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Viscount Goschen: I thank the Minister for his response. He clearly has a much better and more economical use of words than I do because he managed to answer my questions in approximately one-third of the time that I took to ask them. He is obviously very skilled in this.

I enjoyed the Minister's explanation of the provisions in Clause 80. I understand what they are there for but I do not understand the reference to what,

That is an extremely unusual phrase to find a Bill. I do not recall ever seeing any reference to what the Secretary of State would like to be paid or something of that nature.

In the following subsection there is a reference to what the licence holder would like to be paid. Why is there a difference between the two? I do not understand that. I do not expect the noble Lord to answer at this moment but perhaps he will write to me about it.

I was substantially reassured by the various assurances which the Minister gave as regards the subsidiary point of general aviation until the last sentence, when he said that he did not have plans to make any changes at the moment but if he did, he would consult. I found slightly disturbing the admission that he thought about how he would do it, if he wanted to do it, although he does not want to do it. We may need to return to that issue.

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I do not quite understand how the parameters with regard to Eurocontrol would work. There are different systems within Eurocontrol for the charging of different types of service--for example, I understand the French model to be based on full-cost recovery while the UK model is based on RPI-minus-X. Are there one set of parameters for all the air traffic control authorities which are bound by the convention or is a specific set of parameters agreed for each individual service provider? Perhaps the Minister will give me a little more information on that or, if he cannot, perhaps he will write to me. This debate has been extremely useful in clarifying the charging regime. I should be grateful to the Minister if he will respond to those points.

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: I was not sure whether the noble Viscount was asking a rhetorical question. I shall write to him when I have had the opportunity to read in Hansard the detail of his various questions.

Viscount Goschen: I am grateful to the Minister for that reassurance. In no way were they rhetorical questions. When the Minister and his officials study what I have said, they will see that these are important issues which go to the very heart of the Bill.

On the understanding that the Minister will be taking this matter further, I shall not press my objection.

Clause 73 agreed to.

Clause 74 agreed to.

Clause 75 [Specifications: supplementary]:

Lord Brabazon of Tara moved Amendment No. 104:

    Page 49, line 16, leave out subsection (7).

The noble Lord said: This amendment is somewhat in the same vein as the question being asked by my noble friend on the Motion that Clause 73 shall stand part of the Bill. I promise not to take more than one minute to move the amendment.

Subsection (7), which we propose to be omitted from the Bill, gives the CAA the power to charge an operator for services that it does not want and does not use, even if, indeed, its aircraft cannot use them. This amendment removes that power. The CAA already has untrammelled power to fix charges. It is not required to limit them to the costs incurred in providing the service or to consult those affected by them before fixing them. Surely it is going too far to charge for services not used, especially where the operators of aircraft are not equipped to use these services. This is neither just nor fair. I propose that this subsection be struck out of the Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The amendment seeks to remove Clause 71(7) which allows the CIA--I am sorry; the CAA--to specify under Clause 73(1), for the purposes of charging, operators and owners of aircraft which do not or could not use the chargeable air traffic services concerned. That reflects the current provision in Section 73(3) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, which is being repealed.

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The provision seeks to cover the scenario where an aircraft fails to make contact with air traffic control but still enjoys the benefits of services, which are provided in the interests of safety. An example of that is the maintenance of minimum separation distances from other aircraft. This provision also prevents less scrupulous operators obtaining "free rides".

In the circumstances, I hope that noble Lords opposite will understand the purpose of subsection (7). Accordingly, I invite the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. However, I am slightly puzzled as to how, if the aircraft does not identify itself to air traffic control, the charge is levied on it. How do they find out who it was?

A noble Lord: The CIA!

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: It is a legal requirement for each commercial aircraft to carry a transponder, which is an electronic device that identifies the aircraft automatically to the relevant air traffic controllers. Aircraft of that kind are also required to file flight plans which provide the full range of information required to identify the aircraft.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 75 agreed to.

Clauses 76 to 92 agreed to.

Clause 93 [Control in time of hostilities etc.]

[Amendments Nos. 105 to 107 not moved.]

Clause 93 agreed to.

Clauses 94 to 96 agreed to.

Schedule 8 agreed to.

Clauses 97 to 101 agreed to.

Schedule 9 [Air traffic: information.]

[Amendment No. 108 not moved.]

Schedule 9 agreed to.

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Clauses 102 to 106 agreed to.

Lord Berkeley had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 109:

    Before Clause 107, insert the following new clause--

("Duties of local transport authorities")

. Each local transport authority shall have a duty--
(a) to promote sustainable transport, including especially all forms of public passenger transport, and the conveyance of freight by rail or water, and
(b) to identify and safeguard such land as may be required for the improvement of transport infrastructure, including interchanges between modes.").

The noble Lord said: We are back on the ground, which is a relief for me, at any rate. Amendment No. 109 is designed to encourage--

Lord Brabazon of Tara: Before the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, continues, I understood that we would finish after the previous amendment and by 11 o'clock. It is now one minute to 11 o'clock. Would it not be better to start on this new part of the Bill on Monday?

Lord Bach: I do not think there was any understanding. However, the Government always want to assist the Opposition as best they possibly can.

I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

London Local Authorities Bill [HL]

Returned from the Commons agreed to with amendments; the amendments considered and agreed to.

Local Government Bill [HL]

Returned from the Commons agreed to with amendments and with a privilege amendment; the Commons amendments ordered to be printed.

        House adjourned at eleven o'clock.

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