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Aerodrome Charges

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to consult on how to determine the interests of persons who live in the area in which an aerodrome is situated in determining the use of his powers under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to fix charges. (129998)

Section 1 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 inserts a new section 38 into the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Subsection 5 of this section requires that where the Secretary of State is considering whether to exercise his power, conferred by subsection 4, to direct an airport operator to fix its charges by reference to aircraft noise or emissions, he must

“have regard (among other things) to the interests of persons who live in the area in which the aerodrome is situated”.

We do not plan to consult on a general process for determining those interests. Rather, we recognise that the interests will depend on specific local circumstances. If the Secretary of State were to consider the use of section 38(4) in a specific case, we would expect a public consultation giving local authorities, amenity groups, the airport's Consultative Committee, other local interest groups and individuals an opportunity to make their views clear. Decisions following consultation would depend on the merits of the case.