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Both Houses complete check of Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill

21 April 2021

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The  Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Billreturned to the Lords for consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’, on Tuesday 20 April.

Members discussed the application of unmanned aircraft offences under Scottish law, modernisation strategies for the aviation industry and approved trials of beyond-visual-sight operation of drones.

As both Houses have agreed on the text of the bill it now awaits the final stage of Royal Assent. It will then become an Act of Parliament (law). 

A date for Royal Assent is yet to be scheduled. 

Third reading: Thursday 28 January

No changes to the wording of the bill were suggested ahead of third reading.

Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at its conclusion of Lords stages.

Following the conclusion of third reading, the bill now passes to the House of Commons for its consideration.

Report stage: Thursday 21 January

Members discussed a range of topics, including implementation of the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) airspace strategy, airport slot allocation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and aircraft noise over national parks.

There was one division (vote) on a proposed amendment (change) to the bill.

The vote concerned amendment 14, which proposed a new clause to require the government to lay a review of legislation relating to unmanned aircraft within six months of the passing of this bill. The review would focus on whether the law provides individuals with sufficient protection and personal privacy.

Members voted 255 in favour and 274 against, so the change was not made.

Committee stage: Monday 10 February

Members discussed a range of topics, including funding for smaller airports, CAA airspace strategy and greenouse gas emissions.

Second reading: Monday 27 January 2020

Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Transport, opened the debate and responed on behalf of the government.

Speakers included a former Chief of the Air Staff and the vice president of the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA).

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]

This bill aims to:

  • make changes to airspace arrangements, air traffic services and licensing
  • provide greater enforcement capability to police regarding the use of drones. 

Image: Pixabay