38.—(1) The Department may, in accordance with the following provisions of this Article, provide by regulations for annual charges to be payable by airport operators in respect of the expenses incurred by the Commission in carrying out investigations, and reporting, on references to which this paragraph applies.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to any reference made to the Commission under Article 34 other than a reference under paragraph (1) of that Article which relates to the first period of five years for which any such conditions as are mentioned in Article 31(3) are to be in force in relation to a particular airport.
(3) Any such regulations as are mentioned in paragraph (1) shall—
(a)require the Commission—
(i)to prepare, in such form and including such information as may be prescribed by the regulations, an annual statement containing an assessment of the expenses incurred by it as mentioned in paragraph (1) in the preceding period of twelve months; and
(ii)to send a copy of any such statement to the CAA;
(b)prescribe the circumstances in which airport operators, being persons having the management of airports in respect of which permissions under this Part are in force, are to be liable to charges under this Article in respect of the expenses of the Commission specified in any such statement;
(c)provide that, where a particular airport operator is liable to such a charge, the amount of the charge payable by him shall (subject to sub-paragraph (d)) be a proportion of the expenses referred to in sub-paragraph (b) to be determined by reference to such matters or circumstances as may be specified in the regulations; and
(d)prescribe the maximum amount of any charge under this Article.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (3)(b), any such regulations may provide for an airport operator falling within that provision to be liable to a charge under this Article notwithstanding that none of the expenses there referred to relate to a reference made in respect of an airport managed by him.
(5) Where by virtue of any such regulations a charge under this Article is payable by any airport operator, the CAA shall notify him that he is required to pay that charge to the CAA; and where an airport operator has been so notified the amount of any such charge shall be recoverable from him as a debt due to the CAA.
(6) Any sums received by the CAA by virtue of this Article shall be paid to the Secretary of State, who shall then pay them into the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom.