Glasgow Airport defend expansion plans

24.6.2008   (UK Airport News)

Glasgow Airport bosses have defended plans to build a huge extension – despite environmental
campaigners claiming air passenger numbers will slump, the Evening Times reports.
WWF Scotland say independent research has called into question the need for planned
airport expansion at Scotland’s major airports – including Glasgow’s £30 million
Skyhub extension.

Government transport chiefs predict passengers using Glasgow Airport will almost
triple by 2030, from 6.9m to 19.6m a year. But WWF say these forecasts of the
number of flyers – which are based on fuel at $60 a barrel compared to almost
$140 now – are ‘pie in the sky’ because soaring oil prices will affect air fares
and this will drive down demand for flights. It estimates there will be a combined
350 million air passengers in 2030, nearly 150 million fewer than predicted.

However, a spokesman for Glasgow Airport told the newspaper: ‘BAA’s long term
forecasts are based on a wide range of economic factors, of which the price of
oil is just one. BAA has ambitious, sustainable and achievable plans to develop
Glasgow Airport over the next quarter century, with the £30 million skyhub extension,
due to open in October, just one of many developments planned. Our forecasts suggest,
long term, passenger numbers will continue to grow at Glasgow. It is sensible
that we plan for that growth now.