§ Mr. Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what EU legislation governs the allocation of departure and arrival slots at Heathrow to British airlines which merge with non-EU airlines; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mullin
Slot allocation at Heathrow is governed by EC Regulation 95/93, which was transposed into UK law by the Airports Slot Allocation Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/1067). Under these regulations, an independent co-ordinator has been appointed to allocate slots. He is charged with carrying out his duties in a neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. No account is taken in the slot allocation process of the nationality of applicant airlines. However, European and national competition authorities have in the past had regard to the number of slots that would be controlled by a single operating entity, and any possible resultant detrimental effect on competition, when considering proposed mergers and acquisitions.