General News

Below are links to stories of general interest in relation to aviation and airports.

 

CAA airport statistics for 2008 show first fall in passenger numbers for 17 years

CAA figures for all of 2008 are now out. UK airports handled 1.9% fewer passengers in 2008 compared with 2007. This is the first time annual passenger numbers have fallen since 1991, and only the 4th time since the end of World War Two. Traffic declined most in the final quarter of the year, with 4 million fewer passengers handled from October to December 2008 than in the same months of 2007. UK airports handled 235 million passengers during 2008. (CAA)

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New study by AEF shows airport expansion will destroy UK jobs

A new AEF study of the employment provided by airports and airlines concludes that the Government should stop giving people false hopes about the number of jobs which would be created by the expansion of airports. The study shows Government claims that airport expansion will create thousands of new jobs to be based on unreliable statistics, and if the expansion results in more UK tourists going abroad this would lead to a net loss of jobs in the UK. (AEF)

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Passenger to come first in airport regulation shake-up

The government has unveiled plans to modernise the regulation of Britain's airports with new measures designed to ensure improvements for passengers. The CAA has been given a primary duty of promoting passengers' interests. The CAA will also be given the job of ensuring airports meet their environmental responsibilities, and that the economic and environmental regulation of Britain's airports are consistent. (Guardian and FT)

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Youth market propping up leisure and holiday spend, says lastminute

As many as 70% of consumers are spending more or the same as they did last year on holidays and leisure, a survey by lastminute.com revealed. The online survey found the youth market is driving this trend, with 16 - 24 year olds spending 21% - 30% of their salaries on fun. Holidays remain the most popular leisure activity, with short breaks more popular than longer durations. 31% intended to take a city break this year but 25% plan a 2 week trip. (TravelWeekly)

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Ryanair to abolish check-in desks

Ryanair has confirmed it plans to close all of its airport check-in desks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce the cost of its flights. From the start of 2010, all Ryanair passengers will need to check in online to confirm their flights. The airline said that by reducing its costs at airports, savings would be passed on to passengers in lower fares, and 75% of its passengers already checked in online. 97% of passengers booked online already (BBC)

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European Commission Begins Legal Action Against the UK Over Air Pollution Failures

The European Commission today began legal proceedings against the UK for failing to meet standards for airborne particles (PM10) that are highly damaging to human health. PM10 is strongly associated with premature death and cardiovascular disease. Its main source is road vehicles, and so levels are higher round airports. The UK failed the legally binding EU limits that came into force during 2005, and missed an October 2008 deadline. (Env Protection)

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NATS handles more than 2.4m flights in 2008 – down 1.5% on 2007

The number of flights controlled by NATS during 2008 declined slightly compared to the total for 2007. Controllers managed 2,433,946 last year against 2,470,940 for 2007, a decrease of 1.5%. Most of the decrease was in the last 3 months. NATS handled 560,000 more flights last year than 10 years ago and traffic in 2008 was still higher than 2006. (NATS)

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A bit of history. IATA Welcomes Decision on Frankfurt’s 4th Runway. January 2009

Frankfurt's international airport has been cleared for expansion by Hesse's Administrative Supreme Court. The airport can soon begin to build a fourth runway north of the current airport perimeter with an opening date of 2012. It will only be used for landings. Fraport and main operator Lufthansa also have to deal with the court's preliminary statement that the planned night flight restrictions are not far reaching enough. A 3rd terminal is planned. (Various)

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Tory plan to scrap new runways at Heathrow and Stansted could cost billions

A future Conservative government would use new legislative powers to block the expansion of Heathrow and Stansted airports, which could leave taxpayers liable for multibillion-pound compensation payments to the contractors and BAA. A planning application for Heathrow won't be submitted until 2011, 6 months after the last possible date Brown can hold a general election. If Labour lost, the Tories would have time to draft a new policy ruling out a new runway. (Guardian)

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CAA research on air passengers visiting friends and relatives shows social links with Europe fuelling journey growth

Civil Aviation Authority research pub shows that air passengers visiting friends and relatives (VFR traffic) is the strongest growing element of international passenger traffic at UK airports. Such traffic represents one-quarter of international passengers at UK airports. Whilst total international passengers to and from UK airports have grown by one-third between 2001 and 2007, VFR traffic has grown by two-thirds. (CAA)

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