Study into reopening of Plymouth airport announced

Study into reopening of Plymouth airport announced

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Chancellor George Osborne made a Budget pledge to undertake a study into whether Plymouth City airport could be reopened.

The government is to commission a new study into the possibility of reopening the airport, according to the Budget report

The airport shut in 2011 following the withdrawal of flights to London.

Sutton Harbour Holdings, the leaseholder of the former airport site, said there was “no prospect” of the airport reopening.

Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings, told the Plymouth Herald: “Every independent report commissioned before and since the airport closed nearly three and half years ago has demonstrated beyond all doubt that it is not viable.

"Rather than waste taxpayer’s money as part of a pre-election stunt to curry favour with the electorate, we suggest the government read those reports and, as previous operators, we are confident they will draw the same conclusion.

"There is no prospect of it reopening because it simply cannot function as a self-sustaining regional airport.”

Plymouth City Council has protected the site for potential future use as an airport and said it would work with anyone who came up with a viable plan.

A report published by the Heathrow-backed National Connectivity Taskforce said a new runway at the London hub with slots ring-fenced for services to regional airports is the best option for the UK's regions and nations.

"If slots into the UK's international hub could be found for Plymouth the mothballing of the airport could be reconsidered,” it said.

"Plymouth's large cluster of maritime businesses, the university and the Tamar Science Park all have ambitions that would benefit from easier international access."


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