Regional airport lobby group gives evidence to MPs

Manchester Airport

Regional airports could be given a boost after a key representative for them gave evidence to a government select committee.

John Spooner, the chairman of the Regional & Business Airports Group (RABA), told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that regional airports not only connect people but also provide jobs.

He also explained that smaller airports often lack the economies of scale to absorb “significant costs” and called for a more flexible and supportive policy framework around planning.

Spooner urged the committee to do more to help secure access from the regions to London’s key airports

And he also argued that any new runway in the south east should help serve the country’s regions with affordable runway slots reserved at appropriate times.

He said: “It’s very encouraging to see that the select transport committee has recognised the vital importance of regional airports to bringing economic prosperity and social benefit to the regions of the UK.

“The questions they asked showed that they understood the challenges that regional aviation and smaller airports face every day and gave the impression that they want to help.

“It was particularly encouraging that the select committee appeared to recognise the multitude of social and economic roles performed by the UK’s smaller regional airports not just in connecting the regions to the capital and to themselves but also enabling ambulance and transplant flights, helicopter search and rescue and oil and gas field support services, aircrew, flight and engineering training, aircraft maintenance and a whole host of other activities.

“These activities provide valuable skilled and unskilled employment opportunities often completely unconnected with aviation which make use of the perfectly located sites of many of our airports and airfields.”

Sourced by TTG Digital

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