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Airports Commission examines domestic demand plummet

The Airports Commission has set out possible reasons for a fall in demand for domestic flights to London as it published another call for evidence.

The commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, asked stakeholders and the public for their views on the factors holding back use of existing UK air capacity.

It pointed out that demand for domestic flights had fallen sharply since 2005, and said this may be due to the recession; improvements in rail services; and more complex airport security procedures.

Davies said: “Regional airports and those in London and the South East other than Gatwick and Heathrow remain critical to the commission’s analysis; it is clear that in the future these airports will play a crucial national role, especially at a time when the major London airports are operating very close to capacity.”

The consultation is designed to inform the overall work of the commission, which is deciding whether to recommend expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick or a new airport at the Thames Estuary.

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