A shake-up in the regulation of London area airports is expected to be ushered in tomorrow by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The regulator is being tipped to free Gatwick and Stansted from price controls while forcing Heathrow to rein in the fees it wants to charge airlines over the next five years.

Gatwick is seeking to be freed from regulation as it bids to better compete with Heathrow.

Greater pricing freedom would also assist Stansted as it seeks to rebuild traffic following its enforced sale by former Heathrow owner BAA to a Manchester Airports Group-led consortium.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate, who put forward an alternative pricing plans to the CAA two months ago, told The Times on Saturday: “It would be a better deal for airlines and passengers and we would be able to respond more quickly to the changing needs of passengers and airlines.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson led a public protest against expansion of Heathrow over the weekend.