Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Civil Aviation Act

The Civil Aviation Act received Royal Assent today. It:

* clarifies and strengthens the measures available to airports for dealing with aircraft noise. These include a greater ability to introduce and enforce noise control measures beyond airport boundaries and to impose financial penalties if aircraft breach these measures.

* clarifies the ability of airports to set charges that reflect local emissions from aircraft. The Secretary of State is also given the power to direct them to levy such charges.

* provides powers for a levy on the aviation industry to replenish the Air Travel Trust Fund which, along with the ATOL scheme, protects customers of failed tour operators.

Aviation Minister Gillian Merron said:

"The Act fulfils a number of the commitments we made in our aviation White Paper to limit the impact of aviation on the environment and to safeguard the interests of passengers."

In addition, the Act:

* enables Ministers to authorise local authority airport companies to undertake specified activities - such as making their expertise available to other airports and taking part in joint ventures - which have previously been outside their powers. This would allow local authority airports to be more competitive with privately owned airports.

* allows the Civil Aviation Authority to recoup the costs of its Aviation Health Unit by a levy on the industry. The Unit offers advice to the aviation industry and its customers and to Government,

* removes the right of airlines to appeal to the Secretary of State in aviation route licensing cases decided by the Civil Aviation Authority. By cutting out a layer of bureaucracy and speeding up the process this will contribute to better regulation.

* clarifies the respective roles of aerodrome managers and the police in protecting an airport.

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