Airports in Europe generate €675 billion in GDP and contribute to the employment of 12.3 million people

The Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association representing 55 UK airports, has welcomed the publication of a new report which concludes that airports in Europe now generate €675 billion in GDP each year – accounting for 4.1% of GDP in Europe – whilst contributing to the employment of 12.3 million people.

The report – Economic Impact of European Airports – commissioned by ACI-Europe and conducted by InterVISTAS, found:

  • The UK has the largest air passenger market in Europe
  • Taking into account indirect and induced impacts and other sectors of the economy facilitated by air connectivity, UK airports generate or facilitate 1,171,000 jobs
  • Direct employment at UK airports in 2013 was 199,200, higher than any other European country except Germany
  • Across Europe as a whole, for every 10% increase in a country’s air connectivity GDP per capita is lifted by 0.5%

It follows on from a report published last November by the economics consultancy Oxford Economics ( which found that UK aviation as a whole contributes £51,966 billion in GDP, 961,000 jobs and £8,683 billion in taxation.

Responding to the report, Tim Alderslade, Public Affairs Director at the AOA, said:

“This report is further evidence that a vibrant aviation sector is a vital contributor to economic growth, both in the UK and across Europe. Whether measured in terms of GDP, jobs or tax-take, it is clear that aviation is one of the country’s most important sectors, and so is worthy of support from across the political divide as we approach the 2015 general election.

“The revelation that for every 10% increase in air connectivity GDP per capita if lifted by 0.5% should act as a warning to those who wish to see our sector constrained. Whilst UK aviation will do everything possible to develop cleaner, quieter, smarter operations, Government and Opposition politicians should do everything they can to help our sector expand in future years. This means, for example, reducing the UK’s high levels of Air Passenger Duty, committing to act swiftly once the Airports Commission has published its Final Report later this year, and ensuring we make the best use of existing capacity so that all airports who wish to grow are able to.”

For further information please contact Tim Alderslade on 0207 799 3171 or


Notes to Editors:

The report, which sets out employment data for 125 airports in Europe, including Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London City, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, East Midlands and Southampton, can be viewed here –