Passengers’ Interests Put First

PlaneThe Government has published a new airport bill promising to prioritise passengers’ needs. The Civil Aviation Bill will soon replace the present economic regulation duties of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – the aviation regulator — with a single duty to promote passengers’ needs. The CAA will have more flexibility to assign performance measures at large airports, promote investment in service improvements and provide passengers with more information about airport and airline performance.

The CAA will be able to impose a variety of penalties for breaking licence conditions – with fines reaching 10% of an airport’s annual profits. The legislation will involve the transfer of various aviation security functions, including enforcement and monitoring, from the central Government to the CAA. However, the Transport Secretary will keep the task of setting aviation security policy and instructing aviation security to the industry. The Government had already announced its intent to introduce the legislation in Parliament’s next session, but an opportunity to introduce it earlier (very likely next year) has arisen.

Publishing the draft law, Transport Secretary Justine Greening stated that the needs of aviation passengers and businesses – the end users – must be at the core of the transport networks. She added that the draft bill shows the commitment to improve airports rather than make them bigger, which falls in line with the Government’s larger agenda for better regulation. Greening also said that it complements the ongoing effort to create a sustainable policy framework for the aviation industry, a draft of which should be ready next spring.



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