Stansted Airport Owner Increases Its Contribution To The UK Economy While Reducing Environmental Impact

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The FINANCIAL — Figures released by Stansted Airport’s parent company, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), show that the Group has increased the value its airports generate for the UK and for the communities in which they operate, whilst significantly reducing their environmental impact.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR) report 2014/15 demonstrates the wide and varied benefits of the Group’s airports, including the positive financial impact on the communities they serve and their contribution to local skills, education and labour markets, as well as the efforts they make to reduce environmental impacts such as carbon emissions and noise, according to Stansted Airport.

Economic contribution to the UK and its regions

This year, MAG’s airports across the UK, at Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth, will contribute £5.6 billion in economic activity to UK PLC. This means that for every £1 the Group earns in revenue, economic activity worth another £7.58 is generated in the wider economy as a result.

Passenger growth, and substantial investment in facilities at the Group’s airports has resulted in more jobs and economic opportunities at and around each airport. The main drivers behind their expanded ‘economic footprint’ include the employment opportunities and economic value generated by their operations, including passenger and cargo flights and airport services. The benefits also include jobs and revenue generated in the airports’ direct supply chains.

Long-term commercial agreements with airlines have generated market-leading increases in passenger numbers across the Group, (+10.7% to 48.5m in 2014), driven by record numbers at Manchester Airport (+7.2% to 22.3m in 2014) and unrivalled growth at London Stansted Airport (+16.1% to 20.9m in 2014).

Together, nearly 39,000 people now work for a range of different employers at MAG’s airports across the UK, contributing £3.2 billion at a local level to their regional economies. Taking into account jobs in the supply chain and those supported by the wages earned in relation to the airports, this figure increases to 121,500 across the UK. Since 2013, direct and indirect jobs supported by the airports in Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth*, have grown by 4%, while the airports’ contribution to their respective regional economies has risen 13.6%.

Stansted, the fastest growing airport in the UK, contributes over £1bn each year to the Eastern region’s economy and supports over 21,000 jobs. Nationally, it contributes over £2bn to the economy, with every £1 in revenue generated contributing £3.68 back into the local economy.

Neil Robinson, CSR Director at MAG, said:

“MAG’s airports are true growth engines for the regions in which they operate. The figures we are releasing today demonstrate the powerful role that airports across the country play in generating wider social and economic benefit for their local communities and the UK economy.

“Our airports help stimulate employment both on and around the airport site, and through the wider economy. In a year when we have transported record numbers of passengers, we have also managed to significantly reduce our environmental impact.

“Whether you are a manufacturer based in Rochdale, a start-up company in the London-to-Cambridge corridor or employed in the transport industry in the Midlands, our airports help you tap into the global marketplace and unlock your company’s potential.

“People up and down the country, whether they are looking to travel on leisure or business, or find employment, tell us time again how valuable it is to have access to their local airport.

“Not only does a nationwide network of competing airports provide the best solution for customers, but it also provides an important catalyst for re-balancing UK PLC.

“As the North’s Global Gateway, Manchester Airport will do more than any other UK airport to drive the Northern Powerhouse forward, providing international connectivity directly from the region.

“Similarly, Stansted’s growth over the next fifteen years will not only provide much-needed airport capacity in the South, it will also play a key role in supporting economic development and employment in London and the East of England.”

Environmental impact

At a time when MAG is continuing to deliver growth and investment across its four UK airports, the Group has also managed to deliver a significant reduction in its environmental impact.

At the same time as passenger numbers across the Group increased by 10.7% to 48.5 million, investment in energy efficiency has reduced carbon emissions from the airports by a further 16% year on year.

Complaints about aircraft noise are also down 24%, helped by a continued focus on improved operating techniques. These include increasing the use of both ‘Preferred Noise Routes’ which concentrate aircraft operations away from built-up areas and ‘Continuous Descent Approach’, which reduces engine power during approach and consequently noise and emissions.

In addition, Stansted Airport is trialling innovative GPS technology during take-off, which helps pilots follow a defined route much more accurately, thereby concentrating planes over a smaller area and reducing the number of people exposed to aircraft noise.

The numbers of passengers using public transport to access the Group’s airports are at also at record levels. Stansted remains the number one major airport in the UK for public transport use with over 51% of air passengers using rail, bus and coach services to access the airport.

Employment and training

Last year, MAG placed 651 people into on-site employment through its airport academies, a highly successful employment and training programme designed to support local unemployed people back into the workplace. By 2020, MAG aims to provide training and support to a further 5,000 local people.

With the support of partners, MAG has developed the specialist academies at Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports. The academies aim to break down the barriers to local people gaining employment at MAG airports. These barriers may be related to long-term unemployment, lack of awareness of job availability at the airport, or the perceived inaccessibility of the airport.

Meanwhile, MAG ‘Aerozones’ at East Midlands and Stansted airports are the centrepiece of an educational partnerships programme, providing inspirational education centres for school children and young adults. Students of all ages can learn about how an airport works, whilst hearing first hand from people who work in the airport environment. The facilities are based on the airport sites and are accessible to young people aged 5 to 18.

MAG has also invested heavily internally in in-house training, in order to ensure that the Group can better retain employees, build their skills and attract the best new people at every level of the organisation. MAG’s aim is to achieve 50% of leadership promotions through internally developed candidates.

 

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