The Secretary of State set out a clear ambition in 2016 for airport charges to remain as close as possible to current levels.
In the context of expansion, the Civil Aviation Authority will determine an appropriate level of airport charges in line with its statutory duty to further the interest of consumers. The CAA set out in its April consultation that there are credible scenarios in which expansion can be delivered affordably and financeably with airport charges remaining close to current levels – in line with the Secretary of State’s ambition.
Separately, Heathrow have also set out potential scheme savings of up to £2.5 billion and confirmed they are confident they can deliver the Secretary of State’s ambition.
Both the Government and the Airport Commission undertook sensitivity analysis which showed that even if airport charges did rise this would not materially affect the case for expansion.
By contrast, the Government is absolutely clear of the effect of not taking forward expansion; doing nothing could cost around £21 - £23 billion to passengers and around £30 - £45 billion to the wider economy over 60 years.