CAA announces decision in Aer Lingus Heathrow complaint case

Date: 17 December 2012

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published its decision on a complaint made by Aer Lingus about landing charges for small aircraft and charges on airlines for passengers on domestic and Irish flights at Heathrow Airport.

The CAA has found that while Heathrow’s landing charges discriminate by not reflecting that it is cheaper to handle smaller aircraft, they are not unreasonable as, given Heathrow’s constrained runway capacity, they incentivise best use of scarce capacity.

On passenger charges for domestic and Irish flights, the CAA has found that Heathrow’s pricing structure was discriminatory towards airlines serving domestic and Irish routes, but that this does not appear to have had adverse effects on either passengers or on airline competitiveness. As such, the CAA is not enforcing any changes to Heathrow’s price structure.

The CAA has said that Heathrow should keep its charging structure under review, and that there were shortcomings in the airport’s consultation of its stakeholders in relation to its changing charges in 2011.

Today’s announcement comes after Aer Lingus’ asked the CAA to review its decision of March 2012 in favour of Heathrow, relating to a complaint made by BMI made in January 2011. Aer Lingus contested that decision and in July the CAA requested further information from both Aer Lingus and Heathrow.

The CAA’s full decision document can be seen here: Decision Document

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030 press.office@caa.co.uk

Follow the CAA on @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors
1. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.