DFS, NATS in running for LGW bid

UK air traffic control NATS and its German counterpart Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) are battling to run air traffic services at London’s Gatwick airport.

NEWS FLASH: Germany’s DFS beats NATS on LGW bid

Gatwick’s shareholders have been reported to be running a secret process to appoint a provider of air navigation services at the airport until 2025.

The contest represents the largest UK airport to consider handing its air traffic services to a foreign provider so far and a decision could be made possible as early as today.

A successful bid by DFS would come a year after a UK pension fund scored a victory over the German air traffic control agency in the race for a 20 per cent stake in its British counterpart.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Britain’s second-largest pension plan, secured the stake last year, managing to beat off DFS, even though it is understood to have submitted a higher bid and had given undertakings not to seek control of NATS.

While DFS had been tipped as favourite as it offered the opportunity to deliver big cost savings through the rationalisation of busy European airspace, it is thought that DFS was undermined by opposition from some airlines as well as NATS management.

The Airline Group, which had owned 42 per cent of NATS prior to the sale, ended up choosing USS rather than NATS to buy a portion of its stake which meant that a partial de-facto merger between two of the largest European ANSPs did not happen.

Read More: Sovereign Issue

Posted in Airports, CAAs/ANSPs, Contracts, Corporate, Uncategorized

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