Airport operator BAA has begun legal proceedings against Ryanair for non-payment of landing charges.
The escalating row between the owner of Ryanair’s biggest UK base, Stansted, could end in the courts following the carrier’s decision to withhold full payment of the charges since the spring.
This followed a 38p per passenger increase in fees, sanctioned by the Civil Aviation Authority which regulates the charges to airlines at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The CAA allowed above-inflation rises at all three airports.
EasyJet has also withheld payment of increased charges at Gatwick and filed a claim for a judicial review against the CAA.
BAA confirmed the matter was in the hands of its lawyers and said: “Our charges remain within the limit we are allowed to charge by the regulator.”
The CAA had recommended Stansted be removed from its regulation and allowed to set its own fees, but transport secretary Ruth Kelly over-ruled it.