As many of you will have seen from the recent HUB article, NATS has not accepted the CAA’s proposed National Performance Plan for RP3 (2020 – 2024).
This means that NATS (NERL) felt it could not comply with the requirements of the RP3 plan as set out in the CAA’s decision document, given the levels of funding that the CAA had allowed for. It is now expected that the CAA will refer the matter to the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) for review.
This is significant as it is the first time since privatisation that NATS have rejected the proposed plan.
We have been fully involved in the whole process to date, meeting with both NATS and the CAA economic regulation team over the last year, as well as providing formal consultation responses. Prospect is fully supportive of original NATS plan, which provided for increased resource, as well as much needed technology upgrades and airspace modernisation.
The CAA’s plan suggested stringent targets, that when coupled with a reduction in the required funding to achieve all of the plans aims, would leave NATS in a very difficult position. There simply would not be adequate resources which potentially jeopardises both operational service delivery and projects including much needed airspace change and would negatively impact the business as a whole.
We fully support NATS’ approach in rejecting the plan and will be continuing our work to aid NATS in achieving the best settlement possible.