Committee launches surface transport to airports inquiry

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UK: The Transport Committee is undertaking an inquiry into surface transport at airports. The inquiry will examine whether strategic connections to airports fulfil current and future requirements in terms of range and capacity.

The Committee is interested to assess the effectiveness of the Government's approach to planning surface access to airports, as well as understanding whether the Government is making full use of its powers to influence the selection of infrastructure and accompanying modes of transport to and from airports.

The inquiry will be limited to looking at UK airports with 1 million passengers per annum or above. The Committee is particularly interested in receiving written submissions on:

  • The range and capacity of current strategic connections to airports and how predicted changes in demand for capacity (both passengers and freight) are being planned for.
  • The importance of surface transport in freeing up existing spare capacity in airports.
  • The Government's role in planning surface access to airports in conjunction with airport owners, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The funding of strategic connections to airports, particularly:

  • Department for Transport's (DfT) role in ensuring that surface access infrastructure is planned and built in a joined-up way where different parts of the infrastructure are funded by different parties.
  • The level of responsibility that should be borne by the taxpayer for funding access and interfaces with national networks
  • The Government's effectiveness in ensuring that its own policies, such as modal shift, are being achieved in decisions about surface transport to airports.
  • The extent to which airport customer preference and DfT policy concur in terms of preferred modes of surface transport to airports.

The following issues will not be covered by this inquiry:

  • Non-surface access modes of transport e.g. domestic flights
  • Air quality issues

Deadline for written submissions is Monday 12 October 2015. Written submissions for this inquiry should be sent via the surface transport to airports inquiry page.

“MAG welcomes the Committee's decision to take a close look at ways in which surface access into airports can be improved. The number one priority for UK aviation policy for at least the next 15 years is going to ensure we make best use of existing capacity at airports such as Stansted and Manchester. Better rail and road links will strengthen the UK's network competing airports, which will have enormous benefits for consumers and the economy," Manchester Airport Group commented on the announcement in a series of tweets.

UK AirRail 2015 twitter card