“We hope the Civil Aviation Authority will give a fair ruling in the months ahead, that doesn’t penalise customers and airlines,” said Keith.

Heathrow is making a bid to increase its charges as part of its business plan for 2014-19. The plan, published this week, includes opening a refurbished Terminal 2 next year and closing Terminal 1 in 2016.

The plan will also see personal pod transit, currently used for business car park customers at Terminal 5, extended to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.

More self-service check-in kiosks will be built and self-service bag drops introduced, designed to save customers time. Better real-time customer information will be provided in terminals, as will free wi-fi connection.

New airport management technology is also promised, along with additional runway rapid exit taxiways to boost punctuality and reliability.

Heathrow will also fund part of the Crossrail project linking the airport with the City of London and Canary Wharf.

However, all this investment comes at a price. Heathrow says it wants to increase its tariff charge by RPI (the retail price index measure of inflation) plus 5.9 per cent meaning that the price each passenger pays for using Heathrow could rise from £21.96 in 2014/15 to £25.81 per person by 2017/18.

The Civil Aviation Authority will make a final decision on future airport charges in January 2014.