New owners agree deal to save Coventry Airport

28.4.2010 (Coventry Telegraph)

Tycoon Sir Peter Rigby is the new owner of Coventry Airport.

A deal was signed yesterday afternoon – ending months of uncertainty for the
ailing Baginton base and safeguarding about 400 jobs.

Negotiations between the airport landowners Coventry City Council and Sir Peter’s
aviation group Patriot Aerospace, have been ongoing for several months.

And within hours of signing the deal, the new owner outlined his plans for the
future, which include resurrecting commercial flights from the airport and creating
more jobs.

Sir Peter, who is worth an estimated £300million, said: "I will be setting up
a marketing team who will be promoting the airport and also isolating suitable

"The Midlands is not well connected with many European cities and clearly in
Coventry people enjoy low-cost flights to holiday destinations. I would like to
think that in the future I could bring in some scheduled flights.

"Coventry Airport has had a bumpy ride over the last few years, but hopefully
I can change that.

"I’m truly excited to be launching a new era in the long history of Coventry

“Not only is this acquisition the next logical step in the development of Patriot
Aerospace as a leading general aviation player, but it is also essential in supporting
the local economy and future of the region.

“I am proud to play a part in ensuring the region has access to first-class flying
facilities, for many years to come."

The airport purchase is the third of a series of acquisitions made by Sir Peter’s
firm in the past year. His immediate plan is to focus on making the airport fully
operational again.

He said: "Coventry Airport is located in the centre of the country and we’ll
maintain a full air traffic service and capability to continue handling a full
range of general aviation traffic, including business jets, cargo, light aircraft
and helicopters."

News of the deal has been welcomed by leaders across the city.

Councillor Ken Taylor, leader of the council, said: "This is excellent news for
Coventry and the sub region. We are an ambitious city with so many plans for growth
and regeneration and having a successful airport is an integral part of those

"The development of the airport will provide a massive economic boost across
the city and the region.

"I’m delighted we have been able to work with Sir Peter Rigby’s Patriot Aerospace
to secure the long-term future of the airport."

Coventry Airport closed in December last year after the previous owner West Midlands
Airport Ltd was wound up amid spiralling


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Comment from an AirportWatch member:

… this might be a push for private jet operations