The multi-million pound benefit of Cornwall’s main airport to the wider economy
has been laid bare in a revealing new report.
Business and tourism leaders yesterday welcomed the figures on Newquay Airport as “massively encouraging” despite the difficult economic climate.
According to Cornwall Council’s figures, development and job creation on the
airport site has grossed £37 million. The Cornish economy also receives an annual
income of £14 million from tourists using the airport.
Tim Jones, chairman of Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “These numbers
are massively encouraging. The airport is Cornwall’s greatest asset for income
generation in the long-term.
“It will be one of the biggest economic drivers in Cornwall – bringing tourists
to the county and of course facilitating the business community.”
The report was commissioned by the council to “assist members and the general
public to better understand the full costs and benefits that the airport brings”
and pave the way for a larger economic study which is expected this summer. Cornwall Council is set to provide a subsidy of £3.4 million to support the airport
in this financial year – a saving to taxpayers of £112,000. (sic)
The report also states that Cornwall Council will be providing £7.8 million to
the airport’s capital programme over the next three years, which could pull down
an extra £14 million in European funding. (sic)
A survey of passengers also indicated that 76% used the airport for business.
Yet while almost 16 % said it was essential for business activities more than
20% said it was “not very important” or “not important at all”. When asked if
flights from the airport had affected the decision to locate or keep their business
in Cornwall 76% said it did not.
Kevin Oliver, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses in Cornwall said:
“Strong communication links with the rest of the country are very important to
the economic future of the county.
“It can be difficult for small businesses at the moment to see all the wider
benefits because they are suffering financially – but the benefits are certainly
The report claims the airport supports directly and indirectly 484 full-time
jobs – with Cornwall Airport Ltd accounting for 160 permanent, year-round staff.
Passenger surveys carried out in August 2009 and January 2010 found that 20,000
people would not have visited Cornwall if the airport was not there – about 25%
of those using the airport.
Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the Economy and Regeneration,
said the airport was going from “strength to strength”.
She said: “This gives us a strong indication that the business is clearly heading
in the right direction – the subsidy is coming down and revenue is going up.
“Recently the airport has been extremely successful in attracting major businesses such as helicopter
company Agusta Westland to take advantage of the unique facilities on offer and
provide high quality jobs for Cornwall.”
CAA data show that in 2010 the number of passengers using Newquay airport was 281,523
(down -18.9% compared to 2009). And in 2009 there were 386,870 passengers, (down
– 17% compared to 2008 when there were 466,448). So with all that subsidy, the
airport is losing passengers.
A study done by Stop Bristol Airport Expansion in November 2009 showed that
few of the tourists to the south west region arrive by air.
– Between 2001 and 2007, the tourism income to the South West region fell by
10% in real terms.
At the same time th eUK GDP grew by 16%, thus the sector fell behind the rest
of the economy by 25%.
– Over 80% of tourism trips and 82% of spending from stays in the South West
are domestic. Including day trips, 86% of tourism spend in the South West is
by UK citizens.
– For domestic visitors, over 8 0% arrive in the South West by car and only 2.4%
Destinations from Newquay airport: Winter 2010/2011
Below are the destinations that are available from Newquay Cornwall Airport for
Winter 2010/2011 that have their Winter programme available to book. The Winter
schedule runs from 31st October 2010 until 26th March 2011
11th February, 2011 (CENTRE FOR ASIA PACIFIC AVIATION – CAPA)
Newquay Airport update
Some interesting stuff going to the Newquay Airport Development Panel next week
– not least news of attempts to attract another airline to use the airport from
November 2011. Good luck with that one.
Passenger numbers are down 7.7% on the 2010/11 budget forecast, mainly due to
the loss of Air South West routes. Income is nevertheless up 9%. New car parking
equipment will be installed next month.
The crucial Southern Access Route – a new road, potentially opening up vast tracts
of land for development – has been delayed until the first quarter of 2011 because
of European Union rules on competitive tendering.
The 2011 Cornwall Council subsidy will be £3.4 million, compared with nearly
£3.5 million today. There’ll be a new business plan by February.
Councillors call to sell Newquay Airport
3.10.2008 (This is Cornwall)
TWO councillors have sparked a damning response from officials after calling
for Newquay Airport to be sold and all monies to be ploughed into adult social care in Cornwall.
Cornwall County Councillors John Payne and Roy Mann, who represent wards in Penzance, issued the motion which is set to be heard
at Monday’s full council meeting at County Hall.
The duo claim the authority’s money would be better spent on social care rather
than furthering the expansion of the airport.
Cllr Mann said: “We both want to see more money put into social care in Cornwall.
“There needs to be a change in the system with the levels of care for those on
basic and other needs and more funding needs to be channelled into this.
“It is a case of prevention rather than cure.”
It is believed Cornwall County Council currently spends around £4 million a year on Newquay Airport through various
The airport has also received £12 million in Objective One funding, £8 million
from the South West Regional Development Agency and has agreed to borrow £10 million against future income from airport development
It is also seeking around £40 million over the next five years from Convergence
However, Cllr Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall County Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, described the motion
to sell off the airport as “unhelpful, meaningless and ridiculous”.
“How can we sell something that, technically, we don’t own,” he said.
“I don’t know how two members of Cornwall County Council can come forward with
something that is so ill-informed. I understand the sentiments of their motion
but they have missed by a mile on this one.”
Cllr Mitchell said there was some scope in the future that the airport may be
“It is the position of this council that maybe one day in the future; that could
be 10 or 20 years down the line, when the airport starts to make a surplus then
we would consider selling either part of it or all of it.
“But until that is the case then this motion simply has no place.”
Cornwall County Council is set to officially take over the running of the airport
on December 1 from the Ministry of Defence at RAF St Mawgan.
Cllr Mitchell said such a motion could damage relations and possibly hinder any
future investment in the airport.
“To go forward with such a motion could actually be quite dangerous and could
effect many contracts we are involved in. If this was passed, we may have to
back out of contracts we bound by, meaning we would owe companies millions. There
would certainly be no money left to go into adult social care.”
Newquay Airport Local Development Order consultation
Schedule 7 – Notice under article 34
Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2010
Notice Under Article 34 of Proposal for Local Development Order Granting Planning
Proposed development at Newquay Cornwall Airport
Notice is given that Cornwall Council proposes to make a Local Development Order
granting planning permission to carry out aviation related development, such as
runway resurfacing, improvements to taxiways and the construction of aviation
A copy of the draft order and a statement of the Council’s reasons for making
the order are available via this link – Newquay Airport Local Development Order (Draft)
In addition a drop in afternoon/ evening to explain the order further will be
undertaken at St. Mawgan village hall on 15 February 2011 between 14:00 and 20:00.
Anyone who wishes to make representations about this proposed Local Development
Order should write to or email at:
C/o James Evans, Cornwall Development Company, Tyncroft House, South Wheal Crofty,
Station Road, Pool, Cornwall, TR15 3QG or firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 9 March 2011.