CUS  Vol.8 No.1 , March 2020
Access to Small Airports and the Impact on Regional Growth in the UK
Abstract: This paper focuses on how the accessibility of small airports affects the regional growth in the UK. Three airports that have less than two million passengers annually, are used for this study: Bournemouth, Cardiff International and London Southend Airport. The purpose of this study is threefold: 1) to investigate how the size of an airport influences growth and provides planning authorities support for permitting development around the airport, 2) to examine the impact that improving accessibility has on smaller airports, and 3) to analyse how regional development plans consider airports when airport developments occur. To this end, secondary data was used to analyse the current growth patterns linking economic indicators to airport use. Evaluating the accessibility of each small airport with the transport network by using a variety of databases and navigation software. Overall conclusions of this study show that the size of an airport is not as significant as the stability of the airports growth in influencing economic growth. Accessibility was found to improve regional growth around the airport and that the road network provided the best access due to the location of the case-study airports. Regional development plans considered airports as a gateway to drive economic growth with specific industries being supported. However, there is concern around airports for their development into greenbelts due to “exceptional circumstances” by the National Planning Policy Framework. Provision of independent development plans related solely to airports reduces the decision duration by local authorities.
Cite this paper: Ralphs, E. , Shahab, S. and Ahmadpoor, N. (2020) Access to Small Airports and the Impact on Regional Growth in the UK. Current Urban Studies, 8, 24-56. doi: 10.4236/cus.2020.81002.

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