Clause 5 - Prohibition: exemption

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 28th February 2012.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport 4:30 pm, 28th February 2012

The clause defines what comprises a dominant airport area and a dominant airport. Under subsection (3), “airport area” means an area that consists of or forms part of an airport, including land and buildings. The provision is included to allow for the possibility of there being more than one operator at an individual airport. That could be the case if, for example, an airline acquired or leased a terminal building. As there can be more than one airport area at an airport, it follows that there can be more than one operator of an airport area.

Subsection (1) states that an airport area is dominant if the CAA has made a determination that the market power test is met in relation to the area and publishes a notice to that effect. Subsection (2) provides that an airport is dominant if all or part of its core area is a dominant area or part of a dominant area. Subsection (4)  describes what comprises a core area: broadly speaking, the core area includes runways and associated facilities, passenger terminals and cargo processing areas.

It follows that non-core airport areas include car parks with pedestrian access to the terminal building, or the forecourt of a passenger terminal including pick-up and drop-off points. Therefore, if the only dominant airport area at airport X comprises the pick-up and drop-off points, airport X would not be a dominant airport, because no part of the core area would comprise or be included in a dominant area. In such circumstances, no part of the airport could be subject to regulation.

The rationale is to ensure that no part of an airport is subject to regulation unless some part of the core area is dominant. That construction is required to prevent unnecessary regulation where there is a problem only with peripheral areas. I commend the clause to the Committee.