Thank you for contacting me about expansion at Heathrow Airport.
The Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) makes clear that expansion at Heathrow is intended to generate increased competition between airlines, more destination and route choices for passengers and lower fares, relative to no expansion.
Expansion at Heathrow will bring about a significant number of new slots, and the Government have been consulting on reformed approaches to allocation. I understand that the Department for Transport's main preference is to prioritise competition between airlines as part of reformed slot allocation processes. Indeed, there is a recognition in the draft Aviation 2050 strategy that single airline dominance at airports can be bad for passengers.
Ministers have further proposed that the CAA takes on an enhanced monitoring role regarding airline services and competition, and that it should be allowed to intervene in some way if issues arise in the future. Interest has also been expressed in giving the CAA a role in slot allocation, either in advising the slot coordinator Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) of the competition impacts of allocation, or monitoring allocations as part of its current duties, or indeed through a more formal role compatible with its current responsibilities.
The Government is also considering putting guidance in place to make sure decisions taken by ACL are in-line with the refreshed Government objectives for slot allocation.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP