NATS (EN ROUTE) PLC (NERL) 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:
CP3 price control review - charges from 2011
In December 2010, the CAA modified the non-price control conditions in NERL's Licence. The CAA's decision and consultation documents are below.
In its decision on the price controls from 2006 the CAA initiated a review of the conditions in the licence. The following note sets out more details of the review.
- Monitoring and Enforcement of the NATS (En Route) plc Licence - a consultation document (July 2008) - response from NATS, response from Ryanair, response from British Airways
- Review of conditions in the air traffic services licence held by NATS En Route plc - CAA decision under section 11 of the Transport Act 2000 (April 2007) decision, Appendix
- Review of conditions in the air traffic services licence held by NATS En Route plc - CAA formal proposals under section 11(2) of the Transport Act 2000 (February 2007) main document, appendix 2, appendix 3, response from IATA
- Review of conditions in the air traffic services licence held by NATS En Route plc - consultation paper (July 2006) main document, appendix 2, appendix 3, responses (British Airways, NATS)
- British Airways' response to the review (March 2006)
- CAA note of review (February 2006)
- NERL's response to review (February 2006)
- Review of the conditions in the Air Traffic Services Licence held by NERL (December 2005)
In May 2005 the CAA decided to make some mainly minor modifications to the NERL licence. The CAA's decision is available below:
In its decision on the price control for CP2 (2006-2010) the CAA described the various workstreams that were to be pursued over the course of CP2, largely led by NATS. This work has been progressing and the CAA is publishing for information:
Price control - the charges from 2006
The CAA sets caps on the prices that NERL charges for its en route business (both Eurocontrol and Oceanic). The current caps run until 31 December 2010 and 31 March 2011 respectively. The CAA's decision and consultation papers on the current price controls are below:
- NATS Price Control Review 2006-2010: CAA decision (December 2005)
- CAA's formal proposals under section 11 of the Transport Act 2000, September 2005, responses
- CAA's firm proposals, May 2005 (document, supporting papers, presentation, responses)
- British Airways note on NATS' ability to influence long delays, April 2005
- Working group to consider financial incentives on delivery of NATS capital expenditure programme (letter setting up group, attachment to letter, British Airways presentation on software contracting, NATS presentation on capex milestones, IATA presentation, NATS presentation on long term investment plan control and review, NATS presentation on consideration of incentives for CASPIAN/iTEC and improvements to SIP, NATS presentation on improving capability in programmes), March 2005
- Transcripts of oral hearings (17 March, 18 March)
- Note of oral hearings, to be held on 17 March 2005
- Summary of points made at CAA seminar, December 2004
- Slides from CAA seminar on the initial proposals paper, December 2004
- CAA's initial proposals, November 2004 (whole document, Executive Summary, supporting papers) - submissions
- Responses to consultation on NATS SIP consultation process (November 2004)
- Review of responses to the CAA's initial consultation document, July 2004 Summary version - comments (NATS, British Airways, British Airways (cost of capital))
- Summary of points made at CAA seminar, April 2004
- Slides from CAA seminar on the consultation document, April 2004
- Initial consultation document, March 2004 (whole document, summary) - submissions
- Timetable for the reviews, January 2004
Each time the CAA has published a major document during the review it has also published a 4-page document to provide a non-technical guide to the subject. These guides are:
Documents on previous price control reviews are available by clicking here.
Monitoring and Enforcement of the NATS En Route plc (NERL) Licence
- NATS (En Route) plc Condition 16 Code of Practice, September 2010
- NATS (En Route) plc Condition 5: NATSNav consent, May 2010
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, May 2010 (dividend payment)
- NATS (En Route) Limited Licence Condition 5: SESAR consent, September 2008
- NATS (En Route) Limited Licence Condition 11: Service performance and standards, June 2008
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, August 2008 (BPR)
- NATS (En Route) plc Licence Condition 11: Service performance and standards, October 2007
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, June 2004 (Pennine Radar)
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, March 2004 (Flight Information Service)
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, May 2003 (charges for North Sea helicopters)
- Notice to NATS (En Route) plc under section 22(11) of the Transport Act 2000, March 2003 (regulatory accounting)
- The CAA's policies towards the monitoring and enforcement of the NATS (En Route) plc (NERL) Licence, June 2002
- Monitoring and Enforcement of NATS (En Route) plc (NERL) Licence: Proposed CAA Policies, January 2002
- The NERL Licence: Making a Complaint, January 2002
- Monitoring and enforcement of the NATS En Route plc (NERL) Licence, January 2001
The CAA has stated that it will adopt the guidelines published by the Office of Fair Trading on the application and enforcement of the prohibitions in the Competition Act 1998, with respect to the supply of air traffic services, until such time as it decides that it is appropriate to publish more detailed guidelines.
The CAA has received legal advice that suggests that NATS is not an undertaking under competition law. In June 2004, it issued a consultation paper and in April 2006 it published its policy on the matter.
In exercising its functions under Chapter I of Part I of the Transport Act 2000, the CAA shall take account of any international obligations of the United Kingdom as may be notified to it by the Secretary of State. The following notification was made on 17 December 2004 (pdf download).
Charging for Air Traffic Services at Airports
The Government has asked the CAA to advise on whether separate charges for air traffic control, which currently only apply to six BAA airports, should be extended to all airports or be discontinued. The CAA has published a consultation document.
Queries regarding air traffic services regulation should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.