UK airports operator BAA has been asked to pay £7.34 million ($11.5 million) in rebates to airlines after failing to meet UK aviation authority CAA's required performance standards. The CAA confirmed that BAA had paid £4.08 million ($6.39 million) at London Heathrow (LHR) and £3.26 million ($5.10 million) at London Gatwick (LGW) in the April-September period.
The areas that failed to meet service standards at both airports were departure lounge seating, cleanliness, directional signage and pier service.
The CAA asked both airports to explain why targets were missed and also to present plans and timetables for meeting those targets in the future.
It noted that service quality at both LHR and LGW had improved over the past six months as compared to the year-ago period - noticeably in security queuing times, cleanliness and pier service at most terminals. These improvements, however, were not consistent across all services at all terminals, the authority said.
CAA introduced service quality schemes at LHR and LGW in July 2003 and boosted these significantly this year when it introduced new standards including transfer security queuing at LHR.
New elements will be added in the coming year at Gatwick.