Heathrow today announced £3 billion of investment in Heathrow airport in addition to the £11 billion that has been invested since 2003. The announcement forms part of the airport’s business plan for ‘Q6’–the regulatory period which covers 2014-2019–and it represents one of the largest private-sector investments in UK infrastructure.
Heathrow is the UK’s only hub airport, accounting for 78% of all long-haul flights from the UK. Every five years the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) scrutinises the airport’s capital expenditure plans, operating costs and commercial revenues to set the maximum amount the airport is permitted to charge airlines over the coming period. The publication of the airport’s business plan for 2014-2019 serves as an input to the CAA’s decision.
“Like much UK infrastructure Heathrow historically suffered from out-dated facilities and decades of under-investment. Since 2003, Heathrow has invested £11 billion in the airport,” the company said in a press release. Investment includes the construction of Terminal 5, a new Terminal 2 due to open in 2014, new baggage tunnels, and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 & 4.
Operational performance has improved, according to passenger surveys. The proportion of passengers rating their journey as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ has increased from 48% in 2007 to 72% today. The airport has moved from the bottom to the top quartile of EU airports for passenger satisfaction, and in 2012 Terminal 5 was voted the world’s best airport terminal.