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Operator swoops for Blackpool Airport

Corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, Sue Kendrick.

Corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, Sue Kendrick.

A new operating company owner has landed at Blackpool Airport – but bosses there say it will be business as usual.

Midlands-based Patriot Aerospace Group, led by millionaire Sir Peter Rigby, has taken over Regional and City Airport Management (RCAM) from Balfour Beatty.

RCAM will continue to be in charge at Squires Gate but is now in the hands of the company which last week bought Exeter Airport.

Airport bosses today said there would be no changes in staffing at Blackpool.

Sir Peter said: “The Rigby Group has invested in RCAM as we believe regional airports have a significant role to play in the future of the British aerospace sector and there is definite potential for growth in terms of both freight and passenger capacity.

“With major hub airports currently working to near or over capacity and questions of how to meet the demand being debated as part of the Davies Commission, we see a clear opportunity for regional airports to ease the strain, partly through effective management and operation.”

Sue Kendrick corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport said: “Following the announcement that The Rigby Group has acquired both Exeter Airport and Regional & City Airport Management (RCAM) from Balfour Beatty, a number of enquiries have been received about the ownership of Blackpool Airport.

“Balfour Beatty continue to own Blackpool Airport which will in future be operated on their behalf by RCAM.

“As part of the agreement with Balfour Beatty, RCAM will retain the existing management team and staff and does not propose any changes to current arrangements including staffing levels.

“RCAM is a specialist airport management company which is focused on operating airports which accommodate up to three million passengers a year as well as cargo, freight, corporate and general aviation. In addition to Blackpool Airport, RCAM manages Exeter International, Coventry and City of Derry airports and Cardiff Heliport.”

Blackpool Council still owns five per cent of the airport and Coun John Jones said the town hall would be keeping a watching brief.

He said: “The Rigby group has a solid background in airports. We would hope that they could bring more expansion as the airport is very important for the economy of Blackpool and of the county.”

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