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

It might help my hon. Friend if I outline why a blanket duty for airports such as that proposed is not the right way forward. A problem arises due to the evidence that exists.

Imposing a uniform requirement that an airport's charges must be set by reference to noise and emissions would undercut an airport's ability to reflect its local circumstances. I emphasise that we are considering not whether airports should be able to do that, but whether we should require them all to do so in exactly the same way. Charges are not the only lever—or even, in the case of aircraft noise, the most significant one—that we will expect airport operators to use to address the impact of their operations on local people. I emphasise to hon. Members that clauses 3 and 4 will do far more than that to drive improvements in the noise climate around airports. They will enable airport operators to impose penalties for breaches of the noise control measures that they have in place, such as noise limits on departing aircraft and noise-preferential routes. The revenue raised from the penalties will have to be put towards purposes that are of benefit to the wider community around the airport.