HC Deb 09 April 1986 vol 95 cc312-3
Mr. Bill Walker

I beg to move amendment No. 54, in page 26, line 3, at end insert

'"the airport operator" means either the sole provider of airport facilities for which airport charges may be levied under this Part, or the several providers of such facilities at such airports.'. The amendment was linked to new clause 9, which we debated much earlier. As I was encouraged by what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said at the end of the debate on new clause 9, when he indicated that he would be keen to see some other involvement other than moneys being put into other operations at the airport, it may be necessary, if that were to happen, for an amendment of this sort to be incorporated in the Bill to cover the providers of such facilities, who need not be the principal airport operators in future. It could be beneficial for that provision to be incorporated in the Bill.

Mr. Ridley

As my hon. Friend says, the direct point of the amendment fell when new clause 9 was not included in the Bill. If under a voluntary agreement independent terminal operators come into existence, I accept that they may have to have some basis for charging. However, they would come into existence only under an agreed scheme with the airport operator. Presumably it would be possible under that arrangement for the allocation of charges, the method of charging or the type of charges to be agreed. I hope that my hon. Friend will agree that it would be inappropriate to press this amendment at present.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. Michael Spicer

I beg to move amendment No. 55, in page 26, leave out lines 17 to 19.

Those hon. Members who were on the Standing Committee will remember that the line the amendment seeks to remove was successfully inserted by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks). We feel that my hon. Friend's amendment is not the best way to extend more protection to concessionaires. I know that he now accepts, in turn, that we are disposed to accept that some further strengthening may be needed for concessionaires to ensure that, in particular, at five-yearly Monopolies and Mergers Commission reviews the MMC can take into account the legitimate interests of concessionaires as part of its consideration of where the public interest lies. For that purpose, we intend to put concessionaires on the same footing as users.

We have not been able to bring forward an amendment for Report, but the Government intend to bring forward a suitable amendment in another place, which I know pleases my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington. I hope that, on the basis of what I have said, this amendment will be accepted.

Amendment agreed to.

Forward to