Heathrow looking to raise £3 billion from airlines

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HEATHROW yesterday unveiled plans to invest £3 billion in Britain’s hub airport in a five-year plan that would ultimately be paid for by passengers.

The scheme, which requires approval from regulators, comes on top of £11bn spent since 2003 and would be one of the largest private-sector investments in UK infrastructure.

Plans include extending Terminal 2, building more self-service check-in and baggage drop-off kiosks, adding more “rapid transport pods” to link car parks to terminals and upgrading stands and taxiways to accommodate more A380 “superjumbos”. Heathrow will also fund part of the Crossrail project which will link the airport to the City of London.

The company is asking regulators to approve plans for a gradual increase in the fees it charges airlines to be phased in over the period 2014 to 2019 when the work will take place.

The charges would increase from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012-13 to as much as £27.30 in 2018-19.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said Heathrow faced stiff competition from other European hub airports and must continue to improve the service it offers passengers and airlines.

l Edinburgh airport, sold by the owner of Heathrow last year, reported a “difficult beginning to the year” as snow and closures at other airports affected traffic.

A total of 525,637 people passed through Scotland’s busiest airport last month, 5.7 per cent fewer travellers than in January 2012. But it is looking forward to a boost from the three Six Nations rugby games held at Murrayfield this year.