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Airport Public Safety Zones

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

I would like to announce that the responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Government’s public safety zone (PSZ) policy has been transferred from the Department of Transport (DfT) to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

PSZs are areas of land at the ends of the runways at the busiest UK airports within which development is restricted in order to control the number of people on the ground at risk of death or injury in the event of an aircraft accident on take-off or landing. There are currently 31 UK airports with PSZs.

Following an internal DfT review, it was concluded that the administration of PSZ policy should be carried out by the CAA. The CAA has, therefore, taken over responsibility for the implementation of new PSZs and the review and update of existing PSZs. DfT will retain overall policy responsibility for PSZs.

I have today published an updated circular on the “Control of Development in Airport Public Safety Zones”. DfT circular 01/2010 updates and replaces DfT circular 1/2002 to take account of this transfer of administrative responsibility from the Department for Transport to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The PSZ policy itself and the guidance in the circular to local planning authorities, who apply the PSZ policy, remains the same. I have placed copies of the updated circular in the Libraries of both Houses.