Civil Aviation Bill

Memorandum submitted by James K Chan (CA 08)

The Bill puts the consumer first. In the economic regulation of airports with substantial market power the CAA's primary duty will be to consumers; that is passengers and owners of cargo now and in the future.

The government needs to know that airlines and their passengers and cargo aren't the only users of airports.

There is also a substantial General Aviation community (all non-airline, non-military). This includes non-commercial and training flights.

It is worth noting that GA contributes over £1.4 billion to the UK economy each year. This is the size of one major airline in Britain.

I quote two recommendations from this Strategic Review:

It is recommended that Government and CAA take note of the overall economic

and social value of GA and consider whether there are areas where national

policy guidelines or objectives may be needed in relation to GA and its future,

including:

i) Government to consider making a policy statement on the value of

maintaining a viable network of GA airfields, to be considered by those

involved in planning decisions in the future

ii) Government to revise the CAA’s statutory objectives at section 4 of the

Civil Aviation Act at the next opportunity to remove any suggestion of

bias toward commercial air transport over GA

The fact that this Civil Aviation Bill puts "passengers and owners of cargo" first only re-inforces the CAA’s bias toward Commercial Air Transport over General Aviation

Contrary to lies spread by the media, the vast majority of private pilots such as myself do not fly expensive multi-million pound jets. A basic 30-year-old 2-seater or 4-seater piston plane is the norm, with the aircraft market-value about the same, if not less than a modern car today.

As the Civil Aviation Bill makes no provision for private pilots, who are also end users to airports, my greatest concern is that we:

1) Have no access to airports where some have already and continue to raise their fees and charges extortionately, severely limiting or prohibiting our movements, and

2) Have no CAA to price regulate aerodromes appropriately and fight our corner.

This is an extremely serious issue which needs to be addressed.

Therefore I believe this Bill must not be passed through Parliament without including General Aviation in its clause.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

February 2012

Prepared 22nd February 2012