Rising costs put future of regional airports at risk

Regional flights will cost more from next year and the future of some UK regional airports will be at risk as costs rise.

Smaller airports will have to pay for security policing for the first time following legislation to be announced in the Queen’s speech for the opening of ­Parliament on December 3.

Currently only the seven BAA-owned airports, plus Manchester and Birmingham, pay for policing.

Manchester Airports Group chief executive Geoff Muirhead warned: “We may see airports going bust. Small regional airports are marginal businesses and low-cost carriers pay virtually no fees. We will see very little investment and airports may have to close down.”

Airport Operators Association chairman Ed Anderson told Travel Weekly: “We are very concerned. The costs will vary, but will perhaps be per passenger. However, ­airports will not necessarily be able to pass that on. Some are only just profitable and they are already finding life difficult.”

Department for Transport security director Niki Tompkinson said: “The imminent change in legislation will result in additional costs to some ­airports. The government view is that the user pays.”


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