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NEWS Last modified on January 11, 2017

Traffic figures for 2016 up at six UK airports and Oslo in Norway

Year-end traffic results for 2016 continue to trickle into the Airport World office with Heathrow, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Luton and Stansted airports in the UK and Oslo in Norway being the latest to reveal soaring passenger numbers.

Heathrow celebrated 70 years of history as Britain’s front door in 2016 by welcoming a record 76 million passengers (+1%) and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo (+3%). 

Birmingham Airport also enjoyed the busiest year in its history handling over 11.6 million passengers (+14.2%) in 2016.
Heathrow pax2
Traffic at Edinburgh Airport hit an all-time high of 12.3 million passengers (+11%) last year.

Also re-writing the record books was Glasgow Airport which handled 9.4 million passengers (+9.4%) in 2016 as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.

It was a smiliar story at London Luton which accommodated 14.5 million passengers, 18.5% more than in 2015 when it smashed all records.

London Stansted retained its status as the UK's fourth busiest gateway courtesy of handling 24.3 million passengers, beating its previous high of 23.8 million set in 2007.

While passenger traffic at Oslo Airport climbed above the 25 million passengers mark for the first time as it welcomed almost 25.8 million passengers (+4.5%) in 2016. 
According to Heathrow, its 2016 passenger total was equivalent to filling nearly three full Millennium Stadia of passengers a day while it would take nearly 30 fully-loaded Queen Elizabeth II ocean liners to handle its annual cargo volumes.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, notes: “I’m proud that we were able to end 2016 on such a high note. 

"Whether it was welcoming back a triumphant Team GB from Rio or giving that special Heathrow service to a record number of passengers, increasing Britain’s trade with the rest of the world or securing government support for expansion, Heathrow is Britain’s airport and we will continue to help all of our country thrive for decades to come."


Birmingham Airport reveals that August was its busiest month when almost 1.3 million passengers used its facilities and its busiest day was August 26.

Over the course of the year there were six months in which over a million passengers were recorded and the airport has now seen twenty-two months of consecutive record breaking growth.

Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, says: “Last year was very fruitful as we celebrated the busiest 12 months in our 75 year history and were crowned the most punctual airport in the world by air travel intelligence company, OAG.

“We have also seen the list of long-haul global connections rapidly expand which has resulted in more than a 27% increase. Qatar Airways arrived in March offering eight flights per week to the state of the art Hamad International Airport in the rapidly developing capital of Doha.

“Whilst we have experienced an incredibly exciting year, Birmingham Airport is well-placed to continue growing.

"We look forward to launching more routes, a wider selection of airlines in 2017 and we plan to invest £100 million before the summer in our terminal and infrastructure."
Ediburgh aerial
Edinburgh Airport's chief executive, Gordon Dewar, stated that its 2016 traffic figures shows that his gateway is a "tremendous success story for Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland."

“We have continued to enhance passenger choice by offering more routes and more destinations – and people have responded by choosing to fly in and out of Edinburgh Airport in greater numbers than ever before.

“To have smashed this record – exceeding last year’s growth rate and having helped over 12.36 million passengers through the airport – highlights the draw of Edinburgh as a destination and the growing global appeal that Scotland holds.

“A swift and substantial cut to Air Passenger Duty will help greater numbers of the seven billion people across the globe to visit and sample all that Scotland has to offer – and we recognise our responsibility to welcome visitors and our role as conduit for further economic growth for the country.

“In 2017 we will continue to improve the services we offer. Further investment in the terminal will enhance the passenger experience and we are in the process of negotiating new exciting routes and destinations which we hope to be able to announce in the coming weeks and months ahead."

Amanda Glasgow
Glasgow Airport's managing director, Amanda McMillan, comments: “Last year was an unforgettable one with so many highlights. 

"To record our best-ever passenger numbers month after month and to carry 9.4 million passengers was a huge accomplishment and to do it in our Golden Anniversary was extra special.

“It was also particularly pleasing that we were able to considerably increase our connectivity across Europe and this is set to continue in 2017 with the launch of six new routes to Munich, Bergen, Lisbon, Valencia, Palanga in Lithuania and Zadar in Croatia.

"Looking ahead, I’m confident that the efforts made to continually grow and enhance our route network has put Glasgow Airport on a firm trajectory towards the 10-million passenger mark.
Stansted Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan, notes: “The last 12 months have been a very exciting and significant period in Stansted’s development as we achieved a number of significant milestones and continued to grow our passenger numbers.

“We are now serving more passengers than at any time in the airport’s history, adding over 1.75 million passengers in the last year alone, but doing it in a more efficient and sustainable way that has enabled us to beat the previous passenger record set in 2007 but with 25,000 fewer flights.

“We want to provide passengers from the east of England and across north and east London with the routes and choice they demand so I’m delighted we’ve been able to work closely with our airline partners to launch a host of new services and increase frequency to key destinations."
Luton tower
London Luton Airport set the seal on another milestone year when it handled its 33rd consecutive month of double-digit traffic growth in December 2016.

The impressive statistic ensured that it enjoyed another record breaking year and comfirms why London Luton has launched the largest single investment programme in its 79 history to ensure that it is is capable of accommodating 18 million passenegrs yearly by 2020.

London Luton CEO, Nick Barton, enthuses: “In a year when airport capacity has hit the headlines more than ever before, we’ve been working hard to meet demand.

"This year, passengers will start to see the benefits of the redevelopment. We’re also continuing our efforts to secure four fast trains per hour to Luton Airport Parkway as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising.

"Alongside the light rail link, more fast trains will make it possible to reach LLA from London St Pancras in less than 30 minutes - faster than the current links to both Gatwick and Stansted.” 

Oslo take off

Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, says that new routes to Boston, Miami, Las Vegas, London Stansted and Vilnius contributed towards Olso Airport's growth in 2016.

The total ensured that more than 50.8 million people passed through Norway's 46 Avinor operated gateways last year.

“Traffic growth continues, and we expect the same trend in 2017 as well," enthuses Avinior CEO Dag Falk-Petersen.

"This shows how important aviation is for Norway. We are working on large projects to accommodate the demand and create good passenger experiences.


"This year Avinor will complete terminal expansions in Oslo and Bergen.

"We are also establishing a new control tower centre based on exciting, new technology. Moreover, we are expanding and building new facilities in Tromsø and Stavanger."


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