More than half of UK airports (57%) believe passenger growth this year will be stronger than in 2014, a new study shows.
The poll of members of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) found that 42% believe growth in 2015 will ‘more or less match’ 2014.
None of the AOA members believe there will be no growth this year. Only 1% think that numbers will drop this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority recently reported that passenger numbers in 2014 were up 4.4% to 238 million.
AOA chief executive, Darren Caplan (pictured), said: “Airports are a vital part of the UK’s national infrastructure, and play a crucial role in supporting a whole range of activities, such as tourism, manufacturing and exports.
“It is therefore extremely encouraging that passenger numbers are heading in the right direction and that our members believe this trend will continue over the next 12 months.”
He added: “Passenger numbers are now almost at the level that we saw before the recession.
“This is testament to the hard work of UK airports and the investment they have made in recent years to their terminals and facilities, and to their success in working with airline partners to attract exciting new routes to, from, and within the UK.
“With two reductions in Air Passenger Duty (APD) due to kick-in this month and next, for long-haul flying and for families travelling with children, we are hopeful that 2015 will be a record-breaking year for our members, and that we can inch ahead of the 240 million passenger mark that we saw in 2007.
“Obviously the industry still faces a number of challenges and we should not become complacent.
“We still need to see the overall rate of APD come down, a quick decision to be made on the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission final report when it is delivered in the summer, and for the government to do more to make better use of existing capacity, and a recognition from policy-makers that our sector can grow sustainably without increasing carbon and noise.
“However, it is clear that things are moving in the right direction and this can only be a good thing for UK plc, its connectivity, and for our future economic prospects.”
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