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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

The Airports (Ground handling) Regulations 1997 (GHRs)

The CAA has powers under the GHRs which implemented the European directive on access to the ground handling market at Community airports. The directive is intended to liberalise handling at EU airports.

Airports with over 2 million passengers a year cannot limit the number of third party suppliers of ground handling services without permission from the CAA. the same applies at airports with more than 1 million passengers a year in relation to self-handling airport users.

Limitations may be granted, for example, on the grounds of safety, security, capacity or available space constraints at the airport concerned.

Airports can apply to the CAA for the number of third-party suppliers or self-handling airport users to be limited. The information required in an application is set out in the following document:

CAA policy

We have published a request for information (RFI) to seek views and relevant factual information from stakeholders, with a view to developing policy on the application of our functions under the GHRs. In due course we plan to publish draft guidance on our role under the GHRs, which will draw on responses to the RFI, for consultation.

The attached InFocus note provides a refresher for stakeholders of the rights granted and the obligations imposed by the GHRs in relation to third party ground handling and self-handling, together with a summary of some of the issues which the RFI will be addressing.

Decisions on appeals under Regulation 20

Appeal to the CAA under Regulation 20 of the Airports (Ground handling) Regulations 1997 by Ryanair Limited against Gatwick Airport Limited - the CAA's directions to GAL (August 2013)

Responses to draft directions

Previous decisions made by the CAA (link to National Archives)