A report by the Airport Operators Association (AOA) released last week shows that the Government could create tens of thousands of jobs by reducing journey times to airports.
The AOA report, released on the first day of the AOA Annual Conference in London, details analysis by Capital Economics that shows that a 5% improvement in average journey times to and from airports could deliver a 2.7% increase in passenger numbers, generating an additional £1.9 billion for the UK economy and supporting an additional 32,000 jobs.
Chief Executive of the AOA, Darren Caplan said: “The report also clearly shows that improvements to transport links significantly boost the catchment areas of airports. By enabling more passengers to travel to an airport, this investment attracts a greater number of airlines, in turn offering more destinations and at higher frequencies. This ultimately benefits consumers and businesses.”
The AOA says that aviation creates £1bn a week for the UK economy and supports around one million jobs. Today, 40% of the UK’s trade by value goes by air and aviation brings nearly 75% of tourism visitors to the UK.
The AOA is calling on the Government to invest in transport links to airports. The Government’s planned ‘Aviation Strategy’ should:
- Assess the level of transport infrastructure connecting UK airports and identify where there are gaps in present and future demand;
- Ensure rail capacity assessments and Highways Agency route studies include airport access, looking particularly at whether road and rail capacity at individual airports matches Government’s passenger growth forecasts for that airport; and
- Set out, with Network Rail and the Highways Agency, how it will make decisions as to which surface access projects at airports will be prioritised in the Government’s infrastructure plans.