• Complaints about NATS (En Route) Plc (NERL) leads to first formal CAA investigation under the Transport Act 2000
  • No breaches found against NERL, but CAA recommends a series of improvements to maintain operational resilience 
  • CAA to increase oversight of NATS

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced the completion of an investigation of allegations that NATS (En Route) Plc (NERL) had breached its air traffic services licence and the Transport Act 2000.

It was alleged by Ryanair and London Stansted Airport that NERL had failed to meet demand for services to airlines by failing to provide adequate resources to manage the performance in the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (LTMA) and had discriminated against traffic landing at London Stansted Airport.

Using its investigatory powers for the first time under section 34 of the Transport Act 2000, the CAA has concluded that no compliance breach has been found, however it has identified areas for improvement.

The CAA seeks a number of improvements to NERL's business practices, which include improving the resilience of its operations and contingency planning. We will also increase our own oversight of NERL to address resilience issues.

Richard Moriarty, Director of Consumers and Markets at the CAA, said: 
“This is the first time that the CAA has used its investigatory powers under the Transport Act 2000 and highlights the potential seriousness of the complaint raised. In this instance, our investigation has found no compliance breach, however improvements to operational resilience are key to ensuring service delivery levels are maintained in our increasingly busy airspace.”

-ENDS-

Investigation under section 34 of the Transport Act 2000 - 'Project Oberon': CAP 1578

For further details contact:
Richard Stephenson, Communications Department - 020 7453 6030 
Andrew McConnell, Communications Department - 020 7453 6030