Airport capacity in London, May 2013

A new report by the London Assembly concludes that airport capacity in London is ‘currently underused’, with some London airports having more than half of their runway slots free. The report suggests that to encourage passengers to switch from Heathrow, improved transport access from central London to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted are needed – for example, by better rail connections and actively promoting public transport. Stansted Airport Ltd suggested that it could attract 1.5 million more passengers per year if the rail journey time from London was reduced from 45 to 30 minutes.

The report also reveals that in 2010, 127 million people used London’s airports and most, including those using Heathrow, flew direct to their destinations (78 per cent) rather than  use the airports to transfer. Seventy-five per cent of flights from Heathrow are short haul and London remains the best connected European city across the 23 fastest growing economies.