Competition powers

CAA's powers under Competition Act and Enterprise Act for airports and air traffic services

Making markets work better for airport users

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 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 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.

Current areas of work

Air traffic services

We, at the request of the Department for Transport, have assessed the contestability of the market in provision of terminal air traffic services in the UK. Information about the review is available on our website here.


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: