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07/14/2012

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9.23

East Midlands Airport has seen passenger traffic
virtually double in 2002–2003, with two ‘no-frills’
carriers developing significant bases at the airport.
Itis now handling around 4.5mppa. Forecasts
suggest that by 2030 it could attract between
12mppa and 14mppa.

9.24

East Midlands Airport is also the third largest freight
airport in the UK, and is the leading UK airport for
freight carried in all-cargo aircraft. It is the main centre
of operations in the UK for two of the four major
global express freight operators, and animportant
regional base for another. Forecasts indicate that
EastMidlands Airport could be handling as much as
2.5million tonnes of freight a year, possibly more,
by2030.

9.25

East Midlands Airport is situated away from the main
centres of population, and a relatively small number
ofpeople live in the 57dBA noise contour. However,
theprojected growth of the airport would increase the
size of the contour to include over 10,000 people.
Moreover, the nature of the air-cargo operations means
that many flights are at night, when background noise
levels are lower. There is likely to be a large increase
inthe number of flights at night; our consultation
document forecast that there could be over 60,000
cargo flights a year by 2030, and a substantial
proportion of these are likely to be in the late evening
or the night.

9.26

The airport owners foresee a need for a second
runway at the airport around 2020, regardless of
decisions about runways at other airports. They
project that there will bea shortage of runway
capacity during late evening hours, when the last
inbound passenger flights overlap with the peak
period of arrivals by cargo aircraft. However, this
assessment is based on higher estimates of traffic
during these critical hours than we currently forecast
for theairport, which impacts on the economic
benefits of a second runway.

The Midlands

97

9.27

On the evidence available to us, and in line with the balanced approach we are
takingto new runways across the country, whilst we can support the expansion of
passenger operations suggested in the Government’s forecasts, we could not at this
stage justify approval of, nor safeguarding for, a second runway. However, if growth at
the airport in future years proves to be more rapid than we currently expect, this issue
will be kept under review.

It must be stressed that this map is only indicative, pending detailed design work and the
submission of a planning application by the operator. The map should not therefore be taken
to be a formal safeguarding map.

9.28

At the same time, given the particular importance of air freight to the future national
and regional economy, and of East Midlands Airport as a centre of these operations,
we consider that the projected expansion of air freight operations at East Midlands
should be permitted. However, this would need to be accompanied by stringent
controls on night noise in particular and increasingly generous noise insulation and
other mitigation measures. These measures should build on those applying currently.

9THE FUTURE

OF AIR TRANSPORT

98

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