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ACI Europe: European airport capacity crunch 'severe', will cost European economy EUR230bn

12-Jun-2013 1:57 PM

ACI Europe president Declan Collier said (11-Jun-2013) that despite recessionary pressures and the weak economic prospects affecting most of Europe, there was little appetite to capitalise on the strategic role aviation can play for growth and jobs. Mr Collier added EUROCONTROL data shows that despite slower traffic growth prospects in the next 20 years, Europe continues to face a "severe airport capacity crunch" as airports have been "forced to sharply reduce their capacity expansion plans" due to revenue pressures, capital costs, a lack of political support, poor planning processes and decreasing confidence. European airport capacity is expected to increase by just 17% by 2035. According to Mr Collier this will result in 12% of demand for air transport not being accommodated due to insufficient airport capacity - or 1.9 million flights per year unaccommodated with 237 million passengers unable to fly. He stated delays and congestion are forecast to increase throughout the aviation network, with average delay per flight rising from current levels of 1 minute per flight to five to six minutes per flight. Mr Collier called for a European Action Plan on airport capacity that would seriously address the airport capacity crunch, stating that insufficient airport capacity will cost EUR230 billion in lost GDP to Europe.  [more - original PR]