GTMC: Small regional airports under threat of closure

GTMC: Small regional airports under threat of closure

Many of the UK’s small regional airports may be forced to close by rising costs, with one of the biggest owners admitting it could shut its smallest airports.

Manchester Airports Group external affairs director Jonathan Bailey told the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) conference in Abu Dhabi: “I don’t see a future for smaller airports in the UK.”

Bailey said: “We are reviewing the airports [we own] currently. All the tax, regulatory and security costs bare heavily on smaller airports. We pay three times for security – for passenger screening, our own security staff and policing costs – and small airports cannot do that.

“I cannot say ‘no, we won’t close any airports’ – we might have to close some of our smaller airports.”

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) owns Bournemouth and Humberside airports as well as the much larger Manchester and East Midlands – a major UK cargo hub.

Referring to the recent announcement that Plymouth Airport will shut, Bailey said: “There is no doubt other airports will have to close.”

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