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Air Transport (Carrier's Liability)

Volume 986: debated on Friday 20 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he is satisfied that the level of liability of the carrier in respect of the death or injury to a passenger on an aircraft, currently governed by legislation based on the Warsaw Convention, is adequate; and what proposals the Government have for seeking an urgent review of the law affecting passengers involved in air crashes.

I refer the right hon. Gentleman to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) on 16 June 1980.—[Vol. 193, c. 369.]

asked the Secre-of State for Trade, in view of the fact that he is not obliged to await international agreement to alter Warsaw Convention limits before exercising his powers to increase air passenger liability limits in United Kingdom domestic flights, why he declines to raise domestic liability limits to a figure that is currently fair to the dependants of passengers killed in domestic accidents.

It is expected that a decision will be reached shortly on the recently-published proposal by the Civil Aviation Authority to revise to 100,000 special drawing rights (about £56,000) the limit of liability to which United Kingdom airlines are subject in respect of international carriage of passengers by air. It seems sensible to bring the current domestic limit into line with whatever figure is decided upon.Airlines must be given adequate notice of changes of this kind but it is our intention that the new limits shall be effective from 1 April 1981.