New Clause 3 - Obligation to operate an air transport service serving a specified route

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 13th March 2012.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport 4:45 pm, 13th March 2012

Surprisingly enough, I was just coming to a similar point. Under the rules currently laid down by European law, the potential for the ring-fencing of slots at Heathrow to protect regional services is covered by the rules on PSOs only. I am afraid, therefore, that the new clause is contrary to EU law because it would override the strict criteria and process by which European Governments are permitted to intervene in route operations. As my hon. Friend said, if the Opposition were serious about the new clause, the repeal or amendment of the European Communities Act would be required.