BAA has been ordered to pay out £7.37m in rebates after the Civil Aviation Authority called into question continuous missed targets from Heathrow and Gatwick from April to September 2008, whilst also demanding outlines of future plans to maintain targets.Despite the fine, the CAA noted that there had been significant improvements in both airports since 2007 when tougher regimes were bought into place, in particular improvements in airport security, queuing times, pier services and general cleanliness.
“The improvements in service quality, particularly reductions in the time spent in security queues, have benefited passengers,” said Dr Harry Bush, group director for the CAA’s Economic Regulation Group.
“However, as the improvements have not been consistent across all services at all terminals, I have written to the airports’ managing directors asking them how they plan to improve the services that have persistently failed to meet the CAA’s higher standards, which include seating and pier service at some terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick, and cleanliness and wayfinding in one Gatwick terminal.
“It is important that BAA provides assurance to passengers that it is going to do better.”
The CAA is introducing plans to audit both airports on a regular basis to keep up standards.