Authority (CAA) To Be Stripped Of Financial Authority
By Shane Nolan
November 24, 2011 - Passengers' needs are to be put
first under new airports legislation published on
Wednesday by UK’s Secretary of State for Transport,
Justine Greening. The Civil Aviation Bill will replace
the current economic regulation duties of the aviation
regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with a
single primary duty to promote the interests of
The CAA will be given more flexibility to set
performance measures at major airports, encourage
investment in improvements and provide passengers and
other airport users such as those sending cargo by air
with more information about airline and airport
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said “The end user
in this case the needs of air passengers and businesses
must be at the heart of our transport networks. Whether
going on holiday, flying for business or transporting
goods by air, the customer experience at airports can
make or break a trip.
large passengers give good feedback about airports, but they
also say they want things like more seating, better information
and additional baggage carousels at busy times these are exactly
the matters that the CAA will be able to address more
effectively under its new powers.
is designed to modernize the key elements of how the industry is
regulated and contribute to economic growth. It also extends to
aviation security, the 'user pays' principle which exists
elsewhere in the sector (e.g. safety regulation). This will
involve the transfer of certain aviation security functions,
such as monitoring and enforcement, from central Government to
the CAA which charges the industry for its activities.
However, the responsibility for setting aviation security policy and making aviation security directions to the industry will remain with the Secretary of State for Transport. It is estimated that this move could save UK taxpayers over £4m a year whilst seeing a better quality service delivered.
included in the draft Bill today include: 1) 2) 3)
1)Giving the CAA a role in promoting better public information on customer service and environmental impacts.
2)A switch to a new licensing regime for larger airports: licensing - which is common in many regulated industries - allows greater flexibility than the current uniform system and enables the CAA to target regulatory activity where and when it is needed to protect the interests of consumers.
3)New and streamlined appeal processes that will improve access to justice for those affected by regulatory decisions.
4) 5) 6)
4)A supplementary financing duty on the CAA which will help ensure that efficient airport license holders can finance their activities.
5)Removing unnecessary central Government involvement and bureaucracy from the regulatory process.
6)Modernizing the CAA’s governance and operations.
The Government had
originally announced its intention to introduce this Bill in the next
session of Parliament, however an opportunity has now arisen to
introduce it earlier most likely early next year. By publishing a draft
at this stage, the Government aims to give the Transport Select
Committee and wider stakeholders the opportunity to consider the Bill
before it is brought before Parliament.
Much of the
legislation surrounding aviation dates back to the 1980s and is in need
of modernization. It is possible that the scope of the Bill may be
extended before it is introduced. One area which could be included is
the reform of the Air Travel Organizers’ License (ATOL), following the
recently finished consultation on measures to protect consumers better
in the 21st century holiday market and help create a more level
regulatory playing field for businesses.
The CAA currently
has four duties for the purposes of economic regulation, they are:
1)To further the reasonable interests of users of airports within the UK, users being defined (in section 82 of the Airports Act) as airlines, passengers and other user of air transport services at the airport, 2) To promote the efficient, economic and profitable operation of such airports, 3) To encourage investment in new facilities at airports in time to satisfy anticipated demands by the users of such airports; and 4) To impose the minimum restrictions that are consistent with the performance by the CAA of its functions under those sections.
In addition, the
CAA also is also required to take account of international obligations.
The proposals set out will replace these with a single primary duty and
a limited number of further duties. These are, primary duty is to
is topromote the interests of existing and future consumers of passenger and freight services at UK airports, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition.
Further duties include,
include, to secure, so far as it is economical to meet them, that all reasonable demands for airport services are met efficiently, ensure that license holders are able to finance the activities which are subject to the relevant license obligations, to have regard to the effect on the environment and on local communities of activities connected with the provision of airport services.
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