To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the mandate of the Advisory Committee on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement.
The Advisory Committee on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes is established under the provisions of Article 11 of the Regulation (EEC) 2408/92. The remit of the committee is to advise the Commission on the application of the regulation and Articles 9 and 10 in particular on limiting traffic rights and capacity. The UK would normally be represented on the committee by an official from my Department. The committee has not met in the last 12 months and there has been no cost to public funds. There are no matters currently under its consideration.
Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to
"simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission".
As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on