The future of Blackpool Airport continues to be discussed by people with opposing points of view
While holiday-makers face long queues at regional airports, Blackpool Airport will continue to focus on the private jet market and helicopter services – with the return of flights to the Isle of Man also being explored.
That is the message from Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams who warns the resort’s Squires Gate Lane air terminal is “competing with the likes of Manchester and Liverpool, both of which have benefited from massive investment and subsidy.”
But in her Leader’s Blog, published this month, Coun Williams says the future of the airport is not a political issue but “purely about financial risk.”
She writes: “I agree that flying in and out of Blackpool to European destinations was a great experience with no queues and rapid arrival and departure in an uncrowded terminal. I totally understand why people would like the opportunity to do that again, but it is the fact that there were no queues that is the problem.
“At our peak in 2007, the airport lost £2m and during Balfour Beattie’s 10-year ownership, it lost around £27m. Airports do lose money and that is offset by parking and retail income. The reality is that we have never had the numbers to enable our airport to get anywhere close to break even.”
Coun Williams also dismissed Mr Johnson’s suggestion Blackpool should follow in the footsteps of other smaller regional airports such as Teesside, as other smaller airports are also losing money.
“Until then, with aircraft movements currently at their highest level in 20 years with successful operations including helicopters servicing the Irish Sea rigs, pilot training and recent growth in private jet movements, our Airport board will continue to ensure that we attract and create good jobs and contracts for the airport to secure its future, to include ongoing discussions about flights to the Isle of Man.”
- 05:05, 21 JUL 2022