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Heathrow Airport considers 'next steps' following passenger charge ruling

Heathrow Airport considers 'next steps' following passenger charge ruling

Heathrow Airport is "considering its next steps" after it was ordered to cut the passenger fees it charges airlines from next year.

The Civil Aviation authority (CAA) have ruled the airport can charge an average maximum price per passenger of £27.49, following long campaigning from airlines using the facility who have argued the charges are too high, with this year's amount set at £31.57, making it the highest in the world.

However, Heathrow had argued the charge - which is passed down to passengers via their tickets - was vital to support investment and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and had sought for it to be increased between £32 to £43 over a four-year period to 2026.

But the CAA ruled: "This lower level of charges from 2024 recognises that passenger volumes are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels and should benefit passengers in terms of lower costs, while also allowing Heathrow Airport Limited to continue investing in the airport for the benefit of consumers and supporting the airport's ability to finance its operations.

"The package includes a £3.6bn capital investment programme. Passengers will benefit from investments such as next generation security scanners and a new baggage system in Terminal 2, which are collectively expected to cost around £1.3bn and should bring considerable passenger benefits, including an improved security experience and more resilient infrastructure."

A Heathrow Airport representative insisted the ruling "made no sense".

The spokesperson said: "The CAA has chosen to cut airport charges to their lowest real terms level in a decade at a time when airlines are making massive profits and Heathrow remains loss-making because of fewer passengers and higher financing costs.

"This makes no sense and will do nothing for consumers at a time when the CAA should be incentivising investment to rebuild service. We will now take some time to carefully consider our next steps."

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