Gatwick looks to cut airline charges

Gatwick, London’s second busiest airport, is attempting to reduce the fees charged to airlines.

The airport’s owners want to cut the increases in the fees that airlines pay in order to convince regulators that levies should not be capped. The airport operator does not want to see fees increase by more than 1.5 percent in real terms during each of the seven years until 2021. If implemented, this strategy would see a rise of just £0.96 in the per passenger fee over the 7-year period.

The proposal is the latest move in an on-going negotiation with the Civil Aviation Authority, which has said that it intends to cap any increase at 1 percent above inflation for the five years between 2014 and 2019 if Gatwick does not make concessions. However, the airport is of the opinion that price capping would harm its competitiveness with Heathrow airport.

Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said, ‘We have listened to our airline partners and are putting forward a great deal, which seeks to address the issues raised whilst still promoting the best commercial way forward for our passengers and airlines. We believe this revised offer will provide a much better future for passengers, the airline community and the airport than would be the case through a continuation of the current system of regulation.’

He also said, ‘The CAA has a window of opportunity to create the conditions for a much more competitive airport market in the South East, which will build on the Competition Commission’s landmark decision to break-up the BAA monopoly.’