Clause 78 - Aviation security directions etc

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:15 pm on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport 1:15 pm, 8th March 2012

I was going to come to that, actually. The capacity issue is very important. When the liquids rules were introduced, my understanding is that there were certainly issues with capacity, which is why queues lengthened considerably for some time after that. However, I think that I can provide the hon. Gentleman with some reassurance on the point. As in the current regime, ensuring that airports take appropriate steps to deal with contingencies—preparing for them and providing the necessary spare capacity to react to changing circumstances—will form part of the new regime.

I want to give a further illustration of the split of responsibility between the CAA and the DFT. If, for example, problems were to arise, as was the case with the impact of new EU rules on the searching of religious headgear, it would again be entirely open to the Secretary of State under the new system to take exactly the same steps as the former Secretary of State took in that instance—temporarily to suspend the operation of the new EU rules until a way could be found to run a pilot to provide a more culturally sensitive way to ensure that the goals of the EU rules were achieved.