Travel

‘It’s a bluff’ cry locals as UK airport hoping to reopen after 13 years dealt huge blow


CONCERNED passengers are worried that an airport that has been closed for 13 years will never reopen, despite suggestions that it would.

Plymouth Airport was closed in 2011 after its owners declared it was no longer financially viable to operate as a business.

Plymouth Airport has been closed since 2011 but it is hoped one day it will reopen

3

Plymouth Airport has been closed since 2011 but it is hoped one day it will reopenCredit: BPM
Campaign groups have said that the airport could launch new flights to Europe

3

Campaign groups have said that the airport could launch new flights to EuropeCredit: BPM

However, it had appeared that there was hope of reopening the travel hub, with some councillors saying they wanted to bring it into public ownership.

The airport is currently owned by The Sutton Harbour Group, but Plymouth City Council is looking to gain control again of the site once again.

The council wrote to Plymouth City Airport Ltd (PCAL) last week, demanding confirmation within 14 days that it will comply with the leases on the property.

Should PCAL fail to meet the deadline, Plymouth City Council (PCC), as freeholder of the site, will begin the process of bringing cancelling the lease.

However, residents believe this letter was little more than posturing, with progress on reopening the airport seemingly stalling.

Instead, one local, David Stanbury, has accused councillors of being dishonest, saying that he didn’t believe airlines even wanted to fly to or from the airport.

He wrote to the Plymouth Herald, saying: “Plymouth City Council should be honest with residents. There is next to no prospect of the airfield being brought back in to use.

“The elephant in the room is the complete lack of any airline willing to operate flights from Plymouth. None think it viable.

“The letter sent by the council to the leaseholder, Sutton Harbour Group, is patently a bluff. It will achieve nothing. It seeks to give the impression that the council is actually doing something.”

Other councillors want more to be done regarding the airport, with some calling for a forfeiture notice to be served on tenants Sutton Harbour Group, claiming they have breached a covenant on the lease.

Campaign group, FlyPlymouth, who have been seeking to reopen the airport for years has said the airport could launch flights to Europe in the future.

The group’s chief executive Raoul Witherall has also argued that there is still a good economic case for having flights to and from the city, which could even include routes to Amsterdam.

He previously stated: “Commercial aviation opportunities at Plymouth have never been as strong as they are now.”

The airport first opened and was officially unveiled by Edward VIII, the then Prince of Wales, back in 1931.

It was once a very popular airport with more than 157,000 passengers using it as recently as 2009.

In the past, airlines like Air Wales and Air Southwest offered flights to Wales and London from the airport.

However, after the Plymouth to London routes were scrapped in 2011, daily passengers numbers dwindled and at one point were even as low as 100.

The airport was eventually closed in December that year.

Meanwhile, this small UK airport is set to get new flights this summer.

And British Airways is returning to this UK airport for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

Locals have accused the council of being dishonest over the airport's chances of reopening

3

Locals have accused the council of being dishonest over the airport’s chances of reopeningCredit: BPM





READ SOURCE