UK airports see decline in passenger traffic

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Car Rental News - 15/01/2009


The number of passengers handled by the UK’s main airports, including Gatwick and Heathrow, decreased in 2008.

The seven UK airports owned and operated by BAA, including London’s Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted airports, saw 145.8 million passengers last year, which was a decrease of 2.8 per cent from the previous year.

At Heathrow airport, the 66.9 million passengers handled was a drop of 1.4 per cent from 2007. Gatwick’s decline was 1.4 per cent and Stansted’s 6.0 per cent.

At some point this month, the government is expected to announce whether it will approve the building of a third runway at Heathrow to expand capacity at the busy airport. A sixth passenger terminal is also planned.

The expansion at Heathrow would increase the number of annual take-offs and landings from approximately 480,000 to 702,000.

On Wednesday, BAA announced that, in 2008, take-offs and landings at Heathrow decreased slightly, by 0.5 per cent, to 473,139.

The other four BAA-operated airports in the UK also saw declining passenger numbers last year. Southampton was down by 0.8 per cent, while Edinburgh dropped by 0.5 per cent, Aberdeen by 3.5 per cent and Glasgow by 6.8.

December’s figures for the seven airports showed a total of 10.18 million passengers handled, which was a decrease of 6.9 per cent over December 2007.

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