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:
CAP 1682 - Decision on modifications to Condition 2 of NATS (En Route) plc licence in respect of resilience planning, policy statement on enforcement and resilience plan guidance
Responses to our consultation (CAP 1639):
This document sets out guidance to NERL from the CAA in preparing its Business Plan for Reference Period 3 (2020 to 2024).
This consultation document sought views from interested parties on the Business Plan guidance that should shape the CAA's approach to the future economic regulation of NERL in the period from 2020 to 2024.
This discussion document sought stakeholder views on the CAA's proposed strategic themes for the future regulation of NERL, in order to inform the development of the CAA's approach to the regulation of NERL from 2020.
is a review by the Government Actuary's Department on certain aspects of NERL's pension arrangements, to help inform the CAA's allowance for pension costs in RP3 (covering the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024). This report analyses the principal factors which determine NERL's pension costs and predominantly covers the defined benefit costs arising from the NATS pension scheme. The results of this review enable the CAA to understand the factors affecting NERL's future cash pension contributions, and the extent to which NATS pension scheme's funding approach is consistent with that of other UK private sector defined benefit pension schemes.
We would welcome views from interested parties on the findings from GAD's review, to inform CAA's allowance for pension costs in RP3. Please email any comments to email@example.com.
Condition 10 of NERL's licence requires it to provide a business plan, service and investment plan and periodic reports. After consultation we modified Condition 10 to require NERL to produce detailed technology and airspace plans for RP2 (2015-19) and outline programmes for RP3 (2020-24) as well. At the same time we removed the requirement for it to produce plans on raising the UK transition altitude (TA) and the implementation of the London Airspace Modernisation Programme (LAMP). Our consultation documents, as well as previous documents relating to Conditions 10 and 10(a) are below:
Advice to the Secretary of State for Transport on extending the length of the notice provisions for termination in the Air Traffic Services licence.
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 RP2, which includes amounts for variances in Eurocontrol, spectrum and agency costs.
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.
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 consulted on initial proposals to modify these arrangements, and have now published our decision to modify NERL's licence.
Responses to consultation:
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.
In July 2018, NERL submitted regulatory accounts with an audit report that did not comply with Condition 6 of its licence. Changes to audit guidance issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales have meant that auditors are no longer able to express an opinion that meets the requirement under the Condition. NERL has informed the CAA that it will work with the CAA to modify Condition 6 such that a satisfactory audit report can be obtained.
NATS (En Route) plc Condition 16 Code of practice, December 2016
The CAA investigated an alleged breach of licence conditions by NERL's regarding its operation of the London Approach Service
The CAA found that while flight delays increased in 2016, it did not fail to take all reasonable steps to meet demand or discriminate against any party in delivering the London Approach Service. The CAA has made a number of recommendations to NERL to ensure it improves its contingency planning and the resilience of its operations in the future, and will monitor NERL's implementation and the effectiveness of the recommendations going forward.
Project Oberon recommended that we publish data to provide increased transparency on London Approach service quality. Three Oberon Report Indicators are included: NERL Attributable Delays by London Approach Function; NERL Average Delays per Arrival by London Approach Function; and All NERL Attributable Delays per Arrival into London Airports. We are publishing such data each quarter.
Starting with the indicators to June 2018, the format of the report has changed. As well as graphs and data showing delay attributable to NERL's London Approach service, the report also includes graphs and data showing all delay (including non-NERL attributable delay) for each of the London Approach airports. The report is produced by NERL using data and commentary provided by NERL.
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.
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