Long term strategy needed for Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Airport
Blackpool Airport

Aviation experts at Blackpool Airport today welcomed Blackpool Council’s purchase of the Squires Gate hub.

READ MORE: Blackpool Council swoops to protect airport in £4.25m buy-out

As revealed by The Gazette, the council has bought the airport from Balfour Beatty for £4.25m.

A spokesman for Hangar 3, a private aircraft handling facility, said they hoped the move would pave the way for further investment in the airport.

They said previous uncertainty had undermined confidence and the potential for “investors to commit to a long term strategy of growth and job creation on one of the most popular and underdeveloped airports in the United Kingdom.”

The spokesman added they hoped to see the return of a successful passenger hub for airlines.

They said: “H3 believe the airport will become attractive to aviation maintenance and service providers as the larger traditional locations become over utilised and uneconomic.

“H3 look forward positively to a long term future at the airport and along with the other airport based companies, supporting the new owner.”

But Robert Blower, chairman of Save Blackpool Airport, said he remained concerned about the future of the air terminal.

He said: “The council is going to massively develop the airport on the Squires Gate Lane and Common Edge Road sides, so they will box it in and I don’t think it will be usable for big jets to land again.

“Once the public sees the plans for the enterprise zone, they will understand that.”

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn has warned holiday jets will not be a priority.

He said the council would explore the potential for private aviation companies so the airport can grow, but added “this is not about trying to bring jumbo jets back to the airport anytime soon.”

It is hoped investment will support creation of up to 5,000 jobs at the enterprise zone.