NATS Licence

NATS Licence


Under the Transport Act 2000 the Government issued a licence to NATS (En Route) plc (NERL) to provide en route air traffic services in the UK. The Act gives the CAA the role of economic regulator of NERL. The CAA exercises this role mainly through monitoring and enforcing the conditions in the Licence and through modifications to the Licence. The Licence is available below, as is a descriptive summary of the price control conditions in the Licence:

 Proposals to modify Condition 10(a) - Reporting on programmes under the Future Airspace Strategy deployment plan

Under Condition 10a of its licence NERL has to provide plans on raising the UK transition altitude and the implementation of the London Airspace Modernisation Programme by 31 December 2015. We are consulting on a proposal to put back the date by which the plans are required to 30 June 2016.

UK National Supervisory Authority report on costs exempt for RP1 (2012-14)

As part of the European SES performance scheme - member states can submit reports on costs exempt from cost-sharing. Below is the UK's report for RP!, which includes amounts for variances in Eurocontrol, spectrum and agency costs.

Proposals on modifications in respect of governance and ring-fencing  - April 2015

In our Ad Hoc Review of NATS-related risks in 2012/13, we found that the current arrangements for governance and ring-fencing may need to be strengthened to ensure that users are adequately protected from risks which arise outside of the regulated business. We are consulting on proposals to modify these arrangements.

Licence modification decisions - January 2015

Proposals to modify licence conditions

Other recent consultations

In May 2015, after consultation, we published Economic Licensing Enforcement Guidance covering our approach to enforcing the NATS Licence and airport economic licences under the Civil Aviation Act 2012. The guidance outlines the legal framework in which our work fits and informs stakeholders of the enforcement powers we have and how we will use them.

After consultation, we 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.

Link to work on contestability of Terminal Air Navigation Services (TANS)

Air traffic control disruption 7 December

Oceanic price control

Economic regulation for Reference Period 2 under the Single European Sky (2015-2019)

Final UK-Ireland FAB Performance Plan submitted to European Commission

Post-consultation Performance Plan (NSA initial submission to State)

Responses to consultation

Transcript and presentation from Stakeholder Consultation meeting

Draft performance plan published for consultation

 Consultancy reports

London Approach

UK Terminal Air Navigation Services (TANS)


Links to older price control reviews

Review of NATS Related Risks

Modification of Licence conditions

Monitoring and Enforcement of the NATS En Route plc (NERL) Licence 

Competition powers

Information on the CAA's concurrent powers with the Office of Fair Trading under the Competition Act 1998 and part 4 (market investigations) of the Enterprise Act 2002 is available on the Competition powers page.

Queries regarding air traffic services regulation should be directed to