CAA tells Heathrow to reduce passenger fees
London’s Heathrow Airport has reacted with dismay to the Civil Aviation Authority’s demand to reduce its passenger charges every year until 2026.
The airport, which actually wanted to raise its fees, has been told by the regulator that the move reflects the recent rebound in passenger volumes, and would still allow it to invest in enhancing its infrastructure.
However, Heathrow doesn’t quite see it this way, and today challenged the ruling, which can still be revised before it is made final later in the year.
In response to the decision, Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “As the industry rebuilds, our focus is to work alongside airlines and their ground handlers to give passengers a reliable and consistent journey through Heathrow.
“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.
“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.
“Economic regulation should drive affordable private investment in Britain’s infrastructure to the benefit of users, not hamper it. The CAA’s proposal will undermine the delivery of key improvements for passengers, while also raising serious questions about Britain’s attractiveness to private investors.
“We 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.”