UK CAA Publishes Interim Heathrow Price Cap

Heathrow Airport
Credit: Heathrow Airport

LONDON—The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has set an interim price cap on what London Heathrow Airport can charge its airline customers for 2023.

However, the new figures are likely only to be in operation for a matter of a few weeks before the UK regulator publishes its final determination on prices for the next three years. 

The CAA said that it had consulted on the interim proposals in December 2022 and had received detailed submissions from both the airport and the airline community, which it had carefully considered before making its decision.    

Airline charges at the UK’s main hub have been a matter of controversy for years, with airlines complaining that they are some of the highest in the world, while the airport argues that they are necessary to maintain and improve services at the west London site.  

The CAA has set the interim price cap at £31.57 ($37.95) per passenger. This will be amended, either up or down, depending on the figure for the definitive price cap. That figure is scheduled to be announced in March.  

The interim price cap replaces the current cap, which expired on Jan. 1, 2023. 

“We are implementing these license modifications to protect consumers and to give certainty to the airport and airlines on the level of the price cap for 2023,” CAA consumer and markets Director Paul Smith said.  

A Heathrow spokesman said the airport would not comment on the announcement. The interim price cap had been known in advance and Heathrow’s budget for the year had been set with it in mind. The airport was awaiting the final decision in March before responding publicly, he added.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.