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5.08.05
Airport Economy Expansion

This week's debate about regional airport expansions has highlighted the opportunities available for Newquay Cornwall Airport. Media coverage has focussed on a report by Friends of the Earth claiming that regional airport expansion in the South West is actually damaging the local economy.

Mark Yeoman, Deputy Director of the Objective One Partnership and former environment manager for the programme, said: "With the hoped for expansion of civilian flights there are opportunities for it to be the first regional airport to actually actively promote carbon offsetting by the passengers."

When fuel is burned carbon is emitted, damaging the atmosphere. But carbon offsetting, which can take the form of planting trees, can help neutralise this effect. Government agencies, including DEFRA, already ensure all employees' air flights are carbon neutral. Mr Yeoman continued: "While this is a serious issue Friends of the Earth have actually highlighted an opportunity for Cornwall and the isles of Scilly to respond positively in both growing the economy and safeguarding the environment. Also, the growth of a regional airport has a positive impact for two reasons. Firstly it has a positive impact on the tourism economy, witnessed by the positive support from tourism businesses for the expansion at Newquay.

"Secondly regional airports have a pivotal role to play in the wider economy, both in terms of inward investment and existing companies being able to access markets in the UK, Europe and worldwide. We now also have a growing higher education presence in Cornwall with Combined Universities in Cornwall and the Knowledge Spa and there is a need for efficient communication between these institutions and businesses around the world and you can only have that if you have a vibrant regional airport."

John McCreadie, director of independent economic consultants Ekos Consulting UK Ltd, backed this up at a recent conference. He said: "Airports are a major driver for an economy and Cornwall is very fortunate to have both a new university and an airport. That (Newquay) airport is one of the key assets for Cornwall and the evidence for spin off jobs is really powerful. There are more internal than international flights from Newquay however international flights give people added choice and save time and fuel consuming journeys to Bristol, Birmingham and London."

Last month expansion work began at Newquay Cornwall Airport, backed with more than £1.2 million investment from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the Objective One Partnership Office on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

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

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Editor's notes:

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

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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