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EASING THE AIRPORT TRAFFIC JAM

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The Independent features London's 'bursting' southeast air terminals (p22) and asks whether the regions can come to...
The Independent features London's 'bursting' southeast air terminals (p22) and asks whether the regions can come to the rescue following government relaxation of borrowing rules for local authority-owned airports (see LGCnet 11/1//98 `LOCAL AUTHORITY AIRPORTS TO GET FREEDOM TO BORROW FROM NEXT APRIL').

It says passenger numbers are growing at 8 per cent a year, while a decision on Terminal 5 at Heathrow was still months away, let alone the time needed for building work.

There are nine council-owned airports, but only four have been given special dispensations which should allow them to expand more quickly than under current rules.

However, BAA is not convinced provincial airports can provide the solution.

Director of corporate affairs Des Wilson says 80 per cent of passengers for London's airports came from the south-east and would be unlikely to want to travel to northern England for a flight.
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