HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 cc495-6W
Angela Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the residual work of the Civil Aviation Authority in administering the Public Safety Zone policy will be transferred to his Department. [120070]

Mr. Mullin

Since 1 January 1982, the Civil Aviation Authority has, under a Memorandum of Understanding negotiated with the then Secretary of State for Trade, undertaken responsibility, on behalf of the Secretary of State, for advising local authorities on planning applications relating to sites within Public Safety Zones. The draft circular issued for consultation on 15 June 1999 contained guidance to local authorities to enable them to decide planning applications within Public Safety Zones without the need for advice from the Authority. In the light of the comments received on the draft circular, I am satisfied that I should meet the Authority's wish to discontinue its role in Public Safety Zone administration. The Authority will be terminating the Memorandum of Understanding with early effect. In the interim period before the new circular comes into effect, my Department will be willing to provide advice to local authorities in place of the Authority where this would be appropriate.

The announcement of 15 June 1999 also referred to the establishment of Public Safety Zones at other airports for which modelling work suggested that this would be justified. In the light of the modelling work so far completed, Public Safety Zones will be established for Biggin Hill, Exeter, Humberside, Inverness and Plymouth airports.