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Aviation: Standards

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the financial (a) incentives and (b) disincentives to (i) airport operators and (ii) airlines to provide good passenger service. (216323)

Currently, airlines compete for customers on a number of factors including price, route and passenger service. They must also comply with the EU regulation on denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights (Reg (EC) 261/2004) by providing passengers with the requisite refreshments, accommodation, re-routing or compensation.

The Secretary of State for Transport announced a review of the economic regulation of airports on 22 April 2008, Official Report, columns 149-50WS. Among other aims this work will look at how best to provide incentives to improve passenger experience.

In addition, in November 2007 the Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in its capacity as the Government's expert aviation adviser and in accordance with section 16(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, requesting advice on passengers' experience in two areas where responsibility for delivering a good passenger service lies with a combination of bodies. These areas were passage through airports, with particular reference to Terminal 5 at Heathrow, and the resilience of airports to recover from problems such as extreme weather conditions. Work by the CAA is under way.