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

The charging regime has to do a job, so it has regard to appropriateness.

Amendment (a) would qualify the power of direction. The Secretary of State would be required to have regard to the interests of people who live in the area of the airport in determining whether and how to make use of the power. Our intention in moving the amendment is to acknowledge the concern of some stakeholders that the clause does not take sufficient account of the impact of aircraft noise on people living near airports. By giving the Secretary of State a duty to consider that when deciding whether to use his power of direction, we are providing an additional safeguard for the interests of the local community around an airport.

Amendment (b) is a minor, consequential amendment which will ensure that this new provision, like the power of direction to which it relates, is devolved to the Scottish Ministers. Lords amendments Nos. 2 and 4 would affect the way in which noise and emission charges are set.

We agree that airport operators should set noise charges that are proportionate. However, International Civil Aviation Organisation guidance already states that noise-related charges should be non-discriminatory between users and should not be established at such levels as to be prohibitively high for the operation of certain aircraft.