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UK airport regulator introduces its new laisser-faire approach

(Singapore: 10 November 2006) Speaking at Outlook 2007 on the subject of airport pricing, Dr Harry Bush of the UK Civil Aviation Authority explained to the assembled aviation leaders how the UK Government is putting more of the onus of economic regulation on the sector’s two stakeholders themselves. “Applying a policy of ‘constructive engagement, the airports and airlines are much better placed to deal with issues of economic regulation themselves – mandating them to negotiate with each other is the best way to achieve ‘win-win’ outcomes,” he said.

Outlook 2006

Dr Bush, who serves as the CAA’s Group Economic Regulator, further explained that when the two parties are able to largely agree to terms themselves – critically with no mediation from the regulator – the results see airports getting more airline recognition of their operating realities, the carriers win real input into the decision-making process and the regulators gets better info, a more focused role and the ability to make better decisions. “The process still has problems,” he allowed, “but introducing commercial negotiation into the regulation process has benefited all parties.”

Addressing the behaviour of privatised compared to government-owned airports, Dr Bush said he believed that “private entities are more responsive to commercial needs” and are therefore “more likely to achieve a meeting of the minds” with commercially run airlines.

Outlook 2007 is the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s annual examination of the prospects for the Asia Pacific airline industry. Convening in Singapore with the participation of 30 CEOs and 380 vital stakeholders from all components of the aviation sector, Outlook 2007 and the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence is the year’s premier gathering of the region’s aviation decision makers, providing a forum for dialogue between leaders from the airline, airport, supplier and regulatory communities.

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