Gatwick today moved to try to reduce the fees burden on airlines.

The airport is proposing a cut in the increases in charges that airlines pay in an attempt to persuade regulators not to cap the levies.

Gatwick said that fees should increase 1.5% in real terms during each of the seven years from 2014.

This equates to an increase in the per passenger fee from £8.80 in 2013/14 to £9.76 in 2020/21.

The airport has been battling with the Civil Aviation Authority, which has said it plans to cap any increase at 1% above inflation during each of the five years from 2014 unless Gatwick makes concessions.

But the airport wants the CAA to scrap its price capping regime, saying that would enable it to compete more effectively with Heathrow, the UK’s biggest airport.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “We have listened to our airline partners and are putting forward a great deal which seeks to address the issues raised, whilst still promoting the best commercial way forward for our passengers and airlines.

“We believe this revised offer will provide a much better future for passengers, the airline community and the airport than would be the case through a continuation of the current system of regulation.”

He added: “The CAA has a window of opportunity to create the conditions for a much more competitive airport market in the South East, which will build on the Competition Commission’s landmark decision to break-up the BAA monopoly.

“We hope that the CAA will feel sufficiently confident to endorse our deal as the preferred way forward for Gatwick in its October final proposals.”

But Gatwick’s biggest airline EasyJet told the Financial Times that Gatwick should continue to be regulated by the CAA and there must be a real terms cut in charges, partly because the airport was proposing capital spending on projects that passengers did not value.