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Works Starts On Terminal Extension At Newquay Cornwall Airport

Cornwall County Council is carrying out improvements to the existing terminal building, the landside areas and airside stands at Newquay airport.

These improvements will increase the peak capacity for passengers using the terminal, provide greater comfort for users, flexibility to operations and address increased security requirements. The project, which includes essential maintenance works to the existing terminal building, will enable the terminal to keep pace with the expected growth in air traffic to 2008.

The Phase 1 expansion is supported by Objective One European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) which has been secured to a value of £1.255m through the Government Office for the South West. Further support has been received from the Department for Transport granting borrowing approval of £850,000.

The works will be carried out in three phases:
Terminal Building Extension - commenced July 05 and will be completed by February 06
External Works Airside - begins October 05 and will be completed January 06
External Works Landside - begins February 06 and will be completed April 06

It is intended that these works will address the short to medium term needs of the airport to 2008 – 2010. The terminal building extension has been let as a Design and Construct contract to Mowlem Building. Work started on site on 4 July 2005.

A national consultation commissioned by the Government has predicted that air travel in the UK, both domestic and global, will increase several fold in the next 30 years. The last five years have seen unprecedented growth in passenger numbers with new routes coming into operation and the arrival of low cost operators.

Since publication of the report, the rate of increase has accelerated beyond expectations, mainly because of the impact of 'no frills' operators such as Ryanair offering relatively inexpensive flights to a range of destinations. Travelling by air is, therefore, becoming an affordable and convenient means of transport to a larger proportion of the population.

A total of 262,000 passengers passed through Newquay Airport during the year 2004/05, equivalent to an increase of 24% on 2003/04 figures.

The existing terminal operates far in excess of its intended capacity at peak periods. The result is a low level of passenger comfort with long queues at the check-in desks and pre-flight security area. Airport staff have to cope with increasing passenger numbers within facilities which do not have adequate space for undertaking security and baggage handling operations.

An economic study undertaken in 2003 concluded that enabling growth in air travel at Newquay is likely to result in measurable economic benefits to the region.

"This project will provide much needed improvements to the terminal building by greatly reducing passenger discomfort and allowing for further growth in air travel in line with predictions to 2008," said Andrew Mitchell, the Executive Member for the Economy.

"Continued growth in air travel at Newquay will result in clear, measurable economic benefits to the region."

"Failure to ensure continued growth through the proposed improvements could lead to operators looking to the other regional airports to support their increase in passenger numbers, which would in turn impact upon job creation and the local economy."

External works will enable the terminal to comply with forthcoming regulations regarding airport security which are to be implemented by the Department for Transport within the next 12-18 months. All construction will take place within areas which have previously been developed for civil or military aviation.

"The continued success of Newquay Cornwall Airport demonstrates the important role that the airport plays in the South West. Its expansion, both physically and commercially, is vital if it is to have a future and I am pleased that Cornwall County Council is being supported in its efforts by both Central Government and the EU," said Richard Fish, Director of Planning, Transportation and Estates, Cornwall County Council.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said: "This significant investment by the Objective One programme clearly demonstrates the ongoing commitment to retaining and expanding a commercial airport for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"Both private and public sectors agree that we must have a successful commercial airport at Newquay to support the sustainable growth of the economy.

"Objective One has already invested significant monies in the airport, the main railway line and in hi-tech communications infrastructures to make sure this economic region is more easily accessible nationally and globally. These investments are critical to give our businesses a competitive edge necessary to compete in a world economy."

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Newquay Cornwall Airport Phase 1 project through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


Editor's notes:

Newquay Cornwall Airport terminal is situated approximately 6 kilometres northeast of Newquay town centre. The airport currently provides daily scheduled flights to Stansted, Gatwick and the Isles of Scilly and occasional charter flights. Landside facilities, including the terminal building, are owned by Cornwall County Council and operated by SERCO. Airside facilities, including air traffic control and fire services, are owned and operated by the Ministry of Defence at RAF St Mawgan.

The existing terminal building opened in 1991 and was extended and improved in 2000 in response to increasing passenger numbers. A new aircraft hanger was also constructed at this time. Car parking facilities were subsequently improved in 2002 with new lighting, an automated ticketing system and an increase in the number of spaces from 264 to 466. The partial infilling of one of the grass islands on the airport stands was completed in 2004 to improve airside operations for the larger Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Ryanair.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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