Expansion plans take off at regional airports

A rising trend in air traffic to regional airports is predicted by the Department of Transport, and this may lead to “massive expansion projects”.

A DoT spokesman says the Government wants to encourage foreign airlines to fly to regional airports, and it has abandoned a previous ruling which necessitated approval for any new route. “The airports are liberalised now, and there is a lot of scope for regional airports to expand which may possibly lead to design work,” he says.

The Civil Aviation Authority cites Manchester International Airport as an example of this trend. “Manchester is hoping for a second runway and has predicted a huge growth in traffic. There’s a natural progression towards regional airports as [London’s] Heathrow is reaching its capacity,” says a CAA representative.

Meanwhile, Peterborough consultancy Ruddle Wilkinson has been appointed to design the interior of Jersey’s ú20m airport extension, which includes a new check-in concourse, refurbishment of the 1937 main building and a new departure lounge.

Cardiff-Wales Airport is planning a ú2.25m international arrivals complex for its passengers, who are primarily charter flight users. This is likely to be designed in-house by South Glamorgan Council, although there is a “strong possibility” that the airport may be sold and design work recommissioned, according to operations director Christopher Taylor.

“We’re about to spend ú4m on new baggage reclaim facilities to cope with increasing air traffic,” he adds. Restaurant facilities will be redesigned with a ú1m budget.

Birmingham Airport has applied for planning permission to double the size of its two existing terminals. A new Birmingham to Chicago route will be flying by 26 May.

Meanwhile, the Richard Rogers Partnership’s designs for Heathrow’s Terminal Five are on hold while a ú100m planning permission battle rages. If it founders, Heathrow could be on the way to “long-term decline”, according to British Airways.

Latest articles