THE group that owns Bournemouth Airport says new research shows its operation contributes £4billion to its regional economies.

MAG, which also owns London Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands airports, has published its latest CSR report, which looks at strengthening links with communities and supporting businesses to improve economic opportunities and international trade.

And in line with government calls to ensure young people have the skills they need to take the jobs that are being created, MAG says it has committed to supporting education and the development of valuable workplace skills – including extending its Airport Academy Model that helps unemployed people back into work – as its four airports continue to generate new jobs. In all, the four airports support 45,200 full-time employees and MAG says 668 people who were unemployed have found work on airport sites through the academies in the past year.

Fines from aircraft that infringe noise regulations funded a £300,000 investment in community groups and charities near its airports.

Neil Robinson, corporate social responsibility director for MAG, said: “By supporting and facilitating the performance of other industries at a time when trade is increasingly international, aviation makes an important contribution to the economy of the UK, especially given our geographical position as an island on the edge of Europe.

“As this report demonstrates, MAG also makes a contribution in its own right – our airports are a skills and jobs hotbed, and continue to have an increasingly positive impact on their local regions through employment opportunities, the economic benefits of goods and services supplied to the airports and, in turn, the spending of increased income in the local area.

“We have long recognised that managing the business in a responsible and sustainable way is an integral part of our operations and an important component of our success.

“Our aim is to target benefits locally to maximise regional impacts, and by setting out a clear strategy, which accords with our enduring values, we have provided a clear focus and a firm foundation for our work.”