Calls to restore commercial flights at Blackpool Airport remain at the heart of Conservative election pledges

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Conservative candidate Zak Khan has pledged to continue his party's commitment to getting Blackpool Airport back open to commercial flights.

Mr Khan, who is contesting the Blackpool South seat at the General Election for the Tories, says he believes the airport on Squires Gate Lane should be harnessed to drive economic growth in the town.

Zak KhanZak Khan
Zak Khan | n/a

His stance echoes campaigns by previous Conservative MP Scott Benton, and support for the airport by David Jones who stood in Blackpool South for the Tories at the recent by-election.

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Mr Khan said: "If you look at Liverpool Airport, it was very similar at the start as a small airport. They have been able to make it a success so we could do the same in Blackpool.

"It would give local people jobs and give them a sense of pride, as well as bringing revenue to lots of businesses around the airport as people would use hotels and restaurants etc in the area."

He said development should not be restricted due to the proximity of airports in Manchester and Liverpool and said the "right negotiation" was needed to bring airlines back to Blackpool Airport.

Mr Khan, whose career as a barrister specialising in corporate governance has taken him around the world, added: "I would work very hard so we could get international flights into Blackpool. All around the world, Blackpool is known as a tourist destination."

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Married father-of-two Mr Khan has also pledged to support businesses in the Bond Street and Waterloo Road area of Blackpool after meeting with traders and residents.

Zak Khan with Coun Diane Mitchell in Bond StreetZak Khan with Coun Diane Mitchell in Bond Street
Zak Khan with Coun Diane Mitchell in Bond Street | n/a

He said: "We need a business to take over the former Post Office building on Waterloo Road. I have spoken to many elderly people who find it difficult because there is no post office or banks there, where they can take their money out."

Reform UK candidate Mark Butcher has previously said he is "100 per cent" behind trying to bring commercial flights back to the airport, while other candidates have previously said any return of holiday flights must make economic sense and not put a burden on the tax-payer.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams has previously said the airport lost around £2m a year when it operated holiday flights to overseas destinations.

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Other candidates standing in Blackpool South are Stephen Black (Independent); Mark Butcher (Reform UK); Andrew Cregan (Lib Dem); Kim Knight (Alliance for Democracy and Freedom); Ben Thomas (Green Party), and Chris Webb (Labour).

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