The UK’s aviation regulator said on Thursday it would increase the amount airlines can be charged for air traffic control services to help national provider NATS recoup costs incurred during the pandemic.
NATS has been in the spotlight after an outage in late August which caused thousands of flight cancellations and delays across Britain and Europe and which airlines have said cost them millions of pounds. Airline executives last week called for new rules on passenger compensation in the event of such disruption.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday confirmed a provisional decision taken in July that NATS could set an average unit rate for regulated activities at 64 pounds ($77.58) in nominal terms from 2023 to 2027, up from 47 pounds.
The average cost of UK air traffic services per passenger per flight would go up by 43 pence on average, to approximately 2.08 pounds, the CAA said.
The new prices would ensure quality of service and safety, the CAA said. The process of raising price controls began before the NATS outage and is unrelated to the review and investigation into the glitch, it added.