Heading E4 (‘Air Transport’) within Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006 specifically reserves legislative competence over aviation, air transport, airports and aerodromes. This means that the National Assembly does not generally have the power to make legislation in relation to these matters. However, there are some express exceptions provided within GOWA 2006 in relation to this heading. Subject to the reservations, the National Assembly has legislative competence. It may, in particular, legislate in relation to;
• Financial assistance to providers or proposed providers of air transport services or airport facilities or services.
• Strategies by the Welsh Ministers or local or other public authorities about provision of air services.
• Regulation of the carriage of animals on aircraft for the purposes of protecting human, animal or plant health, animal welfare or the environment.
Section 11 of the Transport (Wales) Act 2006 gives the Welsh Ministers power to give financial assistance to those who provide air transport services which start or end at an airport in Wales and to those who provide airport facilities or services in Wales, but only in circumstances where the services or facilities would not, in the Welsh Ministers’ view, be provided without that financial assistance.