On 16 May 2012, the Department for Transport announced that the Secretary of State for Transport had issued a written statement on the removal of a mandatory reference to the Competition Commission from the Civil Aviation Authority’s (“CAA”) price control review process for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. The directions follow an informal consultation between 19 January and 29 February 2012 with industry. The statement also reflects the Civil Aviation Bill’s intention to remove the Competition Commission reference from the price review process permanently and to replace it with a licensing and appeals regime. The removal of the reference is believed to give airlines and airports a new right of appeal which the aviation sector have not had before as the Competition Commission will have a strengthened role to act as an appeal body against the CAA’s decisions about licence conditions rather than as an advisory body to the CAA. A third reading of the Bill in the House of Commons is scheduled for 22 May 2012 and it is expected a new regime will be implemented on 1 April 2014. Read more.
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Secretary of State for Transport issues written statement on airport charges price controls in relation to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted
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Senior Patent Counsel
Royal DSM NV