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Clause 18 - Licence conditions

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

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Photo of Gavin Shuker Gavin Shuker Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 1:45 pm, 1st March 2012

I accept those remarks; the hon. Gentleman is very sensible. I would say—this segues into my major point on the amendment—that we already require a strict licensing regime on airports. What the amendment would do is designate areas where we believe additional information is important. In the context of a 120-page Bill on how we govern the licensing of airports and wider issues in aviation, it is not beyond the wit or remit of this Committee or the House to designate areas where additional information is important.

We recognise a degree of market failure. That is why we seek to promote or replicate competition among licensed airports, particularly in areas across the south-east. In that context, the more information that is available, the better. Equally, when the provision of this information is voluntary but not specified in the licensing regime, it puts other airports at a disadvantage to those that publish information. A core way to replicate competition in the sector is to democratise that information and ensure that it is available.

The requirement in amendment 19 on licence holders to develop passenger welfare plans goes to the heart of the passenger experience. We understand that good airports are doing the work anyway. Sometimes they are stimulated into undertaking the work.