Richard Fuller MP Calls for a “Fast Track” Review of Airline Slots at Major UK Airports

Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire and member of the House of Commons Business Select Committee has today called for an immediate, “Fast Track” review of airline slots at major UK airports.

Richard said: “The end of the Transition Period on 31st December was already an excellent time for the government to implement competition enhancing changes to how airline slots are allocated at our major airports, but with the whole structure of the airline industry in flux, there is even more reason for government to begin its consultations now.  This will ensure that changes can take effect as the industry recovers from the medical emergency and its economic consequences.”

Reform was outlined in the Government’s 2018 “Aviation 2050” report when the government said it would “work constructively with the industry, IATA and the countries the UK has aviation links with, to consider how to develop the existing slot allocation system to deliver the best outcomes for the consumer.”[1]

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) reported in December 2018 concluding “Overall, we consider that there is a strong case to move to a market-based approach to allocate slots.”[2]

However, the CMA also noted that “The removal of the grandfathered rights and auctioning of slots should increase market efficiency and allow for greater competition between airlines.”[3]

Commenting further Richard said: “I believe that further work by the CMA is warranted to ensure that “grandfathered” slots do not exert unfair influence on new airlines and new patterns of air travel.”

 

[1] HM Government “Aviation 2050: the future of UK aviation: A consultation” December 2018

[2] CMA “Advice for the Department of Transport on competition impacts of airport slot allocation” December 2018

[3] CMA “Advice for the Department of Transport on competition impacts of airport slot allocation” December 2018