London Heathrow's planned expansion will not result in higher costs to passengers, the company behind the airport has announced.

Plans to build a third runway at Britain's largest airport have long been a contentious issue, with some suggesting passengers would bear the brunt of the costs in the form of increased air fares.

In June last year, Willie Walsh, chief executive (CEO) of International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Heathrow's biggest customer, accused Britain's largest airport of "ripping off" passengers amid new runway plans.

Walsh said such a move would result in passengers paying £80 ($105.1) towards landing charges per return trip, compared with the current £22 Heathrow charges per passenger.

Tim Alderslade, the CEO of Airlines UK, the industry which represents UK-registered airlines, also warned against higher landing charges: "Heathrow is already the most expensive airport in the world and post-Brexit, the UK will need to compete even more with other hubs."

The Department for Transport has previously urged the industry to keep costs and charges "close to current levels".

Heathrow, however, moved to allay fears about rising costs, insisting it was prepared to meet the challenge.

"Effectively we'll be able to expand the airport and passengers will continue paying what they pay today," a spokesman for the airport said on Thursday (27 July).

"It was key for the government that this gets done affordably, but also it's been a key issue for our airline partners as well."

Ministers gave Heathrow's expansion plans the green light in October last year, approving a proposal for a third runway, which will be built approximately two miles north of the two existing ones and will be operational by 2026.

The airport is expected to publish a more detailed plan later this year but it has already proposed to delay some of the most expensive work.

"It's not necessarily that these things won't be built," said an airport spokesman.

"It's just that we can do some clever things to add additional capacity to our existing terminals up front.

"We can get more passengers in to help spread the cost."

Earlier this month, Surinder Arora, the founder and chairman of Arora Group and a major landowner in the proximity of Britain's biggest airport, claimed there were "cheaper and better ways" to expand the facility.

Arora stated his plan would be some £6.7bn cheaper than the £17.6bn proposal currently considered the preferred option, adding his scheme would limit disruption to local communities.

"We want passengers to be at the heart of our plans and the current monopoly at Heathrow, which over-charges airlines and in turn raises fares for passengers, is not the right model for the future," he said.

"Heathrow needs competition and innovation which puts passengers and airlines at the heart of the expansion project."