Policy approaches to public transport at airports—Some diverging evidence from the UK and Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, place - europe, planning - education, planning - environmental impact, policy - sustainable, policy - environment, policy - congestion


Airport ground access strategies, Congestion and carbon footprint of airports, Public transport policy


The growth of aeronautical and non-aeronautical activities at airports not only creates capacity constraints but also has a substantial impact on the airport’s environmental footprint. This paper discusses the different approaches to ground access at airports in the UK and Australia. In the intensifying debate on how to address transport congestion and the related environmental degradation (i.e. CO2 emissions), public ground transport can be seen as a potential cornerstone in an airport’s effort to address the issue. It is hence unsurprising that a key element of the UK airport approach has been to promote a shift from the private car to more sustainable transport options for both passengers and employees. Surprisingly, Australia appears (despite its relative poor environmental performance) to focus much more on the expected growth of aviation activity and measures that will aid in addressing the resulting road congestion. In contrast to UK airports, Australian airports do not use environmental targets or educational measures in their ground access plans. Our findings and the lessons learned from the UK approach suggest that more sustainable ground transport strategies could aid Australian airports in reducing their transport congestion and resulting carbon footprint.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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