Supplementary memorandum by the Civil
Aviation Authority (NAT 4A)
I am writing on two points which Doug Andrew
and I took away to examine further:
(1) We undertook to send the Committee information
on NATS charges and costs in comparison with other European air
navigation service providers. We have attached the current unit
rates effective April 2002. As mentioned at the Committee, one
unit is generated by a plane with a 50 tonne weight (a Boeing
737 for example) travelling 100 kilometres into controlled airspace.
The weight factor is applied as the square root of weight of the
plane divided by 50 tonnes. You will note that Belgium and Switzerland
currently have charges higher than the UK. It is noteworthy that
each country has lost its hub carrier, Sabena and Swissair respectively,
meaning a relatively great reduction in expected volumes on traffic.
The charges given in this formula are reduced
as the proportion of heavier traffic increases. Because of the
UK's geographical position a high proportion of its charging units
are generated by heavier transatlantic aircraft flying long distances
in UK airspace. As the weight factor is actually irrelevant to
the costs of en route air traffic control services we have also
attached a graph showing costs/kilometres across Europe. The UK
remains the highest cost.
(2) The Committee asked us what recent discussions
the CAA has had with ICAO about NATS provision of Oceanic Control
We have checked across the CAA and with ICAO
and we can find no trace of recent discussions of this nature.
Sir Roy McNulty
23 May 2002