Airline passengers flying from Heathrow face higher ticket prices if the airport is allowed to build a third runway.

The airport is proposing to raise the “aeronautical charge” from the current £20 per passenger to £24 to help pay for the estimated £17 billion cost of building a new runway. These charges, which are regulated by the CAA, are usually passed on by airlines to the passengers.

Heathrow’s new CEO John Holland-Kaye told the Financial Times that the increase in charges would be required to ensure the company saw a return on its investment.

“It is a real-term increase that we believe our passengers are prepared to pay in order to get to the global markets they need to get to,” Holland-Kaye told the FT.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said that the proposed increase in charges was part of its submission to the Airports Commission which is considering whether Heathrow or Gatwick should be allowed to expand.

Heathrow has said it would be able to open a third runway by 2026 if given the green light by the next government.

“Ticket prices will continue to rise as part of the plan to support the third runway investment,” she told BBT. “This is because of supply and demand – at the moment there is great demand for flights. But after the investment has been made, then landing fees will start coming down.”

Airlines have consistently objected to any increase in charges at Heathrow because of their already high level.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is due to submit its final recommendations for airport expansion in summer 2015 after the next general election.

Heathrow has claimed in its submission that a third runway would add 40 new routes from the UK and cut average fares by £320 due to the competition created by the increase in capacity.

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