Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Tenth Report



1. The Committee has considered the instruments set out in the Annex to this Report and has determined that the special attention of both Houses does not require to be drawn to any of them.

2. A memorandum from the Home Office in connection with the Immigration (Suspension of Detainee Custody Officer Certificate) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/241) is printed in Appendix 1.

Air Traffic Services (Exemption) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/287)

3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to this Order on the ground that a term used within a definition contained in the Order requires elucidation.

4. The Order authorises the provision of air traffic services, within the vicinity of aerodrome traffic zones. It thus grants an exemption under section 4 of the Transport Act 2000 from the offence of providing air traffic services in respect of a managed area, which is created in section 3 of that Act.

5. Article 2 of the Order defines "aerodrome traffic zone" separately for an aerodrome which is not on an offshore installation and for one which is. However the term "offshore installation" is not itself defined in the Order. The Committee therefore asked the Department why it had not defined the term, and asked for a definition of it.

6. The Department, in its memorandum printed in Appendix 2, explains that the expression "aerodrome traffic zone" is intended to mirror, with limited modifications, the definition of the same term in article 129(1) of the Air Navigation Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/1562); and that the meaning of "offshore installation" in the Order with which the Committee is concerned is intended to be exactly the same as in the Air Navigation Order. However, the term "offshore installation" is not defined in that Order, nor in either of the Acts which confer powers to make that Order. A definition was given, however, in the predecessor to the Air Navigation Order, the Air Navigation (No. 2) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/1970), which stated that the term "offshore installation" has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971. However, that definition was amended in a way which was no longer suitable for the purposes of the Air Navigation Order from which the definition was therefore removed.

7. Hence the Department decided that no definition was required in either the Air Navigation Order 2000 or in the Exemption Order. In the absence of an express definition the Department notes that the term should be understood according to its ordinary meaning, which, in the Department's view, is "a floating structure or device which has been established for the carrying on of activities to which the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 formerly applied, that is mineral workings such as oil or gas exploration or extraction". In the Committee's view the ordinary meaning of the expression "offshore installation" may be thought to be wider than the meaning intended by the Department, which incorporates the particular features of a structure which floats and which is used for mineral exploration or extraction. The Committee therefore reports article 2 of the Order as requiring the elucidation provided by the Department's memorandum.

The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1999-2000 (HL Paper 4; HC 47-i). Back

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