Balpa calls for government support as UK airport passengers top 270m

Balpa calls for government support as UK airport passengers top 270m

The number of passengers using UK airports topped 270 million last year, according to new official data.

Many UK airports reported a record-breaking year. Some with the highest increases include Belfast International (17.3%), Birmingham (14.3%) and Cardiff (16%).

An analysis by the British Airline Pilots Association of new data released by the Civil Aviation Authority and airports shows that all of London’s airports saw an increase in passengers in 2016.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “It’s great news for our industry, and a good sign for the wider economy, that passenger numbers continued to grow in 2016.

“Of particular note are the successes at Belfast International, Birmingham and Cardiff, and I hope 2017 will be a better year for airports such as Aberdeen.

“We now need action from politicians to make sure this progress isn’t put at risk.

“We need solid reassurances for the aviation sector on Brexit and expansion as the continued uncertainty could damage confidence in investing in our industry.”

Luton achieved the biggest gain of 18.5%, up to 14.5 million passengers, and Heathrow the smallest rise at 1%, handling 75.6 million passengers, yet still maintaining its place as the busiest airport in Europe.

Manchester, the UK’s largest airport outside of London, saw 2.5 million more passengers, up 10.8% on 2015.

Leeds Bradford, Liverpool and Newcastle all saw increases of 4.8%, 11.2% and 5.4% respectively.

Glasgow increased passenger numbers by 7.1% and Edinburgh by 11.1%.

However, some other airports saw a drop in numbers, including Bournemouth (down 5.6%) and Aberdeen (down 14.8%).

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