• The Competition Act 1998

    We have concurrent powers with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to enforce the prohibitions in the Competition Act as they relate to airport operation services and the supply of air traffic services.

    The prohibitions are:

    • Chapter I - Agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which:
      • may affect trade within the UK; and
      • have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the UK
    • Chapter II - Any conduct on the part of one or more undertakings which amounts to the abuse of a dominant position in a market if it may affect trade within the UK. We also have powers to enforce the equivalent provisions relating to competition in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Articles 101 and 102 respectively) where the relevant behaviour may affect trade between Member States.

    UK Competition Network (UKCN)

    Together with the other sector regulators and the CMA, we are a member of the UK Competition Network (UKCN). The UKCN works to ensure consistency of application of competition law in the regulated sectors to support and enable competition.

    As for the other regulators, we have a Memorandum of Understanding with the CMA that sets out how we will, in practice, work together within the framework of competition law.

    CAA guidance on the application of competition law

    We have issued guidance on how we will apply competition law where we have these powers. The guidance sets out the application of our competition powers that covers the whole breadth of our powers in relation to airport operation services and air traffic services - to undertake sector reviews, carry out market studies, make market investigation references to the CMA, and investigate competition infringements and super complaints.

    The guidance has been prepared to inform our stakeholders - businesses and their advisers, consumers, consumer groups, and other interested parties on how we will apply our competition powers and duties. It sets out how we will apply our concurrent competition powers and seeks to explain the interface between generally applicable competition law and aviation specific legislation.

    If you are submitting a complaint to us about conduct that you consider may be prohibited under the Competition Act, we suggest you contact us either by e-mail at economicregulation@caa.co.uk or telephone 020 7453 6225.

    We have also published prioritisation principles that explain our approach in deciding which pieces of work to take forward in the areas of consumer protection, competition law and economic regulation.

    Important Note - Arrangements for the handling of leniency applications in the regulated sectors:

    All businesses wishing to apply for, or enquire about leniency, should first approach the CMA by calling their leniency number in order to secure their place in the leniency queue. The CMA’s leniency number is 020 3738 6833.

    More information on the arrangements for the handling of leniency applications in the regulated sectors is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656905/information-note-on-arrangements-for-handling-of-leniency-applications.pdf

    The CMA guidance on leniency and no-action applications in cartel cases is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/leniency-and-no-action-applications-in-cartel-cases

    Current areas of work

    Air traffic services

    At the request of the Department for Transport, we have assessed the contestability of the market in provision of terminal air traffic services in the UK.

    Airports

    We are currently investigating a complaint under the Competition Act 1998. Further information about this work is available on our website here.

    Other legislation

    The CAA can also investigate complaints about the conduct of airports under some other pieces of legislation.

    Links to the relevant pages on our website on these pieces of legislation are below:

    Occasional monitoring reports

    In May 2016, we published a market monitoring report reviewing the information provided by Aberdeen Airport under the undertakings given as a result of the Competition Commission's 2009 Market Investigation into the supply of airport services by BAA.

    We've also prepared a report in response to a call for evidence by the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) – a cross-party group of MPs whose goal is to promote better infrastructure in the UK. This report offers a number of observations on the three potential policy interventions to increase regional connectivity raised in the BIG’s Call for Evidence: the role of government/Public Service Obligations (PSOs); renegotiating the EU slot regime; and discounts for domestic routes/incentives for smaller aircraft.