44.—(1) If the Department, at any time during the period of six months beginning with the date of the coming into operation of Article 28, notifies the CAA that it proposes to perform, in relation to any airport which is—
(a)due to become subject to economic regulation under this Part at the end of that period by virtue of Article 28(2); and
(b)specified in the notification,
the functions of the CAA specified in paragraph (2), those functions shall (subject to paragraph (4)) be performed in relation to the airport by the Department and not by the CAA, and references to the CAA in the provisions mentioned in paragraph (2) and in Articles 42 and 48 shall, so far as may be necessary for the purpose or in consequence of the transfer of those functions, be read as references to the Department.
(2) The functions of the CAA referred to in paragraph (1) are—
(a)its functions under Article 29 with respect to the grant or refusal of a permission under this Part; and
(b)if the airport in question is for the time being designated for the purposes of Article 31, its functions under that Article and Article 43 with respect to the imposition of conditions in accordance with Article 31(1)(a); and
(c)if the airport in question is not so designated, its functions under Article 32(1) with respect to the imposition of such conditions as are there mentioned at the time of granting a permission under this Part.
(3) If the Department so determines at the time of granting a permission under this Part in respect of an airport in pursuance of this Article, that airport shall, instead of becoming subject to economic regulation under this Part at the end of the period of six months referred to in paragraph (1), become so subject on such earlier date as may be specified by the Department in its determination.
(4) Where functions of the CAA under Article 31 or 32(1) fall to be performed by the Department by virtue of this Article, the Department—
(a)shall perform those functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to achieve the objectives specified in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of Article 30(2); and
(b)shall perform those functions with respect to the imposition of conditions in pursuance of Article 31(3) without there having been made any prior reference to the Commission in connection with the imposition of any such conditions.
(5) Where, before a notification is given by the Department under paragraph (1) in the case of an airport, the airport operator has already made an application in accordance with Article 29 to the CAA, then, as from the date when the notification is given—
(a)the application shall be treated as if it had been so made to the Department; and
(b)anything previously done by or in relation to the CAA in connection with the application shall be treated as if done by or in relation to the Department;
and any fee paid by him in pursuance of Article 29(2)(b) shall be refunded to him by the CAA.
(6) The CAA shall provide such advice, assistance and information to the Department as the Department may require in connection with the performance by the Department of any functions under this Part (whether by virtue of this Article or otherwise).