Plans to scrap runway charges at Stansted Airport have been sidelined, after the government overruled the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) proposal and forced the regulator into opening a consultation on new price caps.
A CAA consultation will now lead to new charges at Stansted for the five years from April 2009, pleasing budget airlines, with the regulator acknowledging the need to ensure practices in accordance with competition laws. With new price caps set to kick in from April 1st 2009, the price caps could influence the British Airports Authority (BAA) in its consideration of whether to follow its Heathrow strategy and invest in a new runway at Stansted.
CAA director Harry Bush said: "Our job is now to develop proposals that are proportionate, taking into account the market power held by Stansted Airport; do not prejudice the commercial position of other, competing airports; and encourage the efficient investment in capacity that passengers in the market want. "
"The consultation we have begun today represents a first step in the process of developing an appropriate framework and price cap proposals for Stansted," he added.