Clause 67 - Airports: supplementary

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Nigel Mills Nigel Mills Conservative, Amber Valley 4:15 pm, 6th March 2012

I have two questions. I am sorry for detaining the Committee again. There are lots of lovely definitions here, which seem to excite my interest.

Subsection (3) states:

“A car park is a qualifying car park if…it has pedestrian access to such a terminal.”

I presume that “pedestrian access” does not mean a pavement between a separate car park and the terminal building, but a dedicated passenger tunnel, or something that links the two together completely. Otherwise, an open patch of ground or long-running pavement from one to the other could be regarded as pedestrian access. I assume the logic of that is not what is intended, but I am not quite sure how we interpret that definition.

According to clause 5, an airport does not include a bus station, tram station or a railway station. I think we have been reassured in the past that a regulated airport would be allowed to include the costs of developing, maintaining or enhancing such stations in their regulated assets for the purposes of the charges they can pass on to the airlines. Is that entirely consistent with the definition that an airport does not include a railway station or a bus station?

Earlier, I asked the Minister about the calculation of a fine and the turnover of an airport. She kindly confirmed that the turnover would include all the revenue the airport operator derives, which, in Heathrow’s case—certainly in the accounts I quoted—included income from the railway station. I cannot quite square that with a definition of an airport that excludes the railway station. Will she clarify exactly when railway stations and so forth will fall within an airport for regulatory purposes, and when they will fall outside it?