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 can assure the hon. Lady that we take account of the operational noise of aircraft when we consider setting noise abatement objectives, which I know are very important to her and her constituents. I emphasise that in doing so we work towards and contribute to internationally recognised standards.

As I have already remarked, airports have been making use of the power to set noise-related charges for almost a quarter of a century. There has been no suggestion that the powers have been applied inappropriately or disproportionately during that time. We can see no justification for adding to clause 1 the requirement in the Lords amendments. Hon. Members who have expressed concerns should be in no doubt that, should there ever appear to be a problem with the charging scheme, the Secretary of State will have the power to direct an airport operator as to the manner in which its charges are to be fixed.

I ask the House to insist on its disagreement with the Lords in their amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 4, and I commend amendments (a) and (b) in lieu.