IAG International Airlines Group has called upon the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to devolve ownership of London Heathrow's passenger terminals away from airport operator, Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (previously BAA), as a means of reducing end-costs to airlines, The Guardian has reported.

"This is not rocket science," group Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said. "Most major US airports have terminals owned or leased by airlines and there are European examples at Frankfurt and Munich airports. There’s absolutely no reason why this cannot happen at Heathrow."

The proposal is associated with the long-debated plan to expand London Heathrow and build a third runway. Currently, the busiest European airport is heavily constrained by a lack of capacity. The United Kingdom's government launched a ten-week consultation of the plan in January.

IAG has long underlined the need to build a third runway but criticised the government's plans for what it sees as excessive cost. According to an HAHL December 2017 projection, the expansion could cost as much as GBP14 billion (USD19.55 billion).

The airline consortium, which owns British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling Airlines, and LEVEL, has also criticised HAHL for overcharging airlines on landing and passenger fees.

"Heathrow expansion provides a great opportunity for independent companies to design, build and run commercial facilities like terminals," IAG said in a filing to the CAA.

British Airways itself currently operates Terminal 7 at New York JFK. In Europe, Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) co-owns terminals at both Frankfurt Int'l and Munich. All four open terminals at Heathrow are currently operated by HAHL itself, including the newest, Terminal 5, which is used exclusively by IAG.