THE CIVIL Aviation Authority has urged the Government
to speed up the progress of introducing a levy on travellers to take the strain
off the holidaymakers’ protection fund.
According to the CAA’s latest figures, the Air Travel
Trust Fund has fallen £800,000 further into the red to £9.1 million in the past
year and the CAA has warned further operator failures could pile on more
The authority has repeatedly called for a consumer
levy to top up the bill, but such a charge requires primary
legislation. Although the Department for Transport has
begun preliminary steps to establish legal powers, parliamentary time has not
been allocated to discuss the bill.
CAA director of consumer protection Helen Simpson
said: “The Government has been talking about this bill since 1992 but nothing
has really happened.
“There are many competing issues for the House of
Commons to hear and this one simply hasn’t been high on the agenda. Something
needs to be done.”
Simpson added the levy could be introduced either on a
per passenger basis or as a proportion of total annual turnover.
In a letter to Alistair Darling, secretary of state
for transport, Air Travel Trust Fund chairman Roger Mountford said: “The UK’s
financial protection system can only handle failures effectively if it has
immediate access to enough funds to
guarantee payments to those suppliers.”