Airports in record take-off

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BAA, which owns and operates seven UK airports, had the busiest month of its existence in July, traditionally the best of the year, writes Mary Fagan. The airports handled 8.3 million passengers, up 4.4 per cent on July last year.

Heathrow, which saw a throughput of 4.7 million passengers, had a record day on 13 July when 175,000 passed through its terminals. But while Heathrow's traffic was up by 5.4 per cent on July last year, Gatwick's grew by less than 1 per cent. BAA said that Gatwick is suffering from the transfer of routes to Heathrow and from a relatively weak market for charter flights.

Traffic at Stansted showed 12 per cent growth and Scottish airports were up 5.3 per cent.

Long-haul passenger traffic at BAA airports grew by 7.6 per cent while charter passengers grew by 5.9 per cent. Domestic traffic increased by 1.2 per cent.

BAA, which handled 77.7 million passengers in the year to March, is expecting an overall increase of 4 per cent in the current year.