fascinating airport related transnational Interreg project

June 2014 – completed work for Dutch tour operator, largely concerned with speeding their access to key Scottish Tourism stakeholders.

June 2014 – Basil O’Fee and Dr Rico Merkert working hard to collate their survey results from EU regional airlines on their attitudes and involvement or non-involvement with PSOs in time for ATRS conference.

June 2014- Met Sir Howard Davies and an Airports Commission official at an event in Inverness concerning UK Regional Air Access, a topic that Northpoint has taken a deep interest in.

June 2014 – Chris Cain attended the Connect aviation event in Morocco

June 2014 – Presented to CPMR Political Bureau on topic of  Improved  Connectivity in Maritime and Peripheral Regions

May 2014 – Registered for the July annual Air Transport Research Society conference in Bordeaux, where a paper will be presented by two Northpoint associates.

May 2014 – Met officals in DG-MOVE and DG-COMP and SESAR in a whistlestop trip to Brussels

May 2014 – Committed to some fascinating facilitative work for a Dutch wilderness tour operator planning a Scottish initiative.

April 2014 – Met Eurocontrol official in London concerning the special needs of remote region aviation

April 2014 – Hosted Swedish delegation in Inverness tying up a Northern PeripheryProgramme preparatory project

March 2014 – A paper accepted for presentation in the 2014 ATRS World Conference, Bordeaux, France, July 17-20.

February 2014 – Acted as co-organiser for another NPP meeting again in Inverness with delegates from Scotland, Ireland and Sweden and conference call links with France and Australia!   Two associates visited Brussels to meet  DG-MOVE, the Assembly of the Regions, and Swedish contacts.

December 2013 – Attended the World Travel Market in London, and met up with a range of contacts.  Co-organsied a best practice site visit to Ivalo in Finnish Lapland for a group from the Baltic Bird project.

November 2013 – Busy month with associates attending an NPP workshop in Reykjavik and a Baltic Bird meeting in Tallinn.

September 2013 – Helped organise a gathering at the University of the Highlands and Islands of a Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) project group with delegates from the collaboration.  In effect the project kick-off meeting.

July 2013 –  The Northern Periphery Programme 2007-2013 aims to help peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe to develop their economic, social and environmental potential.  Northpoint Aviation Services has conceived of, and has been working with, lead partner (HITRANS) in preparing and coordinating  SPARA 2020  (Smart Peripheral and  Remote Airports – 2020). This application has been just been approved and partners in UK, Sweden and Norway are moving forward in their preparations.

May 2013 – Presented at a Baltic Sea Commission meeting in Bodo in Northern Norway and enjoyed superb weather.

April 2013 – Earlier research into PSOs has been accepted for publication by the prestigious Transport Policy Journal.  Merkert, R. and O’Fee, B. (2013): Efficient procurement of public air services – Lessons learned from European transport authorities’ perspectives.  Forthcoming publication.  This research has also been critically informing work for clients connected with their present and proposed PSO initiatives.

April 2013 – Three Northpoint Associates have been invited to present at three prestigious gatherings in Italy, Finland and Norway in May and June, on various aspects of our research interests and expertise.

April 2013 – Multi-faceted work for a range of clients (mainly airports) connected with clarifying their key advocacy messages for their national aviation reviews.  We notice that regional airports and regional economic development interests throughout Europe benefit from support is marshaling their arguments in a way that resonates with national decision-makers.  We see similar challenges in many, many countries.

April 2013 – Inception conference call for a work package in the Baltic Bird project entitled Tourism Destination Development Guidelines and exploring the interaction between tourism and aviation in remote and peripheral areas.  Client partners are in Norway, Finland and Northern Germany.  Promises some very pertinent research.

April 2013 – Inception meeting for Regional Air Service Development Opportunities Study for Hitrans.  A very interesting study.

February 2013 – Northpoint Aviation Services is invited to a Working Group on Airports meeting in Brussels by the Assembly of European Regions as part of their consideration of State Aid issues around airports and route development.

January 2013 –  In collaboration with Uniconsult of Hamburg, Northpoint Aviation Services are undertaking a study as part of the Baltic Bird initiative concerned with the moderation and elaboration of PSO/RDF application guidelines specifically focusesd on four partner airports / regions.

January 2013 – Northpoint provides an operational aviation audit on behalf of client reviewing the operation of a month aviation project.

December 2012 – Northpoint Aviation Services in collaboration with RPS Planning and Development and Reference Economic Consultants are undertaking a Scoping Study into potential development opportunities for Dundee City Airport for Transport Scotland.

November 2012 – Northpoint, along with others from universities and organisations in Australia, Norway, Italy, Greece, Spain and Canada agrees to form a Transport in Peripheral Regions Research Network.

November 2012 – Northpoint helps prepare a draft for a client developing their submission to the current UK aviation review.

September 2012 – Dr Rico Merkert presents derivation of earlier studies with Basil O’Fee Efficient procurement of public air services – Lessons learned from European transport authorities perspectives’, 35th Australasian Transport Research Forum ATRF 2012, Perth, Australia

Summer 2012 – Northpoint works with another consultancy on a demand assessment for an enhanced weekend air service to a remote airport for a client.

Summer 2012 – Northpoint works with two other consultancies on delivery a review of Western Isles PSO air services in advance of the services being re-tendered by the council.

Summer 2012 – Northpoint undertakes some interesting work on analysing Business Aviation for a UK regional airport

Summer 2012 – Northpoint undertakes support work on devolving APD for a UK devolved administration.

Spring 2012 – Northpoint with others provides a report for Hitrans and HIAL on Airfreight in the Highlands and islands of Scotland, with a view as to what potential growth can be delivered in the sector.

Spring 2012 – Northpoint working with others undertakes some interesting research for Hitrans and Nestrans presented as an Evidence Note, on air links with the UK south east.  The Evidence Note is important in helping frame the policy position of the north of Scotland during the current UK aviation review(s).

2010-present Northpoint supports a client in their business development ambitions within a specified, but global, market sector.

Early 2011 – Northpoint fulfils a six month profile building exercise for Spanish air operator in UK market.

2011 – Basil O’Fee completes collaborative research with Dr Rico Merkert on ‘Analysing the different legal interpretations and uses of PSOs across Europe – A transport authority perspective’.  Presented at the 7th International Conference on Air Transport in Remoter Regions, Newquay, United Kingdom, April 2011

2011 – Northpoint helps a client prepare an aviation tender.

2010 – Northpoint prepares a fleet development strategy paper for European regional air operator.

2010 – Basil O’Fee contributes chapter in book on Air Transport Provision in Remoter Regions by George Williams and Svein Bråthen, Ashgate 2010 ISBN: 978-0-7546-7342-2 –  entitled Tendering for and operating PSO routes.