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Airports Slot Allocation (Alleviation of Usage Requirements) (No. 3) Regulations 2022

Volume 824: debated on Wednesday 26 October 2022

Motion to Approve

Moved by

That the draft Regulations laid before the House on 20 July be approved. Considered in Grand Committee on 25 October.

Relevant document: 11th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

My Lords, with your Lordships’ permission, may I ask the Minister whether these restrictions mean that the need for slots for most aircraft also applies to the very smallest aircraft operating through Heathrow and Gatwick, for which this is sometimes regarded as an excessive restriction?

I thank my noble friend for raising the issue of small aircraft. I know he has a great interest in the matter. I will have to write to him about whether it applies to private jets and other small aircraft. The instrument that we debated in Grand Committee very much covered the slots held by the large commercial airlines.

My Lords, before the House agrees these regulations, will the Minister tell us whether the Government expect limits to be placed on the number of passengers able to use Heathrow over Christmas?

We are aware that the current passenger cap at Heathrow of 100,000 passengers will be removed very shortly—indeed, I think it is this weekend. I believe that no decision has been taken on the Christmas period. However, significant numbers of staff have been recruited by Heathrow, so on balance I expect that it will not return, but that would be an operational decision for Heathrow.

Motion agreed.