Airports Commission publishes its 4th discussion paper – “Airport Operational Models”
The Airports Commission has today published the 4th of its discussion papers. This on is “Airport Operational Models” which looks at what are the distinguishing features of a hub or ‘focal’ airport. The paper is looking for information on what enables an airport to assume the role of a hub airport, alongside other possible models for structuring airport capacity. It discusses current trends in the global aviation sector, how they might develop in the future. Sir Howard Davies, Chair of the Commission, said that the way the aviation industry will change in the coming decades is important, but uncertain. The paper explores some of the possible future scenarios, which carry different implications for airport shape and capacity and considers the potential implications for aviation capacity and connectivity in the UK. It looks at whether the UK needs one huge hub or if a more dispersed system of airports competing with each other potentially offers the best deal to passengers. The deadline for comments is 11 July 2013.
Airports Commission considers airport models
16.5.2013 (Airports Commission press release)
The Airports Commission has today (16 May 2013) published Airport Operational Models the fourth in a series of discussion papers to build the evidence base to inform its assessment of the UK’s airport capacity needs.
The paper considers the distinguishing features of a hub or ‘focal’ airport and what enables an airport to assume this role, alongside other possible models for structuring airport capacity. It discusses current trends in the global aviation sector, how they might develop in the future, and considers the potential implications for aviation capacity and connectivity in the UK.
Sir Howard Davies, the Chair of the Airports Commission, said:
There is an important public debate in progress about the strengths and weaknesses of different airport operating models. The Airports Commission will need to give these arguments full and detailed consideration as we develop our assessment of the UK’s future aviation requirements. We believe it is particularly important to think about the way the aviation industry will change in the coming decades. Today’s industry is unrecognisable from the one a quarter of a century ago. This paper explores some of the possible future scenarios, which carry different implications for airport shape and capacity.
Parties are invited to submit evidence to the Commission on the issues raised in the paper, by 11 July 2013.
This publication explores the different airport operating models, trends in global aviation and the potential implications for airport capacity in the UK.
PDF, 6.02MB, 59 pages
Stakeholders are invited to submit evidence to the Commission on the issues raised in the paper, by 11 July 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conclusion of the discussion paper states:
5.1 This paper has discussed the nature of any additional aviation capacity that might be required in the UK. One strategy for the UK could be to further develop its hub capacity by investing in a large ‘focal’ airport and the necessary supporting infrastructure to ensure that it is accessible to the rest of the country.
An alternative strategy could be to facilitate a more dispersed system of airports competing with each other to potentially offer the best deal to passengers. The UK aviation sector is
currently somewhere between these two extremes, with Heathrow acting as a focal point for hub operations, but arguably not to its full potential, and a more competitive market operating between a number of other airports such as Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham
5.2 Several of the UK’s overseas competitors, for example in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul and Dubai, either already have greater hub capacity than the UK or are seeking to develop their hub capacity further.
The Commission will need to consider carefully how the UK should position itself in relation to these overseas competitors. This task is complicated by some important
uncertainties around the future development of the aviation sector, such as the prospective role of airline alliances, the evolution of the low-cost market, and the potential importance of middle-eastern and far-eastern carriers.
However other factors, such as the geographical position of the UK and the strength of the London origin and destination market, are known quantities and will continue to exert a significant influence over the development of the UK aviation sector.
The Airports Commission was launched on 2 November 2012. Its terms of reference require that it should report no later than the end of 2013 on:
– its assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status
– its recommendation(s) for immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next 5 years – consistent with credible long term options
Its terms of reference also require that it should report no later than summer 2015 on:
– its assessment of the options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs, including their economic, social and environmental impact
– its recommendation(s) for the optimum approach to meeting any needs
– its recommendation(s) for ensuring that the need is met as expeditiously as practicable within the required timescale
Follow the Airports Commission on Twitter: @ukairportscomm
The Commission’e earlier discussion papers:
- 16 May 2013
- 5 April 2013
- 8 March 2013
- 1 February 2013