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Glasgow Airport defends expansion plans

23.06.08

Glasgow Airport officials have defended plans to expand the hub, despite environmental campaigners claiming air passenger numbers will slump, the Evening Times reports. WWF Scotland say independent research has called into question the need for planned airport expansion at Scotland's major airports - including Glasgow's £30 million Skyhub extension.

The Government has predicted that passengers using Glasgow Airport will almost triple by 2030, from 6.9 million to 19.6 million a year. But WWF say these forecasts - which are based on fuel at $60 a barrel compared to almost $140 now - are ‘pie in the sky’ because soaring oil prices will increase air fares and this will drive down demand for flights. It estimates there will be a combined 350 million UK air passengers in 2030, nearly 150 million fewer than the Government predicted.

However, a spokesman for Glasgow Airport told the newspaper: ‘Our long term forecasts are based on a wide range of economic factors, of which the price of oil is just one. We have ambitious, sustainable and achievable plans to develop Glasgow Airport over the next quarter century, with the £30 million skyhub extension, due to open in October, one of many developments planned. Our forecasts suggest, long term, passenger numbers will continue to grow at Glasgow. It is sensible that we plan for that growth now.'

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