Clause 100 - CAA charges

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 13th March 2012.

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Photo of Julie Hilling Julie Hilling Labour, Bolton West 12:30 pm, 13th March 2012

I want to add briefly to the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley and Broughton, and talk in detail about the implications of the new charges for Manchester airport. They are obviously replicated in all airports, but it is much easier to talk about a specific example.

The regulatory charge for an airport is currently 0.95p—just under a penny. It is going up to 1.26p in April, but additional security charges will add at least another penny. Manchester airport estimates that its costs will go up by something like 216% when the Bill becomes law, which is very difficult. Manchester airport is thriving, but other regional airports are struggling to remain in existence. It is an incredibly competitive market, and they feel unable to put up charges. Whereas regulated airports can put them up through direct charges, things are much harder for regional airports, which are unable to put up charges for fear of losing the flights that they are desperate to attract.

I want to add my voice to those saying how important it is for the CAA to levy the charges directly on airlines, rather than levying charges on airports and expecting airports to claim them back, because the message from airports across the piece is that they feel unable to do that. I add my support to the amendment standing in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley and Broughton.