M.A.G airports provide capacity for growth
M.A.G believes that action is urgently needed to maintain the UK’s status as an international hub for aviation and provide further capacity for growth.
In November 2012, the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt. Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP established the Airports Commission to examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as an important aviation hub, and to identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term.
As an owner of four airports in the UK (Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth) and interests in both London and the UK regions, M.A.G is in a position to offer a balanced national perspective on the issues being debated by the Commission.
M.A.G airports are uniquely placed to meet short-term capacity challenge
In the short term, all of our airports can make a significant contribution to growing the UK economy and improving international connectivity by making the best possible use of the spare capacity we already have on our runways.
For example, Stansted could operate an additional 130,000 flights today without any major investment in infrastructure, while Manchester already has two runways and the capacity to expand from 20 to 55 million passengers a year. East Midlands and Bournemouth can also play their part in serving passenger demand from local markets.
To make the most effective use of this spare capacity, its vital that Government and other parties step forward and play their part. In our responses to the Commission, we have called for a number of well timed policy interventions, such as improving transport links and reforming the structure of Air Passenger Duty to stimulate the take up of existing capacity at our airports.
M.A.G’s immediate priority is better use of existing capacity at all our airports. With new runway capacity highly unlikely within the next 10 – 15 years, a clear priority for the Commission and Government policy must be to make the best possible use of existing capacity now.
Stansted could meet the medium-to-long term capacity challenge
The demand for air travel is growing and its expected that airports in the South East will be full by 2030. M.A.G believes that if the UK’s is to maintain its position as the Europe’s most important aviation hub its vital we plan for the long term.
In the long term, Stansted offers a range of credible, deliverable and flexible long-term options for new runway capacity. In addition to options for one new runway and the development of an effective hub, there is an option to develop new runway capacity at Stansted in a number of steps to meet long term demand. We believe these options are viable and competitive on cost grounds. Stansted’s location means that the options for new runways have significantly lower social and environmental impacts when compared to other potential runway schemes in the South East. At the same time, Manchester has the capacity to support a substantial increase in demand for air travel from the North of England over the long term.
In summary M.A.G airports offer unique capacity for growth from the short-term through to the long-term.