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Service Quality Rebate Scheme 2008 to 2014

As part of the economic regulation of Heathrow, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) introduced a service quality rebate scheme on 1 July 2003. The scheme was reviewed and extended by the CAA during the price control review for Q5 (March 2008) to include new measures, increased standards to existing measures and an increase to the amount of revenue at risk.

In summary, the scheme has the following key features:

  • provides an incentive to the airport to meet set standards of service quality;
  • rebate payments are made monthly to airlines;
  • the maximum amount of rebates that could be paid is 7% of airport charges (circa £70m);
  • rebates are paid on performance in an individual terminal (apart from Control Posts and the Aerodrome Congestion Term which are calculated and paid for the airport as a whole); and
  • there are some differences in the performance targets set between terminals.

The rebate scheme covers the following aspects of Heathrow's performance:

  • Queuing at the departures security search area, transfers security search, staff search, and control posts search (this is the security search for catering, flight crews and maintenance equipment), and the availability of pier service for aircraft.
  • Passenger perception of the availability of seating in the departures lounge, the quality of flight information systems, how easy it is to find their way around, and the cleanliness of toilets and concourse areas within the terminal buildings.
  • Passenger Sensitive Equipment (PSE), which includes lifts, escalators, conveyors (moving walkways), and Terminal 5 track transit system. The PSE has been split into two groups, a priority list and a general list, to ensure key equipment is identified and monitored closely, whilst keeping the rest of the equipment maintained.
  • Other equipment in the scheme, including: arrivals baggage reclaim belts, fixed electrical ground power (for aircraft on stands), stands, jetties, pre-conditioned air (for aircraft), and stand entry guidance (to assist aircraft parking).

The CAA have also included a bonus scheme to further encourage high performance to the benefit of passengers. The maximum additional revenue achievable via bonuses at Heathrow is 2.24 % of airport charges, approximately £22 million.

Heathrow Service Quality Rebate Scheme: An overview of how the scheme is implemented (386KB PDF)

Performance history to date

The following Service Quality Rebate reports combine all terminal reports and also include aerodrome congestion and control post queuing. All links open in a new window.

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