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Wednesday 21 January, 2015

Civil Aviation Auth.

Economic regulation of NATS en route charges

RNS Number : 8029C
Civil Aviation Authority
21 January 2015

News Release

21 January 2015




CAA publishes decisions on economic regulation of NATS' en route air navigation charges


Following consultations during 2014, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published a series of documents confirming decisions relating to its economic regulation of NATS' en route services for 2015-2019. This completes a comprehensive process that began in July 2012.


The documents bring into effect amendments to the NATS En Route Plc (NERL) licence to reflect performance targets originally set out in the UK-Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) performance plan. The plan included targets in four key areas: capacity; cost efficiency; environment; and safety and was adopted by the Department for Transport and submitted to the European Commission as part of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative in June 2014.


Today's documents confirm demanding cost efficiency and service quality targets for NERL, which will ensure value for money for NERL customers whilst allowing in full the £0.6 billion investment plan put forward by NERL in its original business plan. This enables NERL to invest sufficiently for the future so it can provide high quality services to its customers.


As well as confirming details of the price control of NERL's Eurocontrol and London Approach  charges for 2015-2019, the licence amendments include a new condition for NERL to implement and report on activity carried out under the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) Deployment Plan. FAS is the UK's plan to modernise airspace use so it's more efficient and delivers environmental benefits such as lower carbon emissions. The criteria for applying for funding under the FAS Deployment Facilitation Fund - set out in the UK-Ireland FAB plan - are also published today.

Finally, today's publications also include confirmation of a price cap of Consumer Price Index (CPI)-5% on NERL's Oceanic charges for 2015-2019. Air traffic services and datalink communications in the Shanwick area of Oceanic airspace over the North Atlantic are delegated to the UK (NERL) under a mandate from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The Oceanic business is a relatively small part of the NERL business, representing approximately 4% of its costs and revenues.


The documents published today are as follows:

·     CAP 1252: Decision on the modification of NATS (En Route) plc licence to transpose the UK-Ireland FAB Performance Plan for 2015-2019

·     CAP 1253: Decision on modifications to NATS (En Route) plc licence in respect of reporting and Specified Services

·     CAP 1249: FAS Deployment Facilitation Fund

·     CAP 1254: Decision on modifications to NATS (En Route) plc licence in respect of the Oceanic price condition for 2015-2019

For further press information, contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030 [email protected] . 


Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors

·      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 and in part of the Eastern Atlantic. 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 Single European Sky (SES) requires each Functional Airspace Block (FAB) - areas of airspace grouped by European regions rather than individual states - to develop plans on how providers of air navigation services will improve performance between 2015 and 2019.

·      The UK and Ireland submitted a FAB plan jointly to the European Commission on 24 June 2014. Further details on the original plan are available here.

·      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.



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