The Department for Transport has said that changes to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will see greater investment in passenger facilities at airports

Legislation to reform the body would give it a “supplementary financing duty” which would ensure operators spent money on passenger facilities in airports rather than siphoning funds to other areas of their business.

Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond said: “These changes will help drive passenger-focused investment in airports - such as in new baggage handling equipment or building new modern facilities.”

He said that the UK’s major airports in the south-east would not get any larger.

“We must now put passengers at the heart of how our airports are run. We have already announced that we do not support the building of new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. We want to make those airports better, not bigger and that is exactly what these measures will do.

The changes would also give CAA competition law powers to stop anti-competitive behaviour by airports, rather just using regulatory tools.