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Civil Aviation Act 2012

Further provision about CAA

Section 100: CAA charges

305.Section 100 amends section 11 of the CAA 1982, which makes provision about charging schemes and regulations in respect of the performance of functions of the CAA. The amendments to section 11 require the CAA to consult first those affected by a charging scheme and then the Secretary of State. New charging schemes are to come into force no earlier than 14 days after publication of the scheme, instead of no earlier than 60 days after publication (as previously provided by section 11).

306.Section 11(3) of the CAA 1982 provides that the Secretary of State may make regulations to override any charging scheme made by the CAA. Section 100 adds new subsections (3A) and (3B). These subsections require the Secretary of State to consult persons likely to be affected by regulations before making them, unless such consultation is thought unnecessary by the Secretary of State in view of consultation carried out by the CAA.

307.The section also amends sections 16 and 17 of the CAA 1982 so as to provide that the CAA cannot recover from the Secretary of State any expense it incurs in providing assistance or advice under section 16 or in providing information under section 17 in connection with any exercise of the Secretary of State’s power to make regulations under section 11(3). The Secretary of State would only need to use that power in the unlikely event of disagreement between the Secretary of State and the CAA on the appropriateness of the charging scheme.

Section 101: Criminal proceedings

308.Section 101 amends section 20 of the CAA 1982 (supplementary provisions with respect to the functions of the CAA) to make explicit that the power conferred on the CAA to do anything which facilitates, or is conducive or incidental to, the performance of any of its functions includes the power to institute and carry on criminal proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland. The power to do anything which facilitates, or is conducive or incidental to, the performance of the CAA’s functions applies in respect of Scotland but criminal proceedings there are instituted and carried out by Procurators Fiscal.

Section 102: CAA efficiency

309.Section 102 amends section 21(2) of CAA 1982 so as to require the annual report made by the CAA under section 21(1) to include a statement by the CAA about efficiency in the performance of its functions (an "efficiency statement") and an assessment by the CAA's auditors of that statement.

310.Section 102 also inserts in section 21 of CAA 1982 new subsections (2A) and (2B). New subsection (2A) provides a power for the Secretary of State to give directions to the CAA about the matters that must be covered in an efficiency statement. New subsection (2B) imposes on the auditors appointed under section 15(2) of CAA 1982 a duty to produce an assessment of the efficiency statement.

Section 103: Civil sanctions

311.Section 103 amends Part 3 of the RESA 2008” (civil sanctions) to add the CAA to the list of designated regulators in Schedule 5 to that Act. This enables an order to be made so as to give the CAA access to a range of civil sanctions provided for by Part 3 of RESA 2008”, which could be used in relation to the enforcement of breaches of civil aviation law. These sanctions would sit alongside the existing sanctions available to the CAA and would provide it with an alternative to relying on criminal prosecutions. Section 103 also adds particular provisions of the CAA 1982, including section 71 as amended by section 94 of the Act (regulation of provision of flight accommodation), to the list of enactments in Schedule 7 to the 2008 Act. This has the effect of extending an existing power to create criminal offences by subordinate legislation, so as to include the power to confer on the CAA the civil sanctions provided for by Part 3 of the Act.

Section 104: Regulatory burdens

312.This section imposes a duty on the CAA not to impose or maintain unnecessary burdens. The duty applies to all of the CAA’s functions under Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Act and also applies to the CAA’s regulation of air traffic services under Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the TA 2000.

Section 105: Disclosure of medical information

313.This section amends section 23 of the CAA 1982 by inserting new subsections (4A), (4B) and (7). The amendments allow the CAA to disclose anonymised medical information relating to flight crew and air traffic controllers that the CAA receives in pursuance of a provision of an Air Navigation Order. In addition to the anonymisation safeguard, this section also provides that:

  • the disclosure must be for the purposes of medical research approved by a research ethics committee (as defined in new subsection (7));

  • the CAA must consider that the research is likely to improve the understanding of health risks to the types of individual who are required to provide medical information to the CAA under an Air Navigation Order; and

  • the CAA must consider that it would be difficult or expensive to take the steps necessary to enable disclosure in reliance on section 23(1) of all of the information which is to be disclosed. One of the steps which would enable information to be disclosed in reliance on section 23(1) is obtaining the written consent to disclosure of each person to whom the information relates.

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