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Civil Aviation Act 2012

Licences

77.Procedures relating to applications for a licence, and the grant or refusal of such an application, are covered by sections 14 to 16.

Section 14: Application for licence

78.Persons who operate a dominant area at a dominant airport require a licence to levy charges and this section states the requirements on the applicant and the CAA when an application for a licence is made. Subsections (3) and (4) provide that if a person is the operator of an airport area on the day on which the area becomes a dominant area located at a dominant airport, then that person will be treated as having already made and published an application for a licence.

Section 15: Granting licence

79.This section states the process the CAA must comply with before granting a licence and before the licence comes into force. This section includes a requirement for the CAA to consult for a reasonable period on proposed licence conditions and states that a new licence may not include conditions which differ significantly from those on which it has consulted.

80.After the notice that the licence has been granted has been published by the CAA, the licence cannot come into force for at least six weeks. The notice must specify certain matters, including the reasons for the conditions included in the licence, how the CAA has taken into account representations made and the reasons for any differences from the conditions initially proposed. This is stated in subsection (7). An application for permission to appeal against the CAA’s decision to include or exclude a licence condition by the licence holder and/or airlines that are materially affected by the decision can be made during the six week period after publication of the notice. Appeals about the inclusion or exclusion of conditions in a new licence are dealt with in section 24 and Schedule 2. For convenience reference is made in this section of the commentary to particular provisions of Schedule 2, in addition to the separate commentary on that Schedule that appears below.

81.Paragraph 10 of Schedule 2 states that if an application to suspend a licence condition is made in the six week period, the licence condition does not come into effect for ten weeks from the date of publication of the notice of the decision to grant the licence. This extension is to give the Competition Commission at least four weeks to consider the application for a direction to suspend the licence condition before it would otherwise come into effect. The grounds upon which such a direction may be given are set out at paragraph 11(2) of Schedule 2 and the effects of such a direction at paragraph 11(3).

82.Subsection (9) provides that if the CAA grants a licence in advance of a person becoming the operator (of all or part of an area), the licence does not come into force until that person becomes the operator (of all or part of the area).

Section 16: Refusing to grant licence

83.Section 16 states the grounds on which the CAA may refuse to grant a licence and the process the CAA must follow should it decide to refuse to grant a licence, including a requirement to consider representations made about a proposal to refuse to grant a licence. The period allowed for making representations must be a period of at least 30 days beginning with the notice of the proposed refusal. The circumstances where the CAA may refuse a licence are stated in subsection (1). These include circumstances in which the application is made by a person whose licence for that airport area has previously been revoked in accordance with a relevant provision of a licence (see subsections (2) and (3)) (or by a person “connected to” that person, within the definition set out in section 71). Otherwise, they comprise circumstances where a licence is considered not to be required.

Section 17: Content and effect of licence

84.Under section 17, the licence must specify the airport and the airport area or areas for which it is granted. The circumstances in which the licence may be revoked by the CAA must be set out in the licence. The licence must also provide that it may only be revoked in accordance with section 48 (which sets out the procedural requirements).

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