Improving surface access to airports could see a £1.9 billion boost to the UK economy, according to The Airport Operators Association.

The group released details of research ahead of this week’s autumn statement by the chancellor Philip  Hammond.

It claims a 5% improvement in average journey times to and from airports would lead to a 2.7% increase in passenger numbers.

This would generate an additional 32,000 jobs and swell the UK economy by £1.9 billion with much of the benefit felt by communities local to airports, the AOA claimed.

The association is calling on the government to invest in transport links.

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said: “Improvements to transport links significantly boost the catchment areas of airports.

“By enabling more passengers to travel to an airport, this investment attracts a greater number of airlines, in turn offering more destinations and at higher frequencies.

“This ultimately benefits consumers and businesses.”

The AOA wants the government to plug gaps in airport access based on flying demand patterns and include that in future rail and road capacity assessments.

It also called on the government to set out how it will make decisions as to which surface access projects at airports will be prioritised.