Clause 1 — Aerodrome charges: noise and emissions

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 12:28 pm on 12th October 2006.

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Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport 12:28 pm, 12th October 2006

I beg to move, That this House
insists on its disagreement with the Lords in their amendments and proposes Government amendments (a) and (b) in lieu thereof.

Commencing with amendment No. 1, we simply do not believe that it would be appropriate to impose a legal duty on all 140-odd licensed aerodromes to impose noise-related and emissions charges. Such a move would be disproportionate and would represent gross over-regulation. Many of the aerodromes are relatively small in size and will cause little or no significant disturbance or local air quality problems. Such a move would be at odds with the Government's policy of not imposing unnecessary regulation on business. On that we have been, and continue to be, steadfastly clear.

I respectfully point out to hon. Members that the proposal in the Lords amendments would run contrary to guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation that noise-related charges should be levied only at airports experiencing noise problems. Airports have had a statutory power to charge for aircraft by reference to their noise for some 25 years, but our policy on aircraft noise is that whenever possible, local controls rather than Government diktat are the best way of managing the local environmental impact of aviation.