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Passengers back Heathrow airport improvements

Passengers back Heathrow airport improvements
Passengers have given their backing to a range of improvements at Heathrow airport to help boost efficiency.

The airport is planning to spend around £3 billion over the next five years and has submitted a revised business plan to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Officials explained that passengers said that they would be willing to pay extra to have services improved rather than the airport having to reduce investment and keep prices down. The CAA confirmed that Heathrow's new proposals would mean an annual cost rise of £1 a ticket.

Airport chiefs conducted a survey to canvass the views of passengers that regularly use the UK's largest airport and found that the average person would accept charges rising by £23 over the next five years. This was on the condition that improvements were made possible. Heathrow is aiming to introduce a total increase in charges of £5.01 which would mean that airport charges would only make up five per cent of the average ticket price.

The investment plan for the Q6 period, between 2014 and 2019, has identified ten key areas for improvement. These include the creation of the new Terminal 2, named The Queen's Terminal, which is set to be opened in 2014 allowing the closure of Terminal 1 in 2016. The airport wants to introduce smoother journeys with more self-service check-in kiosks and self-service bag drops. It also wants to reduce pollution with the use of quieter aircraft including more A380s.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: "The CAA’s current proposals will make it impossible to persuade them to put anything other than the bare minimum of capital into Heathrow. We know airlines want the improvements that we’re proposing and we have done everything possible to keep the cost of those improvements to an absolute minimum."

Heathrow recently announced plans for the creation a third runway which would pass over the M25. It comes at a time when the future London's airports is in major debate with Mayor of London Boris Johnson wanting to reduce the strain on Heathrow by unveiling three different alternatives to the nation's biggest airport.

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Date: 23/07/2013 16:24:00

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