‘The CAA’s proposal will only result in passengers getting a worse experience at Heathrow as investment in service dries up’ – CEO John Holland-Kaye
Passenger charges at Britain’s busiest airport will fall every year up to and including 2026 under proposals published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The authority, which regulates fees at Heathrow, says the average maximum price per passenger that airlines will pay the airport will fall from £30.19 today to £26.31 in 2026.
“When the effects of inflation are removed, this is equivalent to nearly a six per cent reduction every year from today’s level up to 2026,” the CAA says.
The chief executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, immediately condemned the proposals, saying: “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.”
Speaking to The Independent, CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said: “I disagree profoundly with that. It’s clear that Heathrow’s shareholders will have to work harder over the next five years to provide a service.
“The package also includes service quality targets as well.
“Seven per cent of Heathrow’s revenue is at stake if they don’t deliver.
“Heathrow’s already one of the most expensive airports in the world.
“We think that with the strong recovery it’s right and proper the analysis shows that Heathrow can reduce its charges.”
The targets include security queuing times and passenger satisfaction.
Under the CAA proposals, Heathrow would spend a further £3.6bn on investment, including a new £500m baggage system for Terminal 2.
A failure in the existing system led to a mountain of luggage building up at the airport 10 days ago.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “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.”