Heathrow to Invest £3bn

2) Heathrow

Airport operator Heathrow Airport Limited, formerly BAA, plans to spend a further £3 billion (US$4.7bn) on infrastructure development at London Heathrow, in addition to the £11bn ($17.2bn) invested since 2003.
The investment forms part of the airport’s ‘Q6’ business plan, which covers 2014-19.  The priority areas for Q6 include the start of operations at Terminal 2 and ongoing extensions.  Smoother journeys with more self-service options and enhanced information services, as well as better customer service and improved operational efficiency, are anticipated.  The airport also plans better surface access, which includes financial contribution towards the Crossrail project to link Heathrow with more central London locations.
Concessions will be improved with the development of premium retail and lounges.  Higher punctuality is expected through management technology and rapid exit taxiways, leading to quicker connections.  The environment is also being addressed with hopes for quieter aircraft, including noise insulation schemes, and reduced pollution.
Heathrow hopes that publication of the business plan will provide input to the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) decision on the maximum amount the airport is permitted to charge airlines to use the facility.
A statement from Heathrow insists that airport charges will be kept at an affordable level for airlines while allowing enough return on investment to encourage future development.  It added: “Over the Q5 regulatory period, passenger numbers have fallen 10% below the level anticipated by the CAA, resulting in Heathrow receiving around £650 million [$1bn] less than the allowed return from aeronautical charges.  Heathrow cannot recover this cost now or in future.  Correcting the passenger forecast for Q6 inevitably results in increased prices.”
Initial figures in the business plan indicate that the airport charge per passenger could increase to £27.30 ($42.6) by 2019.  The CAA will reach a final decision on airport charges next January.