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Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment was made of the cost of using (a) Omega, (b) other private distribution companies and (c) the Royal Mail to deliver The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: A National Consultation Document; and what assesment has been made of the reliability of the service provided. 
Mr. Jamieson: All consultation documents are being sent out by the Department's distribution contractor, using either the Royal Mail or their sub-contracted courier service, Securicor Omega. The decision on which carrier is used depends on which is most cost-effective for the weight of each individual consignment, and to a lesser extent on its size. Omega is used to deliver heavier items as they offer the best rates to our contractor.
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Securicor make available national service level reports which the contractor monitors, as well as any individual complaints. There are no reliability figures available from Royal Mail. The Department monitors the performance of its distribution contractor, and resolves any complaints as they are reported.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many copies of, The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: A National Consultation DocumentMidlands, have been distributed; 
Mr. Jamieson: As of today around 108,063 copies of The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: A National Consultation DocumentMidlands have been requested and distributed or accessed as set out in the table below.
|Midlands||Main Document||Summary Document||Total|
|Hard Copies Issued||20,997||30,563||51,560|
|Downloads from website||31,115||25,388||56,503|
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses have been received in response to the Future Development of Air Transport consultation document, broken down by region. 
|Region:||NOP Paper Q're Returns||NOP Web Responses||Total to Date||Letters Received|
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration was given to the evaluation of RAF Turnhouse by the Home Office for an asylum seeker accommodation centre in the formulation of options for the expansion of Edinburgh Airport as outlined in the Future Development of Air Transport consulation document. 
Mr. Jamieson: The consultation document for Scotland sets out, factually and neutrally, a wide range of options for more runway capacity at both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. We have not come to any view on the way forward and want to have the views of consultees before we address this. In preparing this document we liaised with many departments including the Home Office and were aware of each other's plans and their potential implications.
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many copies of the consultation documents, Future Development of Air transport in the United KingdomScotland, were requested by (a) telephone, (b) e-mail and (c) letter; and how many such documents were issued in total. 
Mr. Jamieson: As of today around 37,122 copies of The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: A National Consultation DocumentScotland have been distributed or accessed as set out in the table below. We do not have a breakdown on how the requests for hard copies were received.
|Scotland||Main Document||Summary Document||Total|
|Hard Copies Issued||4,890||10,014||14,904|
|Downloads from website||9,425||12,793||22,218|
Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received the business case for the southern extensions of the East London Line from the Strategic Rail Authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the schemes and initiatives sponsored by his Department and its agencies which are not the subject of national roll out, showing (a) the authorities or areas covered by the scheme and (b) the budget of the scheme in the last year for which information is available. 
Mr. Jamieson: Many thousands of local transport schemes and projects are currently being funded by my Department under the 10 Year Plan for transport through local authorities, the Highways Agencies, the Strategic Rail Authority and other agencies. Details on every individual scheme are not collected centrally, but major schemes and aggregated data on smaller schemes will be listed in the forthcoming progress report on the 10 Year Plan.
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Mr. Jamieson: The final report from the South Coast Multi-Modal Study was passed to the South East England Regional Assembly on 9 September and we now await their advice. We will then consider the study's recommendations in the light of their comments.
Mr. Jamieson: The Civil Aviation Authority's Safety Regulation Group carries out regular audits and flight inspections on all UK airlines. In terms of safety oversight and the frequency of inspections, no distinction is made between low cost and other operators.
Mr. Jamieson: The terms and conditions applying to the refund of tickets are set out in each airline's conditions of carriage. The International Air Transport Association publishes recommendations on conditions of carriage, applying to international flights provided by member airlines (Recommended Practice 1724). Following the intervention of the UK Office of Fair Trading, changes were made to RP 1724 in September 2000, principally extending the rights of passengers who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to use a purchased ticket. This recommendation is not, however, binding on carriers and does not apply to domestic flights.
Any legislative proposals affecting the air transport market within the European Community are a matter for the European Commission. In June 2002 the Commission published a consultation paper on airline conditions of carriage. This includes a proposal to require all EU airlines to apply conditions of carriage similar to those in the amended RP 1724.
Many European airlines, including all significant full service UK airlines, have signed up to a set of voluntary commitments on passenger service. These include a commitment to allow telephone reservations to be held or cancelled without commitment or penalty within 24 hours, and a commitment to provide prompt refunds where a passenger claims and is entitled to a refund.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the annual Exchequer income which would derive from auctioning take-off and landing slots at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Manchester airports, in line with the announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister on 9 November 2000, using as a basis the estimates of slot values provided by the Civil Aviation Authority in its recommendations to the Competition Commission on airport price caps in February. 
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Mr. Spellar: No such estimations have been made and could only be done at disproportionate cost. There are large uncertainties on the values of individual slots, and the amount of income would depend on the design of an auction scheme.
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