The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will gain new powers to impose financial penalties on under-performing airports, under new airports legislation from the DfT.
Transport secretary Justine Greening has published a draft version of the new Civil Aviation Bill, which is expected to be introduced by parliament early next year.
The bill gives the Civil Aviation Authority additional responsibilities, including closer monitoring of airports.
Under the draft bill, the CAA will be able to impose “a range of penalties” for breaching licence conditions, up to 10% of an airport’s annual turnover.
The government hopes this will mean the CAA can “better incentivise compliance and penalise poor performance”.
Greening said the DfT’s new airports legislation was centred around the experience of the passenger.
“The end user - in this case the needs of air passengers and businesses - must be at the heart of our transport networks,” she said.
“Whether going on holiday, flying for business or transporting goods by air, the customer experience at airports can make or break a trip.”
According to Greening, passengers “by and large” give good feedback about airports, but want better information, additional baggage carousels during peak periods and more seating.
“These are exactly the matters that the CAA will be able to address more effectively under its new powers,” she said.
“This Bill couples our commitment to make our airports better rather than bigger with the Government's wider agenda on better regulation.
“It also complements our ongoing work to produce a sustainable policy framework for aviation, a draft of which will be published next spring.”