As part of the CAA’s economic regulation of the Group's Regulated Airports, Service Quality Rebate schemes operate at Heathrow. These schemes are intended to improve service standards. The scheme was updated from 1 April 2008 to include a broader range of service standards, with higher standards and more significant rebates payable to airlines in the event standards are not met.
The schemes cover service quality performance, specifically the availability of the following equipment:
- Passenger Sensitive Equipment (PSE), such as lifts, escalators and conveyors
- Other equipment such as arrivals baggage reclaim belts, fixed electrical ground power (for aircraft on stands), stands, jetties, pre-conditioned air (for aircraft), stand entry guidance (to assist aircraft parking) and pier service (for aircraft).
It also includes the following areas of the airports:
- Security queuing times
- Passenger perception of departure lounge seat availability, the quality of flight information, the ease of getting round the airport and the cleanliness of terminal buildings.
The maximum amount of rebate currently payable is 7.0% of aeronautical income. The scheme at Heathrow includes a bonus element to encourage high performance. The maximum level of bonuses is 2.24% of aeronautical income.