Bag pick-up service among proposals to improve UK airport experience

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Doorstep luggage collection services and town centre check-in desks are being considered under plans to make it easier for passengers flying from British airports.

Proposals floated by the government would allow travellers to dump their bags at a depot in advance and pick up boarding cards before making their own way to the airport at their leisure, or have suitcases collected from their homes.

As well as meaning less time at the airport the measures, already used in Hong Kong and Japan, would free up space on commuter trains clogged up with luggage and make journeys easier for disabled passengers, according to the government.

The suggestions are outlined in Department for Transport documents setting out aviation strategy until 2050.

Extra measures to deal with the continued terror threat, including funding for better airport security in foreign countries that have weaker systems in place, are being looked at.

The government also said it was "minded to be supportive" of airports that want to make "better use" of existing capacity.

And it raised the prospect of reforming Air Passenger Duty to improve the competitiveness of British airports.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Aviation is central to our future prosperity as we leave the European Union. As a global, trading nation we want to build on the great industry we have today and create opportunities for people up and down the country.

"Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. It will support jobs and economic growth across the whole of the UK.

"Our vision puts the passenger at the heart of what we do, but also recognises the need to address the impacts of aviation on communities and the environment."

It comes as a £1 billion programme to double the size of Manchester Airport's Terminal 2 was launched.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: "Today marks a significant moment in the history of Manchester Airport and demonstrates the confidence that we have in the long term future of both the North and the UK economy.

"This is the largest private investment that has been made in the region for some time and the increased connectivity that it will deliver will enable it to become one of the most accessible and productive regions in Europe."