Airports Commission - Making best use of existing capacity key to unlocking economic growth and improving connectivity for passengers

20th May 2013

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has now submitted its response to the Airports Commission on proposals to make the best use of existing capacity in the next ten to fifteen years - the period before new runway capacity can be delivered.

MAG owns and operates four airports in the UK - Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth - and currently handles 42 million passengers per year.
MAG has advised the Commission that well targeted policy support from Government would contribute significantly to making more effective use of existing capacity, enhancing airport competition and providing greater choice and international connectivity for consumers. MAG's proposals include:

• Reforming Air Passenger Duty (APD) to promote the take-up of capacity and enhance international connectivity;
• Improving surface access to airports with spare capacity, and in particular cutting the rail journey time to Stansted to 30 minutes to enable fairer competition between London airports;
• Exploring reforms that would make more effective use of the scarce capacity at Heathrow and improve the allocation of demand around the London system;
• Promoting de-regulation as a way to strengthen competition between the London airports and encourage investment; and
• Further liberalising bilateral policy to open up capacity to overseas airlines.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: "The Airports Commission’s interim report provides an opportunity for the UK to make a firm statement about the future of economic growth in the country. We have watched other countries develop their aviation infrastructure for the benefit of their economies and we have the opportunity to do the same.

“With new runway capacity unlikely to be available for at least ten to fifteen years, it is critical that airports and Government do everything possible to make the best use of capacity that already exists. MAG airports have a big role to play in providing improved connectivity for the whole of the UK, and our submission outlines the steps the Government needs to take to help achieve this goal."

The Best Use Submission was also submitted alongside MAG’s response on Climate Change to the Airports Commission. MAG has a strong environmental track-record and is committed to the responsible operation and development of the Group’s airports. It aims to make best use of natural resources and minimise the environmental impact of airport operations.


For more information, contact the MAG press office on 0161 489 2700 or via email at

Published on: 20/05/2013 14:33:48