Heathrow Airport has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to increase charges by nearly £8 per passenger in order to fund a £3 billion investment programme.
If approved, the tariff charged to the airlines will gradually rise from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger in 2012/13 to a maximum of £27.30 in 2018. The money will then be used to help fund the opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014 and on improved check-in and baggage facilities, as well as the construction of new taxiways and stands so that the airport can accommodate the latest aircraft.
However, some of the airport’s largest airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, are opposed to the price increases.
A BA spokesperson said: “Heathrow Airport’s charges have already tripled over the past 11 years. The charges must be reduced significantly over the coming years, especially when the airport is cutting investment by around 25 per cent from next year onwards.
“Any investment plans between 2014 and 2019 should be targeted and efficient. We believe Heathrow Airport can make significant savings to its inefficient cost base while still investing £3 billion in improving the overall customer experience.”
Heathrow said it believed its plans would be beneficial to passengers and offer good value. It said: “Our investment will deliver a better journey for passengers, more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines, and additional jobs, trade and economic activity for the UK.”
The CAA will consider the application, and develop and consult on its own proposals. It will deliver its verdict on airport charges in January next year.