15 August 2000

British airports record busiest month ever

BAA's seven UK airports handled a record 12.7m passengers last month - an increase of 6.8pc on July 1999.

London's Stansted airport experienced the biggest increase - up 24.7pc to 1.3m passengers. Aberdeen was the only airport out of the seven not to experience its busiest month ever.

The increase in passenger volume was largely down to airlines selling more tickets per flight, rather than the increase in traffic volume, which was only 2.4pc. However, BAA chief executive Mike Hodgkinson said the number of fliers was putting pressure on capacity and the quality of service in airport terminals. Not least at Heathrow, where planning permission for Terminal Five is still awaited, five years after the inquiry began.

He said: "We are totally committed to continuing to provide the country with the high-quality airports it needs. But we can't do that without timely planning consents for the investments that need to be made."