Air traffic control charges to rise after summer disruption
The amount that planes will have to pay to fund the UK’s air traffic control system will rise by £17 after widespread disruption this summer, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Thursday.
The charge will go from £47 to £64 per plane for the period between 2023 and 2027, the watchdog said.
It is a rise of 43%, although, when accounting for inflation since 2020, the rise is 26%, the CAA said.
It means that the average charge per passenger will rise by around 43p to around £2.08 per passenger per flight.
Despite the increase the charge is still lower than the average level between 2015 and 2019, the CAA said.
It is also “broadly in line” with European counterparts, it added.
The rise allows the company which runs the air traffic control systems, called Nerl, to recover the revenue that it lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This recovery has been spread over 10 years.
“Our decision will provide the resources and investment required for Nerl to provide a resilient, high-quality service for passengers and modernise its services, while recovering costs from the pandemic, which is consistent with the traffic risk sharing arrangements in Nerl’s licence at the time,” said CAA chief economist Andrew Walker.
But Tim Alderslade, the boss of trade body Airlines UK, said that the change could mean higher prices for customers.
“This is yet another kick in the teeth for passengers who have been plagued by issues this summer including the August Nats IT failure and will inevitably end up footing the bill of millions of pounds for increases that simply cannot be justified while it remains unclear what action will be taken to ensure airlines and their customers do not see a repeat of this disruption,” he said.
The failures earlier this summer caused widespread disruption to thousands of flights across the UK.
The problems at National Air Traffic Services in August forced airlines to pay for passengers’ accommodation, and cancel around 2,000 flights.
Mr Alderslade said: “We also recognise the disruption caused by the technical issue in August and we will consider any further regulatory steps as appropriate following the outcome of the independent review.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub