REGIONAL airports in the UK lobbied the government on 19 January over their concerns about their future.
The UK is going through an assessment and consultation process to decide where more runway capacity may be placed in the South East of England to resolve expected future constraints. Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport are the two candidates for the additional runway capacity. UK regional airports have been concerned that in the capacity debate they are being left out. Last year saw the closure of South East England’s Manston Airport, which was used by freighter operators.
On 19 January, Regional and Business Airports Group (RABA) chairman, John Spooner, spoke to the UK government’s Transport Select Committee, a committee of the lower legislative chamber, the House of Commons. He asked the committee to help secure the regions’ access to London airports, and to allow excess areas of land within regional airport sites to be developed for non-aeronautical employment purposes.
RABA has stressed to the committee that it was essential that the next runway to be developed in the London area serve the UK’s regions; and that runway slots must be reserved at the right times and at an affordable price for use by flights serving those regions.