UK airports make ‘vital and sustained contribution’ to local communities

A new report published by the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body for UK airports, highlights the vital contribution airports make to their local communities.

Entitled ‘Airports in the Community’, the report shows that as well as making a huge economic contribution to the UK economy, airports also provide many social benefits locally.

Commenting on the report, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said:

  • “Airports are an integral part of a UK aviation sector which supports a million jobs, £50bn GDP and provides £8bn in tax to the Treasury. The Airport Operators Association ‘Airports in the Community’ report has been published in order to highlight the impressive and diverse work airports also undertake in their local areas. We believe this is the first time such information has been presented together.
  • “The report shows that – as well as being economic enablers and major employers – airports are at the centre of their local communities, providing training and apprenticeships, assisting local charities, and inspiring schoolchildren and young entrepreneurs in their local areas.
  • “They also provide local employment, offer commercial opportunities to businesses in the supply chain, and provide essential national and international connectivity.
  • “The importance of airports to their local communities is often overlooked in the debates over national airport expansion and aviation taxation. We hope that this report will go some way to redressing the balance, demonstrating another side to aviation, a sector which we in the UK excel at and which will continue to play such a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery.”

‘Airports in the Community’, says that UK aviation:

  • Provides £50 billion each year to the UK economy;
  • Employs a million people across the UK;
  • Contributes £8 billion per annum in tax to UK public finances; and
  • Supports 2.5 million jobs in the tourism sector and beyond.

Locally, airports across the UK:

  • Play a key role in economic development;
  • Assist local communities, through raising money for and supporting local groups and organisations;
  • Help local health charities;
  • Inspire children and young people; and
  • Help job seekers and young entrepreneurs.

Economic contribution:

The report quantifies the economic impact of airports throughout the UK, finding that:

  • Aberdeen Airport provides 2,000 jobs and supports 4,000 more;
  • Bristol Airport employs over 3,000 people on site;
  • Heathrow employs 76,000 people directly;
  • Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport contributes £170 million to the local economy;
  • 3.5million people pass through London City Airport every year;
  • Stansted provides over 10,000 jobs in over 200 on-site businesses; and
  • Newcastle Airport contributes £650 million to the North-East’s economy.

Social impact:

The report also finds that airports make a significant charitable and philanthropic contribution to the UK, including:

  • Aberdeen International Airport who donated over £80,000 to charities and community groups in its area in 2013;
  • Since 1998 Birmingham Airport has invested more than £1.2 million in the local community, helping over 500 local groups with environmental improvement, heritage conservation, encouraging or protecting wildlife and facilities for sport and recreation;
  • Since 2010 Glasgow Airport has awarded over £750,000 to over 200 community groups, charities and innovative projects;
  • London City Airport has provided 15 years of fundraising support to its local charity partner, raising more than £750,000 for Richard House Children’s Hospice; and
  • Biggin Hill, Birmingham, East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Leeds Bradford, London City and Manchester airports all have existing schemes to inspire children and young people or to provide help for jobseekers and young entrepreneurs.

The report can be viewed by clicking the following link