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New Aviation Bill announced today puts passengers first

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A Civil Aviation Bill was announced in parliament today which will put passengers at the forefront of how UK airports are run.

Department of Transport released a 124 page document shortly after the hearing in Parliament, detailing what will be included in the new bill and what other proposals will be put forward.

The bill will replace the current economic regulation duties of the aviation regulator. The civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has a single primary duty to promote the interests of passengers and will introduce new measures. 

It will allow the CAA to get performance measures introduced at airports, encourage investments and provide passengers and other airport users more information about airline and airport performance.

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers commented on the new aviation bill saying: “The powers in this Bill will put the needs of passengers clearly and unambiguously at the heart of how our major airports are run.

“They will help promote better public information about airline and airport performance and give the CAA more power to tackle the issues which matter to passengers.

“Under the new rules, the CAA will be able to intervene much more quickly when an airport is failing passengers, for example on winter preparedness.”

New measures are designed to modernise key elements of how the industry is regulated and contribute to economic growth. The main part of today’s proposal will be making sure costs regulating aviation security are covered by the aviation industry.

This will involve covering certain aviation security functions such as monitoring and enforcement, however the responsibility will still be with the Secretary of State for Transport who will set the aviation security policy and will make aviation security directions to the industry. It has been estimated that this could potentially save tax payers £4million a year.

The Bill also contains a clause in which the Secretary of State could make long-term changes to the ATOL holiday protection scheme; it will allow holidays to be included that are sold by airlines, which is currently exempt from the scheme.

The new Civil Aviation Bill will make way for better airports around the UK making sure passengers are the driving force of the Governments actions.

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By Amanda Bainbridge