UK airports records surge in passenger numbers

19 April 2015 (Last Updated April 19th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released data that show that passenger’s demand at the country’s airports have almost reached the stage of the pre-recession boom years.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released data that show that passenger's demand at the country's airports have almost reached the stage of the pre-recession boom years.

The passenger numbers in 2014 reached 238 million which was just short of the 241 million peak of 2007.

The 2014 numbers saw an increase of 4.4% over the 2013 figures.

"This situation highlights both the pressures on airspace in the south east and the need for more runway capacity in London."

Most of the passengers travelled to and from Europe, with Spain being the most popular destination which experienced a 4.7% year-on-year increase.

Greece saw the biggest percentage rise of 13.2% which brought the figures to 5.6 million passengers.

There was an increase of 3.7% in the number of passengers travelling to and from all other international destinations totalling 33.6 million.

While the number of passengers from the UAE saw the maximum rise of 7.4%, passengers from Australia saw the largest decrease with the numbers coming down from 744,000 to 488,000 in 2014.

2014 also saw a 1.1% increase in air transport movements (landings and take-offs of commercial aircraft) at all UK airports which came to a total of 2.1 million.

However, while London's airports saw a 3.2% increase in air transport movements in 2014, the number of movements at all other UK airports fell by 4,000.

CAA Director of Regulatory Policy Iain Osborne said: "Our latest figures show that while passenger demand is increasing across the UK, flight numbers are growing much faster at London airports than elsewhere. This situation highlights both the pressures on airspace in the south east and the need for more runway capacity in London.

"With demand for air travel continuing to grow during 2015 these two issues must be tackled so consumers can continue to enjoy the full benefits of the UK's strong aviation industry. But industry also needs to play its part by addressing environmental impacts, including reducing aircraft noise and carbon emissions."

Top 20 countries visited by UK air passengers in 2014 include: Spain, US, Germany, Italy, France, Republic or Ireland, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Poland, Canada, Denmark, Norway, India, Sweden, Cyprus and Egypt.