Hogan Lovells advises Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation

Hogan Lovells has announced that it has achieved an important victory for Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation at the airport.

The Civil Airport Authority (CAA) published a decision on 25 March 2014 confirming that Stansted does not have substantial market power in relation to its cargo services, and therefore will not be subject to an economic regulation licence from April 2014. This follows a decision on 10 January 2014, in which the CAA confirmed that Stansted’s passenger business would not be subject to economic regulation.

The CAA’s decisions in relation to Stansted’s passenger and cargo businesses follow a two-year review and mean that Stansted now has the freedom and opportunity to drive competition in the market. Both Heathrow and Gatwick will continue to be subject to regulation until at least 2019.

As one of the first market power assessments to be made under the Civil Aviation Act 2012, the case involved complex competition and public law issues. A cross-discipline team at Hogan Lovells, incorporating individuals within Hogan Lovells’ specialist competition law and public law and policy teams, worked closely with Stansted’s legal and regulatory teams to achieve this outcome.

The team at Hogan Lovells was led by Susan Bright and included competition partner Christopher Hutton (assisted by senior associate Thomas Smith) and partner Charles Brasted (assisted by associate Julia Marlow) from the public law and policy team. The team at Stansted included Tim Hawkins, Graeme Ferguson and Heidi Smith.