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South East airports set to double capacity

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AIRPORT OPERATOR BAA last week unveiled plans to increase passenger capacity at London's airports by 46% over the next 10 years without building more runways.

It announced an £8.1bn investment in airport construction in the South East ahead of a government White Paper on airport capacity, due later this year.

The plan is aimed at ensuring passengers do not suffer crowding and delays.

A downward blip in passenger numbers immediately after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York has quickly been reversed.

Airport capacity in the South East is fast approaching saturation and current predictions show that demand will double by 2020.

Heathrow will pick up the biggest slice of the 10 year spend with £6.6bn earmarked for development. This includes rail extensions and both phases of the £3.45bn Terminal 5 project. Terminal 3 will receive £670M worth of improvements.

Gatwick will get just under £1bn, with £250M allocated to a new satellite building.

Extensions and general improvements account for the rest. A further £600M will be spent at Stansted, which unveiled its £60M terminal extension last week.

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