Airport Investment is a success at Blackpool and Southampton
Southampton and Blackpool experience shows airport investment works
The Managing Director of Southend Airport has reinforced the benefits of the development of the airport. citing the successful experience of two other airports as proof of the positive benefits which arise from successful local airports.
Alastair Welch said ‘We recognise that whilst the vast majority of people recognise the benefits which a thriving local airport can bring, we fully appreciate that some people have a number of concerns and examples of what has happened at local airports in Blackpool and Southampton– two other seaside towns whose airports have developed in recent years ‐ to demonstrate the positive benefits which local airports bring."
Southampton Airport upgraded their already modern terminal in 2005 which allowed it to double its check‐in and baggage facilities by 2008. From 1 million passengers in 2003, Southampton now welcomes over 2 million passengers each year and flies to 49 European destinations ‐ research shows that 34% are business travelers, 42% are visiting friends and relatives and 17% are independent holiday makers. More than 1,200 people are employed in 30 different companies at the airport, and according to the University of Southampton the airport’s economic contribution to the region is more than £86 million per year.
Sally Lynskey, CEO of Business Southampton – a not‐for‐profit business‐led organisation ‐ explained how the development of Southampton airport has brought additional important gains for the city. "Southampton airport plays a pivotal role in the local economy in terms of providing jobs and essential access routes to Europe and beyond. It has a key role in the local supply chain too and has been important in helping to put the city on the map for businesses and visitors."
She adds "As well as its crucial economic role, the airport has built strong local ties through its community projects and by working with schools. They [the airport] are acutely aware of their place in the community and have worked hard to integrate. An important aspect of this has been balancing the economic demands with those of the environment.
In 2006 Blackpool airport directly supported around 390 full time jobs and generated around £11m of income into the west Lancashire economy. That same year, an improved terminal building and new car parks were opened, giving the airport the capacity to handle two million passengers a year and fly to 20 European destinations.
Sue Kendrick is Customer Relations and Communications Manager at Blackpool Airport. She says "By 2015 it is estimated that, with future growth, the airport will support between 1,860 and 2,210 full time jobs and generate between £69.5m and £81.8m of income. This is crucial to an area such as Blackpool where regeneration is much needed. Also the airport acts as a gateway not only to Blackpool itself but also to Cumbria and the Lake District, as well as Lancashire’s other tourist attractions. It’s important to note the positive effect the airport has had on the image and perception of Lancashire as a place to live, visit, work and do business ‐ and this has also inspired important revitalisation projects in the area."
Southend‐on‐Sea Borough Council Development Control Committee will review the planning application at its meeting in January 2010.
30 December 2009
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