|Title||Impact of Airport Capacity Constraints on Air Service Provision|
An increasing number of European airports have become capacity constrained due either to physical limitations on runway provision (e.g. Paris CDG, Munich, Barcelona) or environmental limitations on aircraft movements (e.g. Amsterdam Schiphol, Dusseldorf, Milan Linate). This paper draws upon the history of capacity limits in the London airport system which have been reached for many years at Heathrow and Gatwick as well as slot controlled airports in the US such as Washington Reagan National and New York La Guardia.
Congested airports and network carriers have developed strategies to make the best use of scarce capacity. This paper aims to review these and analyse the impact on air service provision.
Government policy is the first area considered. Heathrow and Gatwick charges are regulated by the CAA while in other respects airports compete under private ownership. A combination of market forces and grandfather rights has shaped the current airline networks. Slot trading has led to operations migrating to those airlines who value them most.
Thin routes are shown to be the most vulnerable with services such as Strasbourg, Bremen and Antwerp relocated to other London airports using larger aircraft but at reduced frequency. This has particular implications for business travel convenience and connections to long-haul flights. Secondary and regional airports have captured much of the growth, driven by LCCs operating on short-haul routes and passengers increasingly use their local airport for such journeys. It is noted however that the market at the major airports is more resilient in times of high fuel prices, economic recession or the current pandemic.
Congestion has increased journey times of flights at the major airports with negative cost and environmental implications, while secondary and regional airports are much more dependent on the private car as a means of surface access which brings different problems.
Conclusions are drawn which will have wider applicability for other airports and cities running into limits on number of flights.
|Keywords||Airports, Capacity, Slots, Route Networks, Connectivity|
|Conference||50th European Transport Conference|
|Publisher||Association for European Transport|