Mission Aviation Fellowship

Blackpool Council purchases Blackpool Airport site

The council, which was previously a 5% shareholder in the airport, has signed a £4.25m deal with previous owners Balfour Beatty to fully take over the operating company Regional and City Airports (Blackpool) Holdings Ltd and will take over 100% ownership of the airport site


The Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, outlined in red

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Today is a really important day for aviation on the Fylde coast and this sale heralds a positive new dawn for Blackpool Airport.

This move will protect the airport as a company, including the 30 jobs that are currently employed there. It will also allow us to ensure that the airport itself can continue to operate as an important hub that can benefit the whole region. Blackpool Airport is such a key part of having a strong local economy and it is absolutely vital that we safeguard its future and ensure that it can continue to be used as an aviation and employment hub for the Fylde coast for the long term.

“We do not envisage the return of large scale passenger planes to the airport. The purpose of this acquisition is to safeguard the helicopter and other commercial airside activities that take place, build upon them and deliver our overall objective of creating up to 5,000 jobs on the Enterprise Zone site.

People can be confident that we have the airport’s best interests at heart, we will retain the current operating staff as well as exploring any potential opportunities for private companies with aviation interests to invest in the company so that it can grow in the future but this is not about trying to bring jumbo jets back to the airport anytime soon.”

Blackpool airport is home to a number of aviation training organisations, many of them based at the airfield for many decades, as well as significant commercial helicopter operations.

Blackpool Council last owned the airport in 2004, when it was sold to City Hopper Airports for a total of £13m, before being sold on to Balfour Beatty in 2008. The airport was placed into administration in 2014, closing temporarily before re-opening with reduced capacity.

The council say that a full business case exploring the potential future for the airport is being developed in accordance with a strategic masterplan for the Enterprise Zone and airport.

Author: Adrian Mahovics

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