Regional Airport Expansion in the Current Economic Climate

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An investigation into the practicality and constraints of Bournemouth Airport’s proposed expansion plans in the current economic environment.

A dissertation submitted by
Mark Perkins
In partial completion of the award of
BA (Hons) International Tourism Management

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‘I hereby declare that the dissertation submitted is wholly the work of Mark Perkins. Any other contributors or sources have either been referenced in the prescribed manner or are listed in the acknowledgements together with the nature and scope of their contribution’.

School of Services Management
Bournemouth University
(2009)

Dissertation declaration

I confirm that this dissertation contains information of a commercial or confidential nature or includes personal information other than which would normally be in the public domain and that it must not be made available for public access.

Ethical and Health & Safety issues
I confirm that any ethical considerations associated with the proposal research project were discussed with my Tutor and an appropriate research strategy was developed, which would take them into account. I also confirm that any potential health and safety risks were discussed with my Tutor and, where necessary, appropriate precautions were documented, including an appropriate risk analysis and the submission to my Tutor of a risk assessment form.

Copyright
The copyright for this dissertation remains with me.

Requests for information
I agree that this dissertation may be made available as the result of a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Signed:

Name: Mark Perkins
Date: 22/04/09
Programme: BA (Hons) International Tourism Management (Top-up)

Acknowledgements

Firstly, I would to express my gratitude to my dissertation tutor, Dr Yeganeh Morakabati for all the advice, help and support which she provided in helping me complete this project. In addition, I would also like to thank my parents for all their moral support throughout this year.

I also wish to acknowledge the contributions and support of those who responded to my many requests for interviews, most notably Ms. Sally Windsor and Mr Derek Spurgeon.

Abstract

Bournemouth Airport’s planned expansion comes within a time of the first European- wide decline in air travel in over 15 years, and a deep recession tightening the monetary credit system. This dissertation therefore aims to access what impact these factors will have on the Airport’s attempts to increase its services and passenger numbers, first by 2010, and then into the longer term.

The literature review identified that regional airport expansions in the past decade, have come within a generally stable economic environment, and as a result of the vast increases in budget airline operations which have flourished. This is due to the use of smaller regional airports which have seen significant improvements in their capacity and handling infrastructure. However, past rapid growth levels at these airports have now stalled, with significant cuts in capacity, as demand for travel has decreased.

Bournemouth will attempt to both service and stimulate new demand, by the confirmed completion of a new terminal by 2010. However, it will increasingly rely on the operations of Ryanair, in the short term, to maintain its current passenger levels as it is one of the few airlines which is capable of stimulating significant demand within a recession, while other airlines consolidate their operations away from Bournemouth. Consequently, Bournemouth Airport is currently over dependent on the presence and success of Ryanair. The competitiveness of the Airport is therefore reduced, due to the operator’s dominant existence.

The investigation therefore identified that expansion in the short term is unrealistic in the current economic environment. However,...
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