Clause 24 - Appeal to Competition Commission: conditions of new licences

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport 11:15 am, 6th March 2012

I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s further remarks. As I have said many times, he has great expertise in these matters. However, I continue to believe that it would be wrong for us to “hard code” into the Bill a particular definition of exactly how the end user is best served. It is better to give the CAA broad discretion and to leave it up to the Competition Commission to make sensible decisions on the basis of the constraints already set out in the Bill in relation to the appeals framework.

However, there is a route for ministerial input into the process as a whole, because clause 2 provides for the Secretary of State to issue guidance to the CAA that may be of assistance when it makes decisions under the primary duty. There are non-legislative options to provide further guidance to the CAA in the future, so that may be useful when it makes decisions on the end user’s interests.