Clause 78 - Aviation security directions etc

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 8th March 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport 1:45 pm, 8th March 2012

I will respond briefly. I spared the Committee my technical concerns about amendment 76, but as the shadow Minister is keen to press the point, I will return to them. I do not see that amendment 76 would produce the enhanced parliamentary scrutiny that he feels it would. It seems to suggest that the Civil Aviation Authority could implement the outcomes-focused, risk-based aviation security regulatory regime. That is a misunderstanding of how aviation security regulation is implemented, and how it would be implemented under the new arrangements in the Bill. Part 2 of the Aviation Security Act 1982 sets out the Secretary of State’s powers to give directions to industry for the purposes of that part of the Act. Those powers broadly cover the protection of civil aviation against acts of violence. It is those powers that the Secretary of State intends to use to implement the requirements relating to outcomes-focused, risk-based regulation.

Clause 78 inserts new section 14A into the 1982 Act, which confers on the CAA a duty to review the aviation security directions currently in force and make recommendations to the Secretary of State about them and about giving further directions. The clause also amends the definition of “authorised person” in section 24A of the 1982 Act, so that it can mean a person authorised in writing by the Secretary of State or the CAA. Authorised persons—that is, inspectors—monitor and enforce compliance with the directions in force.

The CAA will not, therefore, have the power to give aviation security regulation directions to industry. As I have said, that is a matter for the Secretary of State under the current and proposed regimes. There would, therefore, be no point in the Secretary of State directing the CAA in the terms suggested in amendment 76.