Competition | Gatwick Airport



Gatwick Airport used to be part of the airport group called BAA. In 2009 the airport was sold to a consortium lead by GIP

There's no doubt that since the sale of Gatwick and subsequently Stansted (also part of the same airports group), competition within the London airports system has lead to innovation, improvements and a better experience for passengers.

Before awarding a licence to operate to Gatwick, the Civil Aviation Authority carried out a consultation and review of our market power. The CAA found that Gatwick has substantial market power and that it should be regulated through a framework agreement licence from 1 April 2014 onwards.

The CAA decision can be found here 

In late 2015/early 2016 the Competition Markets Authority undertook an evaluation of the breakup of BAA. To inform our input into this evaluation Gatwick commissioned Oxera to prepare a study on our behalf. You can read the report here.

CAA review of surface access

In January 2016 the CAA published its document 'CAP 1364 Consultation on issues affecting passengers’ access to UK airports: a review of surface access'. In this document the regulator asked airports to prepare good practice principles for surface access at airports. During 2016, Gatwick consulted on a set of such principles, and the consultation and decision can be found below.

Consultation on draft principles

Summary of responses


Gatwick's submissions to the CAA

As part of the consultation and review we submitted a range of documents to the CAA in support of our case to operate within a framework agreement with our airlines.

Gatwick letter regarding Market Power Determination – March 2014 
Further paper on regulation of an increasingly competitive airport sector - September 2013 
Gatwick response to CAA’s Market Power Assessment – July 2013 
Paper on regulation of an increasingly competitive airport sector - May 2013 
GAL paper Assessing the adverse effects and benefits of regulation - October 2012 
GAL additional evidence - September 2012 
GAL response to the CAA's May 2012 Policy Update - July 2012 
Letter with Submission re CAA's assessment of market power at Gatwick - April 2012 
Letter re CAA's initial views of market power - February 2012 
Comments on Frontier Economics and RBB Reports - December 2011 
Letter re Competition in the South East Market with accompanying Submission - November 2011

Civil Aviation Authority's work on preparing for a more competitive airports sector

Following the Competition Commission's Airports Market Investigation (see below), the Department for Transport’s Review of Economic Regulation and the proposed Airports Economic Regulation Bill, the CAA launched work on preparing for a more competitive airports sector. This has two main workstreams:

  • competition guidelines
  • alternative forms of regulation

Gatwick has actively been involved in this work and you can find the CAA’s outcome of the competition guidelines consultation below:

CAA's Guidance on the assessment of airport market power: Response to consultation on draft guidelines - April 2011
CAA's Guidance on the assessment of airport market power - April 2011

Below are Gatwick's submissions to the two main workstreams.

Competition guidelines

Response to CAA consultation on preparing for a more competitive airports sector - January 2010
Letter to CAA on competition guidelines - June 2010
Paper to the CAA on two-sided platforms and airports - August 2010
Letter to CAA on competition guidelines - October 2010
Response to CAA competition guidelines issues paper - November 2010
Response to CAA empirical methods papers - January 2011
Response to CAA draft competition guidelines - March 2011 
Letter to CAA on market power assessment of Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted - June 2011

Alternative forms of regulation

Presentation at CAA working group on alternative approaches to regulation  - September 2010
Comments to CAA on classification of regulatory approaches - September 2010
Letter to CAA re development of competition in south east England beyond Q5 - February 2011
Response to CAA stock take on alternative forms of regulation - May 2011

Competition Commission's airports market investigation

The sale of Gatwick Airport and the potential sale of Stansted Airport following the Competition Commission’s Airports Market Investigation 2007-2009 increased competition between airports in the South East of England. In November 2010 the Competition Commission (CC) invited submissions on whether there had been any relevant developments it should take into consideration since it made its decision in March 2009 requiring BAA Ltd (BAA) to sell three airports. In July 2011 the CC published its decision that the sale of Stansted should proceed and the sale was completed in February 2013.

Below you can find Gatwick’s response, the CC's July 2011 decision document and its associated provisional findings report.

Gatwick's response to the CC's airports market investigation invitation for submissions - December 2010
CC's provisional findings report following submissions with Appendices - March 2011
CC's decision document with Appendices - July 2011