Minister welcomes removal of uncertainty about the future
of Newquay Cornwall Airport
Aviation Minister Karen Buck today welcomed the announcement
by Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Adam Ingram about
the base for the new Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) and the clarity
it provides about the future of RAF St Mawgan and Newquay
Cornwall Airport, with which it is co-located.
Ms Buck said: "I hope today's announcement about
the Ministry of Defence's plans for basing the Joint Combat
Aircraft will help to alleviate concerns in Cornwall about
the long term future of Newquay Cornwall Airport. I am aware
that the RAF's consideration of St Mawgan as one of a number
of options for JCA has created some uncertainty about the
future development of the airport. It was important that MoD
examined thoroughly all the available options for JCA. Now
that they have decided to base the aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth
and discounted St Mawgan as a possible second base, this leaves
the way clear for Cornwall County Council to bring forward
plans for the long-term development of the airport to enable
it to become one of the key transport gateways to the far
Cornwall County Council, which operates Newquay Cornwall
Airport (NCA), contributes to the cost of operating the airfield
in return for access to the runway and apron and for a range
of operational services provided by the RAF, most notably
fire cover and air traffic control. Under the terms of today's
announcement, these services will need to be provided by Newquay
Cornwall Airport from the point at which the airfield at RAF
St Mawgan is decommissioned and military flying ceases.
With this in mind, Ms Buck went on to say: "I have
agreed with Adam Ingram that it is now important that we ensure
a smooth transition from the use of RAF St Mawgan as a military
airfield to a fully civilian operated airport. I am aware
that Cornwall County Council and its local and regional partners
have been undertaking work to prepare for this eventuality,
but there remains a lot to do in a relatively short timescale.
Our departments, together with others with an interest in
optimising the benefits of the airport for the development
of Cornwall's economy and tourism sector - such as ODPM, DTI
and DCMS - will continue to work closely with the County Council
and its partners to ensure this is achieved.
"I am aware that there has been a lot of interest
in developing new routes to NCA, both from airlines which
already operate from the airport and from others who are considering
doing so. I hope today's announcement will help to allay any
concerns they may have had about potential future military
use of the airport and that they will now feel able to bring
forward the new services that the people of Cornwall, its
business community and potential visitors to the region would
like to see."
For further information please contact Matthew Willey in
the Defence Press Office on 020 7218 7924 or visit www.mod.uk.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Newquay Cornwall Airport through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
||Newquay Cornwall Airport is operated by
Cornwall County Council and managed on their behalf by
SERCO. The terminal building and associated hangar and
car parking forms a civil enclave on the North side of
RAF St Mawgan. It uses St Mawgan's runway, and a small
part of its apron, to serve commercial airlines operating
a range of domestic (London, Manchester, Leeds Bradford,
Bristol etc) and international (Dublin and Malaga) services.
||Airlines include Air South West (who yesterday announced
additional domestic services from the airport), Ryanair,
bmibaby, Monarch Scheduled and Skybus (who provide links
to the Isles of Scilly).
||The airport has grown rapidly in recent years, and annual
passenger numbers are expected to reach 300,000 by the
end of 2005, with close to 750,000 forecast within the
next 5-10 years.
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