The UK Government is to look more favourably at requests for landing stopover rights by foreign airlines, provided they use regional airports and their country of origin reciprocates.
In a statement yesterday, the government’s Aviation Minister Karen Buck said:
‘In future, the UK will apply a general presumption in favour of allowing such services, both passenger and cargo. The move will potentially mean more services and a greater choice of connections for passengers outside the south east of England.’
The move is great news for regional airports, although it is mostly designed to take the strain off London’s congested airports. Air traffic in Europe is expected to double by 2020 and the $55bn in planned airport infrastructure investment scheduled over the next 20 years is nowhere near enough to cope with this growth.