Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by BAA plc (NAT 8)


  Thank you for giving BAA the opportunity to comment on the Select Committee's current investigation into the financing of NATS.

  BAA owns and operates seven airports in the United Kingdom. The provision of high quality en route, approach and airport ATC services is critical to the success of our business, and of the aviation industry generally. This in turn is vital to meeting the needs of travellers, and supporting the UK economy.

  To this end we need NATS to be able to provide:

    —  the highest levels of safety and operational reliability;

    —  a high overall quality of service, with delays kept within acceptable levels; and

    —  sufficient capacity to meet growing expected levels of demand.

  For NATS to be able to meet these needs requires not just that it is profitable, but also that it is able to raise money for investment. In this respect we place sound financing above small short-term variations in the level of charges for NATS services. We believe that this view is consistent with the CAA's duties under the Transport Act.

  We therefore look to the Government, NATS management and its shareholders to reach a settlement of the current application for a revision of the price control formula, which allows for NATS to implement its business plan with confidence.

M R Toms

Group Planning and Regulatory Affairs Director

31 May 2002

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