LONDON (Reuters) – The value of increasing Heathrow Airport have to be stored down, British transport minister Chris Grayling mentioned on Thursday, heeding airline warnings that the airport’s new runway should not be so costly that passengers find yourself paying greater costs.
Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport however it’s now full. Members of Parliament will vote on whether or not to approve its enlargement earlier than July, however first the coverage particulars on which they may vote have to be finalised.
Grayling gave an perception into the government’s place in a speech, saying the brand new runway shouldn’t lead to passengers paying a lot greater ticket costs.
“Heathrow’s customers should not pay for a ‘gold plated’ solution,” Grayling mentioned. “The expansion of the airport must provide value for money to every party.”
Airlines like British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) and Virgin Atlantic have been vocal of their worries that the brand new runway could possibly be very costly, which means utilization prices rise a lot they’re deterred from utilizing it.
Grayling mentioned he was taking these considerations on board.
“It remains one of my fundamental priorities to deliver the ambition I set in 2016 – to keep airport charges as close as possible to current levels – so price increases are not passed on to airlines, and ultimately consumers,” he added.
Heathrow has estimated the invoice for enlargement at 14 billion kilos, having mentioned final 12 months it might shave 2.5 billion kilos off the unique estimate.
Grayling mentioned the aviation regulator would oversee discussions between the airport, owned by Ferrovial (FER.MC), the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corporation and others, and the airways on the brand new runway, and that airways who wish to use Heathrow in future would even be consulted.
The government is at the moment engaged on its draft Airports National Policy Statement. Once printed, parliament will vote on the matter, which Grayling has mentioned will happen earlier than the tip of the primary half of this 12 months.
Reporting by Sarah Young; modifying by Stephen Addison