Travellers abandoning main airports for regional counterparts

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued its yearly stats this week and there's been an interesting shift in the way air passengers are travelling. More of us are selecting the regional airports over main airports like Heathrow and Gatwick.

According to the stats, in 2001 over half of all British passengers used Heathrow or Gatwick. This number fell to 43 per cent in 2006, with 57 per cent choosing to fly from the regionals. And, as if you needed any more evidence, Stansted airport has seen an increase of a staggering 75 per cent in passenger numbers over the last five years (from 13.6 million in 2001 to 23.7 million in 2006).

According to a spokesperson, passengers are attracted by the "relative lack of stress" and "efficiency". Nothing to do with the sub £50 flights offered then?

We want to know what the increase in passenger numbers has been at private airfields like Biggin Hill and Farnborough (the only airport in Europe for exclusive use of business aircraft). These "regional" airfields are the celeb, business and politicians' airports of choice.

Bearing in mind the burgeoning number of A-Z lister celebrities knocking around the country now (you can't shop in your local supermarket without bumping into Liz Hurley et al) we would imagine it's just as high.

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