Clause 9 - Operators of areas

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 1st March 2012.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Shadow Minister (Transport) 9:30 am, 1st March 2012

I shall come to the gold-plating issue in a moment, but the hon. Gentleman raises a fair point that is central to the questions we are asking. At some point such regulation might be sensible, but why are we doing it now? Where is the demand? Why are the Government asking for it now? We do not think it is necessarily appropriate at the moment.

As I said earlier, we are talking about introducing regulation when there is criticism from both sides of the House that Governments sometimes gold-plate legislation. The Government are introducing additional regulation in case someone thinks it appropriate or wants to go down this track in future. We do not believe an argument has been made for the introduction of the regulations set out in the clauses.

My hon. Friends from the north-west have effectively and articulately explained why they believe the regulations to be wholly inappropriate. They have clearly had a strong look at this from the perspective of Manchester Airports Group, but, equally, nobody else in the British aviation industry has come forward to say that such regulation is appropriate. The question is, why are we gold-plating the regulations at this time?