commitments contained in The Future of Air Transport White Paper.
If approved by parliament, the Bill would:
* Clarify and strengthen the measures available to airports for
dealing with aircraft noise. This includes a greater ability to
introduce and enforce noise control measures beyond airport
boundaries and to impose financial penalties if aircraft stray from
routes designed to minimise noise.
* Clarify airports' ability to set charges which reflect local
emissions from aircraft. The secretary of state would also be given
powers to direct them to levy such charges.
* Provide powers for a levy on the aviation industry to replenish the
Air Travel Trust Fund which, along with the ATOL scheme, protects
customers of failed tour operators.
The Bill would also:
* Authorise local authority airport companies to undertake specified
activities - such as making their expertise available to other
airports and taking part in joint ventures - which at present are
outside their powers. It would allow local authority airports to be
more competitive with privately owned airports.
* Enable the Civil Aviation Authority to recoup the costs of its
Aviation Health Unit, which offers advice to the aviation industry
and its customers and to government, by a levy on the industry.
* Remove airlines' existing right of appeal to the Secretary of State
in aviation route licensing cases decided by the Civil Aviation
Authority. By eliminating a layer of bureaucracy and speeding up the
process this will contribute to better regulation.
Secretary of state Alistair Darling said:
'The Bill aims to implement commitments we made in our White Paper on
the future of air transport on protecting the environment and
safeguarding passenger interests.'
1. The Bill will be introduced in parliament for the first time today
and is now subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
2. The Future of Air Transport White Paper was published in December
2003. It sets out a measured and balanced approach providing a
strategic framework for the development of air travel over the next
3. Paragraph 3.14 of The Future of Air Transport states that:
'The Government intends that new legislation should be introduced,
when Parliamentary time allows, to strengthen and clarify noise
control powers both at larger commercial airports and at smaller
aerodromes. There are two main measures:
* An amendment to section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 so that
controls such as night restrictions could, subject to public
consultation, be set on the basis of noise quotas alone, without a
separate movements limit. This would mean that the primary control at
an airport regulated by the Government could be related more directly
to the noise nuisance, providing a more effective incentive for
airlines to acquire, use and develop quieter aircraft. The amendment
does not signal any intention to make the controls any less stringent
than they are currently; and
* New powers to extend these controls so that they can relate to
overall use of the airport, thereby enabling clearer environmental
objectives to be set. At present, overall contour or similar controls
may only be set voluntarily or through the planning system, which
means that generally they must be directly related to a specific
development, such as in recent years for the Manchester second runway
and around the Heathrow fifth terminal.'
Further details about these proposals, and other issues were covered
in Control of Noise from Civil Aircraft, Department of Transport,
4. Paragraph 3.31 of The Future of Air Transport states that:
'The Government intends to bring forward legislation, enabling the
Secretary of State to require an emissions-related element to be
included in landing charges at airports where there are local air
5. Paragraph 4.20 of The Future of Air Transport states that:
'Within the UK, further action to promote and strengthen consumer
interests will include:
* Seeking statutory powers to impose a new levy to ensure future
solvency of the Air Travel Trust Fund.'
This would remove the need for the government guarantee in place
since 1992, and ensure the government meets its obligations under EU