Regional Airports' Forum
Given their geographic spread, the core of our membership is comprised of regional airports. As natural counterparts of big and medium-sized hubs, they provide them with a huge number of passengers and therefore complement Europe’s vast network of airports. Regional airports provide accessibility, enhance social cohesion and development, and boost economic competitiveness throughout Europe.
In parts of Europe with few alternatives to air travel due to distance, low population density, long coastline, mountainous terrain and /or difficult climate, regional airports facilitate the movement of local populations.
Social cohesion and development
A number of social cohesion and development opportunities are enhanced by the network of regional airports in Europe. They support social and economic integration by providing opportunities to travel for leisure and work, take part in cultural or sporting activities, by facilitating mobility of people with reduced mobility and for those needing to access basic services such as health (e.g. air ambulance) and education. Those opportunities would be limited for those people living in areas where access by other means is limited.
Regional airports and the opportunities that air access offers for social cohesion and development might ultimately influence location decisions and the retention of residents, especially in smaller and more remote areas where the risk of outward migration might be higher than in larger and less remote areas.
Regional airports constitute an important part of the national economic infrastructure. The presence of a regional airport influences and a wide range of economic activities such as exports, boosting business efficiency and productivity, attracting inward investment, and influencing business location and retention.
Being a magnet for such activities, the presence of a regional airport allows businesses to be more competitive, and thus increasing the economic competitiveness of the region. This is particularly strong and significant for air-intensive sectors such as travel, transport, finance and business, and other services.