Record passenger numbers 'highlight need to address aviation capacity'

Record passenger numbers 'highlight need to address aviation capacity'

Airline passenger numbers continued to break records at UK airports but flight punctuality dropped in the second quarter of the year.

A total of 67 million passengers were handled in the April to June period, making this year’s second quarter the busiest since records began, according to official figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Numbers were 4.1% up from the 65 million passengers recorded in the same period last year and were driven by strong European and domestic traffic, up 5.4% and 4.7% per cent.

The rolling 12 month total of 247 million also breaks the previous record, which was set in the first three months of the year at 244 million.

But the on-time performance of airlines was two per cent down in the three months and the average delay rose by one minute across the 24 airports monitored.

The average on-time performance of scheduled passenger flights fell from 79% to 77% year-on-year.
 
London airports dropped from 77% to 74% while regional airports fell from 82% to 81%.

The figures highlight the need for expansion in infrastructure on the ground and in the air, the regulator’s policy director, Tim Johnson, said.

“UK airports have now seen the strongest first two quarters for passenger numbers since records began, which has also led to the highest ever passenger figures for a 12 month period,” he said.

“However, in line with this significant passenger growth, and the increase in commercial flights, there has also been a slight reduction in punctuality across several airports. This highlights the ongoing pressures both on runway and airspace capacity in the southeast in particular.

“The prospect of continued increases in demand for air travel underlines the importance of addressing aviation capacity both on the ground and in the air.”

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