Given the success of the easyJet AMS run from LPL, with them now transporting more than BA and KLM combined from MAN, one can only imagine what a similar airline would do to LBA if they set-up shop at FYY.
Therefore, long-term prosperity for LBA is not assured, which makes me think that if we must have a low-cost/charter airport at FYY then MAN should be allowed to drop their charges by more than they have been able to, as it seems ludicrous that MAN has a new runway but is not allowed to exploit to the full as the CAA oversee charges to make sure they are acting in the public's interest i.e. keep prices artificially high, leading to some of MAN's marginal routes teetering on the brink of being profitable.
Presumably the CAA would have given some evidence at the 2nd Runway enquiry backing MAN's stated claims for 40 million passengers by 2015; however times have changed since then, with the influx of low-cost airlines using airports throughout the country, with the distinct possiblity that we could have all the planned movements at MAN but, with BA at forefront of reducing capacity, with small aircraft being used leading to some 25 million passengers a year. Hence, MAN has got to be released from being a designated airport!
In the meantime, we have EMA (even though MAN owns it) and LPL both offering discounted landing charges (and absolute rock bottom I presume for Ryanair) for the low-cost airlines. After all, it's meant to be a competitive world and we can then see if easyJet will then come to their preferred Northern hub when charges are more in line with what they may be paying at LPL.
It's true that a unhealthy number of passengers come from the wrong side of the Pennines (15 to 20% I think), but if the North is to have a centralised hub, MAN has the widest range of services for connections; the more popular short-haul routes (e.g. DUB, CDG, AMS) should be available from most airports, but thin routes (e.g. LYS, OSL, GOT) will always tend to be from MAN.