Airport anger at CAA regulation

Plane taking off at Heathrow
CAA regulation has been criticised by Gatwick and Heathrow Photo: ITV Meridian

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today outlined how much our key airports can increase landing fees for airlines for five years from 2014.

This is important for passengers because part of the charges are passed to them by the airlines.The CAA will now consult on its plan.At Heathrow the airport wanted rises of up to 40 per cent to help pay for more improvements from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012/13 to as much as £27.30 for 2018/19.But the CAA has said increases should be 1.3% less than inflation which works out around half the increase wanted by Heathrow.At Gatwick the CAA has rejected claims the airport should no longer be regulated and says fees can rise one per cent above inflation to help pay for investment.A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We will examine the CAA’s proposals for Heathrow’s Q6 regulatory settlement carefully over the coming weeks before responding fully. Asthe UK’s only hub airport Heathrow is a strategically important national asset.

"To stay competitive with overseas hubs like Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai, Heathrow has invested £11 billion over the last ten years in new facilities such as Terminal 5 and the newTerminal 2 and passengers say they notice the difference.

"Over the same period returns to shareholders have fallen well below the level anticipated by the regulator.“Our first impression is that a 5.35% return on capital will put passenger service at risk by not attracting the necessary investment in Heathrow for the short, medium and long term.

We, and everyone interested in the health of our country's transportation infrastructure, must consider whether this is a risk worth taking."