Helping Newquay Airport to take off - new director is Cardif, Manchester and Highlands high-flyer

Former Managing Director of Cardiff International Airport Graham Greaves arrived in Cornwall a few days ago to take up a challenging new post as Airport Development Director for Cornwall’s international civilian airport at St Mawgan, Newquay.

Graham, who will be based at County Hall in Truro, is briefed to take the recently refurbished Newquay Cornwall International Airport onto its next stage of development, and to tackle with airport operators Sutton Harbour Holdings some of the existing constraints on expansion of both passenger and freight air facilities.

His appointment is part of an exciting two year £½ million business development initiative which has just won £223,000 of Objective One funding. The rest of the finance package comprises £56,000 from each of Cornwall County Council with Cornwall Enterprise, Restormel Borough Council and the South West Regional Development Agency.

Graham Greaves was Managing Director of the successful Cardiff International Airport until 1995, and has held senior posts at Manchester Airport, British Aerospace and British Airports Authority. A visiting lecturer on civil aviation and business management at Loughborough University and the University of Wales, he has over 30 years of local and central government experience. Once an adviser to the Scottish Office on the development of airports in the Highlands & Islands, Graham now joins Cornwall’s premier transport project fresh from being Director General of the Chartered Institute of Transport.

Graham says, “I am delighted to have been offered this challenging role, and will do my very best to help Newquay Cornwall International Airport to realise its undoubted potential."

He adds, “Cornwall knows that, in order to expand its commercial base under Objective One, it needs to create the 21st century transport links expected by modern businesses. The new terminal and hangar are an excellent start, and another asset is the good partnership with airport operators Sutton Harbour Holdings. But we must strive to make this airport an impressive economic shop window for Cornwall, underlining its credibility as a county worth investing in.”

Key issues for the new Director to examine are encouraging the development of small and medium enterprises in the air transport sector, and securing the future of existing air links – like the essential Newquay to Gatwick slots – while attracting airlines offering a wider range of destinations. He will also seek to enhance the partnership with Sutton Harbour Holdings, operators of both Newquay and Plymouth airports.

Pam Lyne, County Council Executive Member for the Economy, says, “This is a positive step forward in progressing Cornwall’s economy, and the county is gaining a reputation for world class facilities like the Eden Project, the National Maritime Museum and Tate St.Ives. Now is the time for Cornwall to capitalise on this, and to put the county firmly on the international air travel map.”

Objective One programme director Bill Bawden says,“Newquay Airport has huge potential to become a significant hub for passenger and freight transport into Cornwall which is why the Objective One programme has committed almost a quarter of a million pounds to this project.”

Stephen Bohane, Cornwall Head of Operations for the South West Regional Development Agency says, “The RDA recognises that air links are vital to Cornwall and the region’s economy. Graham’s appointment will help ensure that those links are safeguarded and built upon.”

Ellen Winser, Chairman of airport operators Sutton Harbour Holdings, says, “We welcome Graham’s appointment, and look forward to working in partnership with him to ensure the airport goes from strength to strength.”

The civil terminal, jointly owned by the County Council and Restormel Borough Council, was built in 1992, but increased passenger throughput and aircraft size made major redevelopment necessary last year. Currently the principal operators from Newquay are Brymon Airways, a subsidiary of British Airways using the vital daily Gatwick slots, and the Isles of Scilly Skybus with over thirty flights a week from Newquay to the Isles in summertime.

As part of the EU’s KONVER programme the airport recently unveiled a £2.3 million facelift, in which the terminal building was enlarged by 70% with greatly improved passenger check-in and baggage handling facilities, three new departure lounges, a large arrivals lounge and better catering facilities. Adjacent to the terminal building there is also a new 1100 sqm hangar for aircraft maintenance suitable for up to 75-seater regional jets. In 2000 the Airport Joint Committee commissioned a consultancy to develop an action plan, and the creation of the post of Airport Development Director was one of the recommendations which emerged.

Chairman of the Airport Joint Committee John Weller says, “In welcoming Graham Greaves I must say he is an essential part of the plans we have to take the airport forward. The opportunities ahead will hopefully mean that we will soon be able to start development, fully utilising Newquay Airport as a driver for the regeneration of Cornwall.”

For further information contact:
Graham Greaves Airport Development Director on 01872 322317


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388