The independent report from the National Connectivity Task Force (NCTF)*, on linking the UK’s regions to London and the rest of the world, highlights the issue of a long-term shortage of hub capacity in Europe, not just the UK. Responding to the report Simon McNamara, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), advises that there needs to be a real debate in Europe about the construction of new runway and terminal capacity. Failure to build new runways and expand terminal capacity will leave Europe with poor connections and as a less attractive destination for both tourists and investors, inhibiting economic growth and productivity. Better, not worse, links to and within Europe must be encouraged, explains McNamara.
He adds: “the report highlights a problem not just for the UK but all of Europe. A coordinated plan for building new runways and terminals at Europe’s most congested hubs is urgently needed – we are fast running out of capacity. The 2013 Eurocontrol Challenges of Growth study* shows that by 2035 the capacity gap will be equivalent to nine fully used runways. The first routes to be squeezed out of congested hubs are short-haul regional routes with smaller aircraft, as the NCTF study also shows. These airports require policies that will enable their growth and development, not handicap them. Action is needed at EU level, as well as at state level, to tackle this serious issue. ERA is calling for a European plan on airport capacity that focuses on building new runway and terminal capacity.”
*The report of the National Connectivity Task Force can be found here: