Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Tenth Report


APPENDIX 2

Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Air Traffic Services (Exemption) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/287)

1. The Committee has asked the Department to submit a Memorandum on the following point:

    "In the definition of "aerodrome traffic zone" in article 2, explain the meaning of "offshore installation" and why that expression is not defined."

2. The definition of aerodrome traffic zone in the Order is intended to mirror, with limited modifications, the definition of the same term in article 129(1) of the Air Navigation Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/1562). That definition is also divided in relation to an aerodrome other than one which is on an

offshore installation and in relation to an aerodrome which is on such an installation. The meaning of "offshore installation" in the Exemption Order is intended to be exactly the same as in the Air Navigation Order.

3. The term "offshore installation" is not defined in the Air Navigation Order, nor, for any relevant purposes, in the Civil Aviation Act 1982 or the Airports Act 1986 which confer the powers to make that Order. The Department considered that to include a definition in the Exemption Order when none appeard in the Air Navigation Order risked casting doubt upon the meaning of the term in the Air Navigation Order, which is a consolidating instrument. Its predecessor, the Air Navigation (No. 2) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/1970) did when made contain a definition of offshore installation. Article 118(1) of that order provided

    "'offshore installation' has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971".

Nevertheless, the Department decided that a definition was not necessary in the Air Navigation Order 2000 or in the Exemption Order. This view is justified in the Department's view by the reasons set out below, particularly in paragraph 5.

4. Section 1 of the 1971 Act was substituted by section 24 of the Oil and Gas (Enterprise) Act 1982. The section was repealed by the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/738), regulation 22(1), Schedule 1, Part I, and, as respects Northern Ireland, by the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (S.R. 1995/340, regulation 22(1), Schedule 1, Part I). Regulation 3 of those Regulations gave a new definition of the term which was not the meaning required for the purposes of the Air Navigation Order. Article 2(10) of the Air Navigation (Third Amendment) Order 1998 (S.I. 1998/753) then provided that the definition should be omitted.

5. The Department notes that the term has been used without a definition in primary legislation. The Committee is respectfully referred to the Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5 Head D2(c) by way of example. In the absence of an express definition, the Department notes that the term should be understood according to its ordinary meaning. According to that ordinary meaning, it is, in the Department's view, a floating structure or device which has been established for the carrying on of activities to which the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 formerly applied, that is mineral workings such as oil or gas exploration or extraction.

5 March 2001


 
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