Councillors are told Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive
The strategic planning director of Peel group, which own the airport, says that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes. The Peel Group gave an overview to local Darlington Borough councillors, of the airport’s masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site. Peel says any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports something that could take more than 15 years to get through government. Peel say the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities, as and when they arise. Durham Tees Valley lost its route to Heathrow in 2009. That was not because it was not making money, but Heathrow could make a lot more money by using the slot for a long haul route. A councillor commented: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.” Peel want to “look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”
Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive, councillors are told
26 September 2014
by Vicki Henderson (Northern Echo)
THE man behind the plan to secure the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has told councillors that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes.
Peter Nears, strategic planning director at owners Peel Group, gave an overview of the masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site to Darlington Borough Council members today (Thursday).
Mr Nears said any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports, something that could take more than 15 years to get through government.
Although he said the Tees Valley, its MPs and local authorities should lobby for DTVA to be given routes at any expanded South East airport, he cautioned against focussing on London.
Instead, he said, the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities.
He said: “When we lost the route down to Heathrow in 2009 it wasn’t because it wasn’t making money. It was just that a long haul route out of the same slot can make tens of millions.
“We are fighting to get access to Heathrow, but we also need to jealously guard our Amsterdam link. We can’t endanger that, it is incredibly important to us.”
Councillor Paul Harman said: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.
“Whenever I’ve flown from DTVA in recent times the flights are full and prices are high, which suggests there’s no need to discount – it seems to me that the mass market is not necessarily the priority at the moment.”
Speaking about the plans to develop houses and businesses on the airport site, Mr Nears said that DTVA was not unique in its need to diversify, citing Newquay and Manchester Airports as examples.
He added: “The masterplan is about safeguarding the airport and making its core for business use, making use of the landholdings we have, some of which has lain idle for years.
“We have got to create sustainable revenue by bringing in outside investment. Getting people employed on the site is an important aspect of it.
“We need to look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”
Asked about the housing proposals, Mr Nears confirmed that the capital from development was vital to underpin the employment park element of the masterplan and that about 320 houses were likely to be built.
Darlington councillors will work to develop a series of recommendations for Peel Holdings to take into account in future, as Stockton Borough Council has already done.
Some recent news stories about Durham Tees Valley Airport:
Airport objects to being included in a neighbourhood plan that could stop its housing development plans
29th June 2014
BOSSES at Durham Tees Valley Airport have flexed their muscles at a parish council and demanded the facility be removed from a local planning document that could affect its proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds. Airport director Peter Nears said it is “wholly unnecessary” to include the site in Middleton St George’s proposed neighbourhood plan and argued the parish council did not have the knowledge or resources to comment on airport planning. Middleton St George Parish Council has spent months working on a neighbourhood plan, a legal document setting out what the village is willing to allow in terms of future housing or business developments up to 2025. The parish council was spurred into action by a number of planning applications that would add several hundred properties to the village, which locals say is already overstretched, and had planned to include the airport – which lies partly within the parish – in the document. Residents fear the airport’s economic masterplan, which includes proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds, close to Middleton St George, will put extra strain on village services.
Facebook campaign launched by local frequent flyer to ‘save’ Durham Tees Valley Airport
March 3, 2014
A frequent flyer who uses Durham Tees Valley airport has launched a Facebook campaign to ‘save’ the Airport. She is concerned about the airport’s “master plan.” This aims to secure the airport’s long term future by the development of 400 homes on land to the west and north of the terminal which officials say would generate millions of pounds of investment to put back into the airport. The frequent flyer says she gets “so frustrated that we cannot use Teesside Airport.” The Facebook page has over 2,000 “likes” with many people irritated by the behaviour of t he owners, Peel Holdings. One typical post says: “COME ON people of the North East…..we have a mountain to climb ……we MUST get our message across to politicians and councils (supposedly who have our interests at heart) that we are not prepared to sit back and watch this “BEAST” of a company take our airport away !!!” The airport had 159,300 passengers in 2013 compared with over 900,000 in 2005 and 2006.
Durham Tees Valley Airport should go for Government cash a third time, claims Sedgefield MP
1 Nov 2013
Durham Tees Valley Airport bosses should try to secure Government regeneration cash a third time, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has claimed. MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson says the Government needs to play its part in keeping Durham Tees Valley Airport going, despite 2 failed bids by its owners for Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash to pay for road infrastructure. Meanwhile, Balkan Holidays has said it was naturally “disappointed” by the airport’s decision to drop its August 2014 Bulgaria flight. The MP said: “The Government needs to play its part. I would encourage the airport to put in another bid for RGF cash but I can understand any reticence in not doing so. “Peel can’t carry on losing millions a year. They’re doing their best, but the Government has turned them down
Durham Tees Valley Airport scraps mainstream holiday flights – now just links to Schiphol, Aberdeen and Jersey
October 30, 2013
Durham Tees Valley Airport has decided, after a review of its business, to axe its holiday flights in order to concentrate on business travel. The struggling airport will continue passenger flights to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Jersey only – but all holiday charters will end next summer. Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) – operated by KLM – and Eastern Airways’ flights to Aberdeen will continue as normal, and Flybe link to Jersey. But the airport will be “streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes”. Tour operators affected by the move are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays. Thomson Holidays has cancelled its two flight destinations for 2014 from Durham Tees Valley. The terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller . Investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights with “new retail offerings and business services”. They are trying to keep some aviation use for the airport and will have their masterplan for public consultation from mid-November.