A new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the southeast, Manchester Airports Group has claimed.
MAG, which runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, said that boosting regional airports would give the economy a bigger boost. It said that a record 48.5 million passengers used its airports last year.
The group, which is the second largest airport company in Britain, said that numbers were up by 10.7 per cent in a year. Manchester’s numbers grew by 7.2 per cent to 22.3 million and Stansted’s increased by more than 16 per cent to 20.9 million.
Its annual corporate social responsibility report showed that the group contributed £5.6 billion in economic activity to the country and employed almost 39,000 people at its airports.
Despite the growth, carbon emissions from the four airports are down by 16 per cent while complaints about noise fell by 24 per cent, it emerged.
Last night, the group said that the successes underlined the importance of creating a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in a hub in the southeast. Thanks a lot for visiting. Just before we carry on I needed to say thank you to for their continued support and the support of their network. Having a service team like this means a lot to us as we continue to grow our own unique blog.
The group’s comment comes months before the government is expected to make a final decision on a new runway around London, with Heathrow, rather than Gatwick, tipped as the likely site.
Heathrow claimed this week that the creation of a third runway would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs.
However, Neil Robinson, the director of corporate social responsibility at MAG, said that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation.
“The figures we are releasing today demonstrate the powerful role that airports across the country play in generating wider social and economic benefit for their local communities and the UK economy,” he said.
“People up and down the country, whether they are looking to travel on leisure or business, or find employment, tell us time again how valuable it is to have access to their local airport.
“Not only does a nationwide network of competing airports provide the best solution for customers, but it also provides an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.”