EasyJet has submitted an application for a Judicial Review of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision on price cap charges at London Gatwick.

The low-cost carrier says it believes the way the CAA has allowed BAA to raise prices at Gatwick is unlawful. It says the CAA failed to adopt a “fair and lawful” approach to handling a £267 million (subsequently reduced to £218 million) “eleventh hour” operating expenditure submission from BAA.

The High Court is likely to decide within six to eight weeks whether the CAA has a case to answer.

EasyJet chief executive Andy Harrison said: “This is the first time that the CAA has been subject to Judicial Review for a regulatory price decision. We are taking the action because we believe that the CAA acted unlawfully in agreeing an obscene increase in passenger fees at Gatwick Airport over the coming five years and, specifically, ignored the recommendations of the Competition Commission, which proposed a much tougher regulatory settlement on BAA.

“In due course we hope that the Government’s review of UK airport regulation will bring about much-needed change by allowing genuine and effective inter-airport and inter-terminal competition at the major London airports. In the meantime we will continue to stand up for the consumer by opposing what we see as the CAA’s overly-generous attitude towards BAA.”