UK’s Civil Aviation Authority tells Heathrow to reduce passenger charges

 Tuesday, June 28, 2022 

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The Civil Aviation Authority in United Kingdom is planning to make London Heathrow airport cut its passenger charges over the next five years. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is proposing that Heathrow Airport will have to cut its charge every year from the current rate of £30.19 per passenger down to £26.31 in 2026. This would equate to an annual reduction of 6 per cent when the impact of inflation is removed.

But Heathrow said the CAA underestimated what it takes to deliver a good passenger service” and warned that the proposed reduction in charges would lead to a “worse experience” for travellers using the airport.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the CAA, said that this day’s announcement is about doing the right thing for consumers. We have listened very carefully to both Heathrow airport and the airlines that have differing views to each other about the future level of charges.  Their independent and impartial analysis balances affordable charges for consumers, while allowing Heathrow to make the investment needed for the future.

The proposed new cap on Heathrow’s charges will go out to consultation later this summer with the CAA set to make a final decision on the cap in the autumn.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said that the CAA continues to underestimate what it takes to deliver a good passenger service, both in terms of the level of investment and operating costs required and the fair incentive needed for private investors to finance it.  Both uncorrected, these elements of the CAA’s proposal will only result in passengers getting a worse experience at Heathrow as investment in service dries up.

They will take time to assess the CAA’s proposal in more detail and will provide a further evidence-based response to this latest consultation. There is still time for the CAA to get this right with a plan that puts passengers first and encourages everyone in the industry to work together to better serve the travelling public.

Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, welcomed the CAA’s proposals but added that the price reductions “don’t go far enough”. The CAA’s proposals for Heathrow charges are a small move in the right direction, said Wratten. They encourage the CAA to go further still. It is clear that Heathrow requires significant investment, but, the business and leisure customer must be encouraged to travel again.

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