Clause 1 — Aerodrome charges: noise and emissions

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 12th October 2006.

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Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport 1:15 pm, 12th October 2006

In view of the hon. and learned Gentleman's previous comments, I will not take the intervention, but I thank him for the invitation.

Clause 1 includes powers that allow the Government to require an airport to charge aircraft by reference to noise, if they think that that will help to deal with the airport's environmental impact. It explicitly requires Ministers to have regard to the interests of people who live near the airport in deciding whether and how to use those powers. Clause 1 is not the be all and end all—it is just one tool to deal with an airport's environmental impact. As I have noted, other provisions in the Bill—in particular, clauses 3 and 4—and the existing legislation are also relevant.

In conclusion, if there is ever 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.