UK airports see passenger numbers climb to record high

UK airports are experiencing record passenger numbers, latest figures show.

Some 247 million people passed through 24 of the country's main airports in the 12 months to June, making it the busiest period since records began.

This is believed to have contributed to a reduction in overall punctuality, with almost a quarter (23%) of flights at least 15 minutes late between April and June. Some 21% of flights were delayed in the same period last year.

London Gatwick experienced the biggest decline in on-time flights, down from 74% to 67%.

Leeds Bradford had the biggest improvement, up from 81% to 86%.

The figures were published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA's policy director, Tim Johnson, said: "UK airports have now seen the strongest first two quarters for passenger numbers since records began, which has also led to the highest ever passenger figures for a 12-month period.

"However, in line with this significant passenger growth, and the increase in commercial flights, there has also been a slight reduction in punctuality across several airports. This highlights the ongoing pressures both on runway and airspace capacity in the South East in particular.

"The prospect of continued increases in demand for air travel underlines the importance of addressing aviation capacity both on the ground and in the air."