Heathrow Airport has been instructed to reduce its passenger charges by the aviation regulator due to a recovery in demand.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said that the cap on the airport’s average charge per passenger will now be reduced beyond previous expectations, from £31.57 to £25.43 over the next three years.
The regulator had expected passengers to face an average charge of £28.39 over the five years to 2026, but this has now been reduced to £27.49.
The CAA has said that the cut in charges reflects an expected return of passenger volumes to pre-pandemic levels and will benefit passengers through lower costs.
The reduction in charges also allows Heathrow Airport to continue investing in the airport to benefit consumers and support its ability to finance its operations.
However, Heathrow’s bosses have criticised the plans to reduce the proposed landing charges, highlighting recent cost inflation.
The CAA’s decision means that passengers will see substantially lower rates in the following three years to meet this new five-year average due to higher interim charges over 2022 and 2023.
Heathrow and airlines have six weeks from Wednesday to appeal the decision with the Competition and Markets Authority.
Richard Moriarty, chief executive at the CAA, said: “Our job is to reach an independent decision from these conflicting commercial interests and focus on what is in the best interests of the travelling public that will use Heathrow in the years to come.
We are confident our final decision represents a good deal for consumers using Heathrow while having regard for the airport’s need to efficiently finance its operations and be able to invest in improving services for the future.”