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Kiss and Fly - a study of the impacts at a UK regional airport

By G.R. Marsden, P. Kamal and H. Muir


In the light of the forecast growth in air transport the UK Government has placed a requirement on all airports with substantial air transport movements to implement surface access strategies. The emphasis of surface access policy has been to increase the proportion of people arriving at airports by public transport by a variety of means such as managing parking supply and pricing and improving public transport. The extent to which these policies will be effective will depend on a number of factors such as the quality and availability of the alternatives, the availability of competing off-site parking and the extent to which kiss and fly is feasible. This paper reports on two studies of passenger access to Leeds-Bradford International Airport in the summers of 2004 and 2005. The airport has an aspiration to increase public transport use to the airport from its current level of 3% to 10% by 2010. The principal means by which this is currently planned to be achieved is through the expansion of scheduled bus services to Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate. The 2004 study found that 49% of passengers were dropped off at the airport by friends and that the potential for larger quantities of people to reach the airport by conventional bus services was limited. The 2005 study investigated the extent to which these kiss and fly journeys generate extra travel on the road network. The results show that for an airport with around 2.5 million passengers the Kiss & Fly journeys are creating an extra 19.4 million kilometres, an increase of 36% over the distance that would have been travelled if people had driven and parked. The paper concludes that a charge levied on all vehicles accessing the airport, similar to a congestion charge, is likely to have the greatest impact on travel behaviour and will have a far greater impact on the environment than the current emphasis on public transport improvements and parking restrictions

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