Clause 9 - Operators of areas

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 1st March 2012.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Shadow Minister (Transport) 9:45 am, 1st March 2012

“Future-proofing” is a much more generous term than gold-plating—I will give the hon. Gentleman that. But basically we are future-proofing against an eventuality that might not happen. Going back to the earlier point about the potential disincentive for people looking for a long-term return to invest in UK airports if something might happen in the future to strip them of the asset, I am not sure that that is good business. There are much more competent colleagues on the Government side of the room, with much better experience of business than I have, who can tell me whether they think that is a disincentive or not. Certainly, as a lay person, I do not think it encourages people to invest in the UK economy if at some time in the future, the regulator might think this is a good idea and the Government can push it through in secondary legislation. For something as significant as this, secondary legislation is not an appropriate vehicle.