1.By a letter dated 18th July 2018, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments requested a memorandum on the following point:
What is the sanction for failure to comply with regulation 6?
2.As with regulation 13 of the Aerodromes (Noise Restrictions) (Rules and Procedures) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1742) which regulation 6 of the present instrument replaces, no specific sanction is provided for failure to comply with regulation 6. This leaves the possibility of an application for an injunction, pursuant to general legal and equitable principles, to enforce the statutory duty which regulation 6 places on the airport operator.
3.In practice regulation 13 of the 2003 Regulations has operated effectively for many years without the need to consider making such an application (or the question of who would be the appropriate applicant in such a case). This may be in part because it is generally in an airport operator’s best interests to maintain a good relationship with the competent authority and to comply with any request for information, and in part because information relevant to noise-related operating restrictions is also required under a number of other regimes as explained below.
4.In relation to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports, which are designated airports under section 80 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, the Secretary of State has powers under section 78(8) of that Act to require the manager of the airport to measure noise in the vicinity of the airport and to make reports to the Secretary of State with respect to the noise measured. Failure to make such reports is an offence under section 78(9).
5.In relation to other airports, noise-related operating restrictions are usually introduced in the context of an application for planning permission or development consent for the development of the airport. As a result, relevant information is generally required through the application process, or subsequently through the use of powers to enforce planning obligations and requirements.
6.Further information is available through the airport noise maps which are required by the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/2238) or the Environmental Noise (Wales) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/2629). Regulations 26 and 27 of these Regulations include specific enforcement powers for the Secretary of State or Welsh Assembly.
7.Given this background, the Government does not consider it necessary to introduce an additional specific sanction for breach of regulation 6 at this stage, when none has been available since 2003. However the Department will of course keep this issue under careful review, in particular if any evidence emerges that a further specific sanction is required.
Department for Transport
24 July 2018
Published: 14 September 2018