15 routes to small airports short-listed to apply for taxpayer subsidy over three years

The Government invited airports and airlines to bid for state funding to set up routes, which would not otherwise be profitable. This is only permitted under EU law under certain conditions. In March the DfT published the details of 19 bids it had received during the initial application stage for funding from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The funding is available for new routes for regional airports which handle fewer than 5 million passengers a year, and they have to demonstrate that the route would be commercially viable after 3 years. The government hopes that smaller airports will improve connectivity, increase trade and help to create new jobs in their regions. Bids from 15 smaller airports across the “Northern Powerhouse,” of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are now to be considered on the short-list for the state funding.  Patrick McLoughlin said aviation is one of the UK’s economic success stories and our investment ensures it is shared out across the whole country. The shortlisted routes include Dundee-Amsterdam, Doncaster Sheffield-Frankfurt and Newquay-Leeds. The government expects to spend £56 million of taxpayers’ money on this over three years.
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Shortlist for new regional air route funding announced

Department for Transport, HM Treasury, The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP and The Rt Hon George Osborne MP

20 August 2015 (Government press release)

Bids from 15 smaller airports across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to be considered for awards.

The shortlist of new international and domestic air routes for smaller airports was announced by the government today, Thursday 20 August 2015. Successful routes from this latest stage of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund will provide improved connectivity with new transport connections for businesses and passengers from their local areas.

Fifteen brand-new routes have reached the funding shortlist, open to regional airports handling fewer than 5 million passengers a year. Airports that have reached this stage serve the Northern Powerhouse, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Chancellor George Osborne said:

We’re determined to build a one nation economy, where all parts of the UK are growing and connected. That’s why we support new regional air routes. Further funding for brand new routes will support many more businesses and individuals across UK regions as part of our rural productivity plan. This is a great deal for taxpayers too – the existing Newquay-London route, supported by the fund, delivers benefits to the economy of nearly three pounds for every pound invested.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

Smaller airports are vital for bringing the country together and creating new international opportunities for their local areas. The shortlist we are publishing today shows the potential for smaller airports to create jobs and drive growth. Aviation is one of the UK’s economic success stories and our investment ensures it is shared out across the whole country.

The shortlisted routes include Dundee-Amsterdam, Doncaster Sheffield-Frankfurt and Newquay-Leeds.

The funding will provide support for approved routes for 3 years. To be successful bidders, the operators of these routes will need to prove they will be commercially viable after that time.

The proposed links will also be assessed for providing maximum value for money for the taxpayer.

The funding continues the government’s support for smaller airports through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. Launched in June 2013, it has already supported strategic routes from Dundee and Newquay into London. The fund was expanded to support new international and domestic air routes with the final announcement of winning bids to be made in November 2015.

The full list of the routes that have applied is available on gov.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shortlist-for-new-regional-air-route-funding-announced

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shortlist-for-new-regional-air-route-funding-announced

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shortlist-for-new-regional-air-route-funding-announced


https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shortlist-for-new-regional-air-route-funding-announced
The list of possible routes that may be included in the scheme, DfT, March 2015

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418094/start-up-aid-applications-received.pdf


 

International and domestic connections from smaller airports to be expanded across the UK.

27.3.2015 (DfT press release)

Smaller airports across the UK will benefit from new routes thanks to a start-up aid fund to back greater connectivity, aviation minister Robert Goodwill announced today (27 March 2015).

The Department for Transport has today published the details of the 19 bids it has received during the initial application stage for funding from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

The funding is available for brand new routes for regional airports which handle fewer than 5 million passengers a year. Smaller airports can play a vital role improving connectivity and increasing trade and helping create new jobs in their regions.

The bids include proposals for air links such as Norwich to Paris, Southampton to Lyon and Oxford to Edinburgh.

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said:

The range and ambition of the bids shows how smaller airports can transform their local areas with new connections and trade links. This announcement builds on the government’s commitment to ensuring smaller airports grow, boosting both local and national economies.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

As someone from the north of Scotland, I appreciate the value of regional connectivity for businesses and communities, which is why I created the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. I’m delighted that so many regions across the country are set to benefit from improved connections, boosting trade and tourism.

This fund boost regional economies, so is also great value for the taxpayer; the Newquay to London link that I announced last year has a return rate of nearly 3 pounds for every pound invested, benefitting people across the UK. I hope these routes, if successful in the bidding process, will be well used and will support stronger economic growth across the country.

The Regional Air Connectivity Fund was launched in June 2013 and has already supported strategic routes from Dundee into Newquay into London. It is now being expanded to support new international and domestic regional air routes in a bidding process for start-up aid.

The announcement of those routes which have passed the initial application stage has been delayed to allow the department more time to consider the relevant evidence before determining whether the route meets the European Commission guidelines.

The announcement of a short-list of routes that have met the criteria of the initial application stage will now be made in early May. Those routes that are successful at this stage will then move forward to the strategic and economic appraisal stage, with successful bids being announced in July 2015.

The Regional Air Connectivity Fund has a total of £56 million available to cover 3 years of financial support for start-up aid.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/19-new-regional-air-routes-bid-for-start-up-aid-funding

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/19-new-regional-air-routes-bid-for-start-up-aid-funding


Regional airports asked to bid for up to £56 million funding for new routes over next 3 years

Airports and airlines are being urged to bid for government funding of up to £17.5 million in the next year to help launch new routes. This ‘start up aid’ will be made available from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which was announced by the government in June 2013 and is open to airports with fewer than 5 million passengers per year. This fund has already been partly distributed to support strategic routes to London from Newquay and Dundee but is now being extended to bids for more routes. The £56 million is available to cover 3 years of financial support for start-up aid, with £17.5 million being made available to bids in 2015/16 and around £20 million a year for each of the remaining years.  To apply for the funding, airports and airlines will have to provide evidence to show their proposed route will generate local benefits and represents value for money.  The initial application stage will run for five weeks, closing on Wednesday 25 February. Ministers will announce a shortlist of bids in March 2015. A list of successful bidders will then be published in June.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/regional-airports-asked-to-bid-for-up-to-56-million-funding-for-new-routes-over-next-3-years/

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AIRPORT OPERATORS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES REGIONAL AIR CONNECTIVITY FUND BID ANNOUNCEMENT

20.8.2015

The Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association that represents over 50 UK airports, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Department for Transport that 15 air routes have successfully made the funding shortlist under the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The Fund, which is open to all airports with fewer than 5 million passengers per annum, will provide economic support for approved routes for a total of three years, following which they will need to demonstrate that they can be commercially viable.

Tim Alderslade, Public Affairs Director at the AOA, said: “The AOA has long supported the Regional Air Connectivity Fund and we’re pleased that this announcement has been made. We believe the policy has the potential to help many of our smaller members, boosting passenger numbers and enhancing connectivity to and between the regions of this country. The Government needs to be careful that in awarding funding for individual routes it is not doing anything to distort competition, but provided that this is not an issue we would urge Ministers to proceed quickly and ensure that the money is allocated as soon as possible.”

http://www.aoa.org.uk/2015/08/airport-operators-association-welcomes-regional-air-connectivity-fund-bid-announcement/


 

Flybe want to connect Leeds Bradford and Newquay

20.8.2015 (Yorkshire Evening Post)

LEEDS could get a direct air link to the UK’s surfing capital if it gets backing from taxpayers.

Flybe wants to operate a new flight from Leeds-Bradford to Newquay and has asked the Government for financial help to get the service off the ground.

It is asking for help from the Government’s regional air connectivity fund which is designed to encourage more flights from regional airports.

Flybe’s proposals are among 15 nationally the Government has judged meet European rules on state-aid.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Smaller airports are vital for bringing the country together and creating new international opportunities for their local areas.

“The shortlist we are publishing today shows the potential for smaller airports to create jobs and drive growth.

“Aviation is one of the UK’s economic success stories and our investment ensures it is shared out across the whole country.”

To access money from the fund airlines have to show they will be able to operate the proposed routes without financial help after three years.

Further consultations will now be held over the shortlisted flights before a final decision is taken over which receive backing.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/surf-s-up-as-newquay-flight-moves-step-closer-1-7420739


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NEW flights from Yorkshire airports could be launched with help from the taxpayer.

20.8.2015 (Yorkshirei Post)

The Government has shortlisted two applications from airlines seeking financial help to start new services from the region.

Flybe wants to operate a new flight from Leeds-Bradford to Newquay while BMI regional wants to connected Robin Hood Airport with Frankfurt.

Both airlines are asking for help from the Government’s regional air connectivity fund which is designed to encourage more flights from regional airports.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Smaller airports are vital for bringing the country together and creating new international opportunities for their local areas.

“The shortlist we are publishing today shows the potential for smaller airports to create jobs and drive growth.

“Aviation is one of the UK’s economic success stories and our investment ensures it is shared out across the whole country.”

To access money from the fund airlines have to show they will be able to operate the proposed routes without financial help after three years.

The two Yorkshire proposals are among 15 the Government has judged meet European rules on state-aid.

Further consultations will now be held over the shortlisted flights.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/politics/airlines-propose-yorkshire-connections-1-7420701


Dundee to Amsterdam service closes in on Regional Air Connectivity Fund assistance

By ANDREW LIDDLE
20 August 2015

A proposed air route from Dundee to Amsterdam has taken a major step forward after the UK Government agreed to look at subsidising the flight.

The Amsterdam service would be in addition to the current route to London Stansted.

Almost £3 million of taxpayers’ money is already ploughed into maintaining the city’s air link with London Stansted – and it is now hoped a similar deal can be struck to create a route to the Netherlands.

FlyBe are proposing to operate the flight to Amsterdam Schiphol — Europe’s biggest aviation hub.

The news that the planned route has been shortlisted for funding by the UK Government has been welcomed by local politicians who have campaigned for an expansion of the HIAL-operated Dundee Airport.

The proposed new Dundee link was one of 19 routes to be assessed by UK Government Department for Transport for support through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

Derrick Lang, HIAL’s Dundee Airport manager, said: “We welcome the UK Government’s decision to progress Flybe’s proposed Dundee to Amsterdam service for potential funding by the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

“There is no doubt that this service would be of considerable benefit to business and tourism in Dundee and we are pleased that the proposed route will now be subject to further evaluation.

“We are ready to work with Flybe and Dundee City Council to support this bid in any way we can.”

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/dundee-to-amsterdam-service-closes-in-on-regional-air-connectivity-fund-assistance-1.895649