This is a relatively straightforward amendment to a clause that amends section 11 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to enable the CAA to levy charges on airports, pursuant to the consumer protection measures under the Bill, where there are breaches in the regulations, which is sensible.
I am worried because charges will be imposed on airports on the assumption that it will be easy for the CAA to collect the charges from the airlines. If we think about what is covered—airlines being late and baggage handling going wrong—it is items that are not the direct responsibility of the airport. As is the case with many other provisions in the Bill, the distinction between different parts of the aviation industry is not made clear. The basic thrust of the Bill is to change the focus to passengers, but the mechanisms in the Bill for appeals and comments on such changes still relate to airlines. Similarly, many of the service requirements relating to consumers will be breached not by airports, but primarily by airlines. It would be sensible if the Civil Aviation Authority had the right to charge airlines in those circumstances; that is the essential burden of the amendment.