CAA supports BAA break-up

Heathrow aerial

UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) agrees that common ownership of London’s main airports is ‘likely’ to prevent competition but disagreed that regulation is in any way to blame.

Evidence from UK regional airports and from non-regulated airports in the capital show airports can and do compete for airlines and passengers, it said in a statement, and such competition can deliver significant benefits to customers.

But whereas the Competition Commission in its April ‘Emerging Thinking’ report criticised the regulatory system as a separate feature which could ‘prevent, restrict or distort competition’ – and Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly immediately ordered a review of it – the CAA said that ‘it has served to mitigate the adverse effects of market power, including common ownership of BAA’s South East airports.’

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