Published on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

CAA to investigate Manchester Airport's 'market power'

Manchester Airport could be subject to regulation to limit its market power following an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The CAA has been asked to carry out the investigation, although it has not revealed who made the request.

In a statement, it said that it had received a request from 'an interested party' to undertake a Market Power Determination under the Civil Aviation Act 2012. 

If the CAA makes a determination that the market power test set out in the Act is met, Manchester Airport would be subject to economic regulation under Chapter I of the Act.

The CAA said: "In the case of large airports (those serving more than five million passengers per annum) where an MPD has not previously been carried out, the Civil Aviation Authority is required to undertake an MPD if a request is received from an interested party. This is the case for Manchester Airport."

The MPD will be initiated later in the year. During this period, the CAA may consult with the airport operator and other relevant parties.

"The Civil Aviation Authority has not reached a view on this matter and no assumption should be made at this point whether the market power test will or will not be met in relation to Manchester Airport," it added.

The market power test will determine if Manchester Airport has, or is likely to acquire, substantial market power and, if so, whether competition law provides sufficient protection against an abuse of its power and, if not, whether the benefits of regulating the airport by means of a licence are likely to outweigh the adverse effects. 

Appeals against MPDs may be made to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

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