Experts called in to study airport's future

Blackpool Airport's enterprise zone area
Blackpool Airport's enterprise zone area

Aviation experts have been called into assess the future of Blackpool Airport as work continues on the  masterplan for the enterprise zone.

Air transport consultants York Aviation, which has worked with Liverpool, Luton and Birmingham Airports as well as Transport for the North, is to produce a strategic business plan.

The group overseeing the zone, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company, has tasked them with coming up with a plan to secure the long term aviation future at Squires Gate.

It’s head Rob Green said: “They will carry out a long term strategic review looking at future business opportunities and what infrastructure changes would be necessary.

“They will be reporting back in early June.

“It may be that there are opportunities for new commercial flights although there is no immediate prospect of an operation like Jet 2 returning. But we hope to see the Isle of Man and Ireland services re-instated, however that need thorough investigation.

"The report will help us understand what level of investment is needed and practicable.”

A second group of consultants LK2 have been called in to look at the sports facilities on the enterprise zone site.

Rob Green said: “We are looking to put a new eastern access road to the site at Queensway and that may need to go through the existing playing fields .”

He said to attract growing businesses large units would be needed which Blackpool does not currently have and that site would be ideal.

“The sports fields would be relocated south of the existing sites.”

He said facilities and possible funding sources would be looked into and any moves would take clubs’ ongoing season commitments into account. He added planning applications were likely to be put in during the last quarter of the year.