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CAA given new duty to help passengers

The Civil Aviation Authority is to be given new duties to promote the interests of passengers was announced by the Government today.

The package of measures is designed to put passengers at the heart of how airports are run, encourage competition between airports and promote investment which will make Britain’s major airports better, not bigger was announced by Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond.

Under the plans - which will reform the framework for regulating airports - the aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will be given a new primary duty to promote the interests of passengers. The CAA will also be given a supplementary financing duty - helping to drive passenger focused investment.

It will also be granted new and more effective powers to take action against airports that underperform and new powers to investigate and take action against anti-competitive behaviour.

The proposals would also see a switch to a new regulatory licensing regime. This will allow regulation to be tailored to meet the requirements of individual airports, rather than the same conditions being applied to all regulated airports. This will enable the CAA to better target regulatory activity where and when it is needed to protect the interests of consumers.

“The way our airports are regulated is in urgent need of reform. The current economic regulation legislation dates from 1986, when the aviation sector looked very different from today,” said Hammond.

The Government has decided to scrap plans to give a new permit to Passenger Focus to represent air passengers. It will now be exploring options for strengthening existing passenger representation arrangements.

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