Nolan sisters say expansion of Blackpool Airport would be “amazing” for the town they cherish
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The star siblings were recently honoured with a blue plaque celebrating their success at The Cliffs Hotel in the town, where they launched their global stardom 50 years ago.
Speaking to The Gazette, the singing sisters spoke of their hope for the airport which closed its commercial flights in 2014 after operating at a loss against stiff competition.
As part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, outline planning consent is being sought for three 20,000 sq. ft hangars suitable for light general aviation and small planes, including small corporate turboprops and warbird aircraft.
The application also includes two hangars capable of housing larger planes such as a Boeing 737 or Airbus A321 for maintenance, repair and overhaul activities.
Linda says: "I think it will be amazing. So many people used to fly over from Ireland because it was a hop and a skip as they say.
"We used to fly to Spain because Maureen had an apartment out there and we could fly from Blackpool to Almeria."
Linda joked she had felt disgruntled after giving the sum of £10 towards investment and then seeing it was closed - joking "where's my ten pounds?"
Denise says: "It is the oldest local airport in Britain, I thought it was really sad when it closed so I am glad it is doing a lot again."
The hangars would be developed at the east side of the airport on land owned by Blackpool Council. The sites for the new smaller hangars are south and east of the current JMAX hangar. The site for the larger hangars is to the west of JMAX.
The application also includes a new road off Amy Johnson Way to access both sets of hangars, plus a small 6,000 sq. ft commercial business unit fronting Amy Johnson Way opposite Chorley Group garages.
The development of the new Airport East hangars signals a period of regeneration for the airport and surrounding land, as part of the main Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone masterplan.
The updated masterplan for the airport involves developing a general aviation, training, maintenance and helicopter base at the east of the airport.
Creating new, modern hangars at the east side of the airport could allow some of the airport’s current occupiers to move across to more sustainable purpose-built facilities, as well as creating space for new fixed based customers.
A corporate jet hangar, executive aircraft handling facility hangar, airport administrative facilities and in the longer term a large apron and additional hangar facilities are also planned for the areas at the west and centre of the airport.
Plans relating to other critical infrastructure at the airport including the Air Traffic Control tower and rescue and firefighting services will also follow later this year.
Blackpool Airport is the second busiest general aviation airport in the country, with almost 30,000 aero club and private take offs and landings in 2022, and the new general aviation hub will support that flying community.