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Clause 18 - Licence conditions

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:15 pm on 1st March 2012.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Shadow Minister (Transport) 1:15 pm, 1st March 2012

That is an interesting point. Given that clauses 83, 84 and 85 require the information to be collated and published, someone has to do that; if the CAA took it on board, it would have to create the bureaucracy to do it. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow South raised Passenger Focus, which does the task in some regards elsewhere.

In some respects, a number of airports are way ahead of the game and have already been publishing the data that the Government suggest are appropriate; that is why I mentioned Gatwick earlier. Making doing so an element of the licence would empower the airports and end their negotiations with the airlines on the service delivery that ought to apply to baggage handling, for example.

If UKBA lets down the rest of the chain, who has power to put it under pressure in negotiations? To a certain extent, it is only the Home Office. I am very keen to listen to the Minister on that point. If there was a licence requirement, perhaps negotiations would be more productive at a local level. If the Home Office and the Department for Transport negotiate at the top level and the airports at a local level, perhaps the requirement will ensure that performance improves. We all know that over time it has not been very efficient.

Some airports already publish data in some instances and some publish data in part. They are on the ground and can see what is happening, so it would probably be easier for them to collate the data than the CAA, because that would need a huge body of people at its national headquarters responsible for collating data at the 30, 40, 50, 70—I do not know how many airports we have—licensed airports. It would seem to be better for the collation to be done locally, but I am happy to listen to the Minister’s view on whether that is appropriate.