Glasgow Airport Announces 2012 Busiest Year in Recent Times

Glasgow Airport, in Scotland, has reported its busiest year in the last four years, with around 7.2 million passengers travelling through the facility in 2012.

The 2012 passenger traffic figures represent an increase of around 4.2 percent over the passenger traffic recorded for 2011. The airport’s growth is mostly due to the introduction of a number of new routes, including Amsterdam, Barcelona and Rome, which contributed to the 6.4 percent increase in international traffic, compared to a 2.1 percent increase in domestic traffic for the year.

In December 2012, Glasgow Airport served around 440,000 passengers, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to the same month in 2011.

Amanda McMillan, the managing director of Glasgow Airport, said, ‘We worked extremely hard throughout 2012 against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, to expand our route network and provide passengers with greater choice.

We had considerable success in attracting services such as Emirates’ second daily flight to Dubai, which not only encouraged more people to fly to and from Glasgow but helped strengthen Scotland’s connectivity with important global markets.

Whilst we are extremely encouraged at having exceeded the seven million mark, the current economic outlook is a cause for concern as are the planned increases in Air Passenger Duty (APD), which will come into effect following the budget in March. However, we remain committed to working with our city partners throughout 2013 to secure further routes and boost the in-bound tourism potential of Glasgow.’

The figures represented the airport’s busiest year for passenger traffic since 2009.

Network Rail Announces Growth Plans in Wales

Rail projects in Wales are set to gain from investment, with Network Rail, a company that operates the UK’s railway network, having committed one of the largest rail investments for development of the Welsh railway infrastructure.

The new investment is intended to help the Welsh railway system to carry more passengers and to improve the network’s reliability and time keeping.

Mark Langman, the Network Rail route managing director for Wales, said, ‘This is an exciting time for the railway. We are now carrying a record number of people on record numbers of trains at record levels of reliability. We are also operating a more efficient railway, with the level of public subsidy almost halved from its peak in 2006.

The Wales Route network has a long and proud history, but inherent in its past lie many of the challenges of the future. The plans we have set out will deliver the biggest investment in the Welsh rail network since the Victorian era. Much of our infrastructure still dates from that period and this investment will help bring the network into the 21st century.

Wales relies on rail and our plans outlined in the Strategic Business Plan will deliver a real improvement to passengers with the potential for quicker and more frequent journeys on a network that is more resilient and reliable. Better links to London and improved commuting opportunities around Wales, including to the new enterprise zones, will also help drive economic growth across the country.’

Passenger numbers in Wales have increased considerably in the last 10 years, putting stress on the existing rail infrastructure. The new investment plans to reduce the pressure on the existing rail network, for a better and faster service.

The View from the Shard to Open for London Visitors in February 2013

The Shard, previously known as Shard London Bridge, or the London Bridge Tower, is a skyscraper located in the Southwark area of London, and it will be opening its observation deck, The View from The Shard, to the public on February 1, 2013.

The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe, at 1,016ft, and The View from The Shard observation area is housed on the skyscraper’s 68th to 72nd floors. Tickets to the official opening of the viewing platform are currently being sold at £25 for adults and £18.95 for children.

The viewing platforms are accessible by lifts, which will take visitors to the building’s 68th level in 30 seconds. From there, they can walk and look at the surrounding cityscape through the glass-fronted, Level 69. The highest point that visitors can reach is Level 72, from where they can observe the remaining levels above.

Anders Nyberg, the chief executive of The View from The Shard, said, ‘The View from The Shard is the only place you can experience all of London all at once and the attraction will draw people into the story of London, its history, people and places like never before.

The unrivalled panoramic views of London will be brought to life through cutting edge technology to provide a truly unique experience of one of the world’s greatest cities.’

Digital maps of London will be showcased on the building’s ground floor, and film footage of city life will also be on show through video screens and display panels.