Ryanair launches formal complaint over air traffic control at Stansted

Ryanair has released data which the airline argues shows it, and London Stansted Airport, are being discriminated against by the UK air traffic control provider, NATS.

At the same time, the low-cost carrier says Heathrow is being given special treatment, and Gatwick is also being preferred.

According to figures from the CAA, Stansted Airport suffered 52 per cent of all air traffic control delays in the London area caused by NATS from January-March this year.

Over the same period, Heathrow (which has three times the traffic) had precisely zero per cent of NATS delays and Gatwick just ten per cent.

As Ryanair is heavily reliant on Stansted, the carrier argues it is being unfairly penalised.

Ryanair chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, said: “Ryanair and Stansted are clearly being discriminated against by the UK airline owned air traffic control provider NATS.

“That Stansted has had 52 per cent of all NATS delays in quarter one, while Heathrow has zero per cent (and Gatwick just ten per cent) is unjustifiable. 

“These disruptions are unfair and unacceptable, and we call on the UK department of transport and the EU Commission to take urgent action to ensure that NATS is fully staffed and treats each London airport fairly.”

He added: “NATS don’t have enough staff. 

“Ryanair is today submitting a formal complaint to the European Commission and the UK CAA over this blatant discrimination against Stansted Airport and Ryanair.”

Ryanair added it had been forced to cancel hundreds of flights as a result of UK air traffic control staffing shortages and management failures.

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