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Regional airports are key to UK economy

Michael Dempsey

The Times

17 March 2015

Chris Lynch, head of global aviation at PA, is quoted in an article on regional airports in a special report on business aviation in The Times.

The article addresses the enormous economic contribution of smaller, regional airports in the UK.

In the article, Chris explains that he has been involved in organising the Airports Commission, assessing future runway capacity in south-east England. 

Chris believes that this question needs to be kept quite separate from the business case for regionals. He says: “The Heathrow versus Gatwick argument is a decision of national importance. When it comes to the viability of smaller airports, you have to look at what really works.”

Chris singles out Farnborough, south west of London, as an example of how a smaller airport can add real economic value to its surrounding area. Chris explains that the runway is used exclusively by private jets, but a series “spectacular British businesses”, such as defence giant BAE Systems and high-tech innovator QinetiQ, operate around it. He goes on to credit the airport owner, TAG Aviation, with creating “a fantastic example” by integrating supplementary businesses, such as the Aviator Hotel on the airport perimeter, with the site.

Chris suggests that cross-fertilisation between defence and high-tech engineering work in the Farnborough area owes a lot to the airport. This in turn spells out why aviation matters to the broader economy.


For a copy of our report, Aviation report click here.

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