New airport charge plan revealed

02 May 2013 10:00

Regulators have capped how much airports can charge airlines in taking off and landing fees

Regulators have capped how much airports can charge airlines in taking off and landing fees

Aviation regulators have unveiled proposals set to limit how much airport operators can charge airlines for using Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has proposed changes that would place a cap on how much airport bosses can charge airlines for taking off and landing.

These changes are good news for air passengers who will, in turn, benefit from reduced fare hikes, meaning they will have more money to spend on expenses such as travel insurance and accommodation. The proposed changes would come into effect from 2014-19.

Airlines at Heathrow can currently be charged up to the RPI rate of inflation plus 7.5%. But the CAA has proposed charges should be capped at RPI minus 1.3%.

The CAA said for this system to be effective, there would have to be improved collaboration between airlines and airports. Bosses at Gatwick had been pushing for complete deregulation and, while the CAA has proposed a more flexible system, it will still be underpinned by a licence from the regulator.

It added that if nothing can be sorted out, the charges for 2014-19 at Gatwick would be capped at RPI plus 1%, which is lower than the RPI plus 2% cap that has been imposed at the West Sussex airport during 2009-14.

Meanwhile, the CAA will monitor charges and service quality at Stansted, where Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has been complaining about the level of charges.

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