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Expanding Airport Capacity under Constraints in Large Urban Areas

Organised in co-operation with the UK Department for Transport and the UK Airports Commission
Paris, 21-22 February 2013

Summary and Conclusions

Expanding Airport Capacity under Constraints in Large Urban Areas: Summary and Conclusions of the Roundtable

David THOMPSON, Consultant; Stephen PERKINS and Kurt VAN DENDER, International Transport Forum
Go to Discussion Paper  (2013-24)


Papers and Presentations

Upgrading to World Class: The Future of the New York Region’s Airports
Jeffrey M. Zupan, Regional Plan Association, New York, USA
Go to Discussion Paper 
(2013-01)
Go to Slides 


Air Capacity for Sydney
Peter Forsyth, Monash University, Australia
Go to Discussion Paper 
(2013-02)
Go to Slides 


Evolution of Metropolitan Airports in Japan: Airport  Development in Tokyo and Osaka
Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, Japan; Visiting Fellow, OECD/ITF.
Go to Discussion Paper 
(2013-03)
Go to Slides 


Expanding Airport Capacity Under Constraints in Large Urban Areas: The German Experience
Hans-Martin Niemeier, University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany.
Go to Discussion Paper 
(2013-04)
Go to Slides 

Airport Capacity Expansion Strategies in the Era of Airline Multi-hub Networks
Guillaume Burghouwt, SEO Economic Research, The Netherlands
Go to Discussion Paper 
(2013-05)
Go to Slides 


Videos

Hans-Martin Niemeier, University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany overviews the German experience and the importance of using an independent authority to carry out assessments.
Jeffrey M. Zupan, Regional Plan Association, New York, USA on flexibility given changes in usage, habits and income levels and on the importance of dealing with capacity problems.


Summary

Expanding airport capacity is difficult in many urban areas. Expansion of existing airports is often constrained by community agreements on noise and air pollution and by shortage or high prices of land. Finding sufficient land to develop or relocate major airports on greenfield sites within a reasonable distance of city centres may be close to impossible. Creating land for airports in locations less sensitive to noise and land-use conflicts, for example through offshore or estuarine land reclamation, is expensive and most new sites will require extensive investments in surface transport links to city centres. In multi-airport regions, options for expansion at the airports are to an extent interdependent. Assessing potential synergies and tradeoffs is complicated as carriers may respond differently to alternative ways in which the region’s airport capacity is increased.

Many major airports are hubs for network carriers at the same time as serving a large local market. The complementarity between these functions is often seen as a prerequisite for viable network operations, suggesting that distributing services over multiple airports can be very costly. There can be scope for substitution of some airport services by alternative hubs, nationally or in neighbouring countries. The strategies of network carriers and alliances and potential new entrants to this part of the market need to be taken into account in assessing future demand for airport capacity. The requirements of low cost and other primarily point-to-point carriers are equally important, but different. Competition between airports for specific parts of the passenger market or joint development of proximate airports under common ownership or regulatory control might substitute for expansion of the major hub in some circumstances.

Decisions on expanding capacity for traffic through London’s airports exemplify these interactions and constraints, and the UK Airports Commission has been established to examine how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term. The Roundtable has been convened to contribute to this examination by reviewing international experience in reconciling planning and environmental constraints with demand for airport capacity and the potential benefits in terms of productivity and growth from developing international airline services.