Heathrow charges to rise due to £3bn investment

Heathrow charges to rise due to £3bn investment

A major increase in airline charges is being signalled as Heathrow is set to reveal £3 billion development plans.

Rises in costs per passenger are expected to be well above inflation, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

This comes as a result of fewer passengers using the airport than originally predicted.

Airlines will have to bear the cost of the charges, which could rise to as high as £25 per passenger from around £17 per passenger now.

Heathrow is expected to say that the £3 billion will be used to continue investment in Terminal 5 and Terminal 2, which will be further extended. Baggage handling facilities will also be improved, the newspaper reported.

New stands will also be built for the double decker Airbus A380, which needs special facilities at any airport it uses.

The infrastructure development plans are expected to cover the period between 2014 and 2019 and come against a backdrop of a government review of airport capacity led by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies.

Sir Howard said on Friday that he will look at all proposals which could involve expanding Heathrow as a four-runway airport to the west of the present site.

Other contenders for airport development include keeping Heathrow where it is and adding a third runway, expanding Stansted or building a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Publishing a guidance document on Friday, Sir Howard said: “The guidance document explains that we will take a broad view of proposals and an integrated approach.

"We will not consider airport capacity as an isolated transport issue, but will seek to assess a range of economic, environmental, social and technical factors.

“Our demand forecasting paper makes it clear that we are not jumping to any conclusions on the nature, scale and timing of any need for additional capacity.

“If we are to draw such conclusions, they must be based on a firm understanding of likely future demand. This paper invites evidence on how we might approach some of the difficult issues and questions around forecasts.”

It is thought Sir Howard will choose three options ahead of the next election, before completing his review after 2015.

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