UK aviation authority considers deregulation of Stansted airport
LONDON Oct 17 (Reuters) - Britain's aviation body said it was considering deregulating the fees which London's Stansted Airport charges airlines, citing deals with Ryanair and easyJet that could impact the airport's power over low cost and charter carriers.
In December, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had said Britain's fourth busiest airport should not be fully deregulated because of substantial market power.
The Civil Aviation Act of 2012 sets a market power test as part of the process for periodically deciding whether a British airport's user charges need to be regulated.
"Our aim is to protect passengers, so we will act if the market fails. But regulation must achieve more benefits for consumers than it costs," CAA Group Director of Regulatory Policy, Iain Osborne, said on Thursday.
"That is why, following the airport's recent deals with easyJet and Ryanair, it is sensible for us to consider whether regulation remains the best thing for Stansted's passengers," he added in a statement.
The CAA has now launched a consultation to ask stakeholders how the two agreements affect Stansted's market power assessment. A final determination will be published in early 2014 and the form that regulation will take for the airport will be finalised after that.
Stansted, which lies 50 kilometres north east of central London, agreed a 10-year deal with Ryanair to cut the fees levied on the Irish airline in return for it increasing its flights in September.
In June, the airport's owner, Manchester Aiports Group, reached a deal with easyJet to more than double the carrier's traffic at Stansted during the next five years.
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