Aviation: The forever developing sector

The volume of passengers coming to the UK has seen a considerable increase following BREXIT. According to ForwardKeys, London’s arrivals have grown by 14% ahead of figures for July to October. With increased volumes passing through, airports need to be prepared and equipped to offer an exceptional passenger experience to encourage repeat visits.

Across the aviation industry, it can be seen that all airports are striving to improve the passenger experience with expanded facilities; higher security and the ability serve a greater range of destinations. These developments are driving a higher volume of passengers which in turn, drives airport retail turnover and increases the overall asset value.

Some current developments include:

  • Aberdeen International Airport has announced the second phase of their three phase terminal transformation project. This development is due to complete next year and will introduce a new world duty-free retail space accompanied by an enlarged and improved security.
  • London City Airport has released their plans for its £270m development programme! This will include expanding the existing terminal and building a new, three-story passenger pier and seven new aircraft stands. This development will allow the airport to accommodate 6.5 million passengers by 2025.
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport has set out its future plan and ambition to serve more long haul destinations and significantly increase passenger numbers. The volume of passengers requires the airport to expand their facilities to accommodate passengers and ensure their experience is not compromised. This will include; an expansion of the terminal building; additional parking and hotels and supplementary retail and F&B units.
  • In March last year we saw Manchester Airport receive planning permission for their £1bn transformation programme. This will comprise a modern look and a wide range of new services including:
    • US pre-clearance facility, allowing passengers to clear immigration, customs, and agricultural inspection before boarding their flight
    • Latest technology in a new, enlarged security hall that will screen more passengers, quicker
    • Around 50 food and beverage and retail outlets
    • Improved surface access road system making it easier for customers to come to and from our airport

There are numerous more elements involved in Manchester Airports planning than mentioned above, but it’s a great example of the efforts the sector is going to in order to improve the passenger experience, operational management and security.

The continued improvement of airport commercial space and operational procedures, along with the developments and growth has led to aviation retail income to increase by 14.3% year-on-year reaching £164.4m. With the current and future development plans including further retail units and more passengers expected to be passing through – aviation retail income has the potential to rocket!

The developments in the aviation sector are resulting in a substantial number of jobs and significantly increasing passenger volumes – driving the UK’s economy! The sector is extremely active, the volume of developments that can be seen and the plans being proposed are promising a strong and buoyant future ahead!

Alex Rowbottom, Director, Foundation Recruitment

Photography - Nick Harrison

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