Stansted Airport welcomed nearly one million more passengers in the first three months of 2015 over the same period last year as annual passenger numbers at the UK’s fastest growing airport increased by 16.3 per cent. The airport served over 20.9 million passengers in the 12 months ending March 2015. During March, the airport saw over 1.67 million passengers pass through the terminal, up 24 per cent on the same month last year and the tenth consecutive month of double digit growth at Stansted.
Leading UK air traffic control company NATS saw an increase in flight traffic of 4.2 per cent in March compared to the same month last year, handling a total of 183,187 flights. Domestic flights led the UK market growth with an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to March 2014. This is the fifth consecutive month of growth for this sector. This rise was due, in part, to additional routes to Scotland and Northern Ireland from London City Airport.
Exit checks have come into force at airports, ports and international rail terminals in the UK. It is hoped the checks will improve the government’s understanding of who is leaving the UK and create a clearer picture of who is staying in the country. They will also help the police and security services track the movements of known criminals and terrorists.
Seemingly interminable wrangling over the future of aviation capacity in the UK hit a new low earlier, with a second county council withdrawing support from the proposed expansion of London Gatwick Airport. Bowing to pressure from local residents, West Sussex Council voted by 37 to 26 to reverse a decision taken in July 2014 to support the expansion.
Officials in the UK government have launched in independent inquiry into the failure of air traffic control services in the south-east of England on Friday. National Air Traffic Services blamed a software glitch at its centre at Swanwick in Hampshire for the disruption, which delays at Heathrow and Gatwick.
Passengers arriving at UK terminals from Ebola hit countries in western Africa will face “enhanced screening” the government has announced. Those thought to be at risk arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will face the measures at London Gatwick and London Heathrow Airport and the Eurostar terminal in Folkestone.
All passengers leaving UK airports on flights to the United States may now be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up before boarding an aircraft. In new advice to travellers, the department of transport warned those unable to power up devices could face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft.
Leeds Bradford Airport is preparing for another busy year, with seven route launches so far announced for 2014, offering an increased destination and airline choice for Yorkshire travellers. Scandinavian Airlines will launch their first destination between Leeds Bradford and Copenhagen. Jet2.com and Eastern Airways will both introduce new destinations to compliment their existing schedules.
London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport could be given the go ahead for a new runway following the release of the interim report from the Airports Commission in the UK. These two options, along with a plan to examine the feasibility of a new airport in the Isle of Grain in north Kent, will compete for the commission’s recommendation when the final report is released in 2015.
A curtain of thick fog across the south-east of England has forced a number of flight cancellations at airports across the region. Airports affected include London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport.
Industry leaders from across Britain have offered their support to plans to expand airport capacity in the south-east of England. Called Let Britain Fly, a new campaign sees 100 leading executives warn that the need for more airport capacity is urgent.
Members of the Public & Commercial Services Union have confirmed they will walk out on strike next weekend, potentially disrupting border checks around the UK. The move is part of a wider ‘weekend of action’ from the union, which is protesting against changes to pay, pensions and working conditions in the public sector.