Durham Tees Valley airport applying to Regional Growth Fund for freight distribution centre

An expansion plan is being drawn up for loss-making Durham Tees Valley Airport and will be handed to the Government within weeks.  The airport is preparing a bid to the Regional Growth Fund to develop a 250-acre south side of the airport, for freight services/distribution (does not say whether any air freight is included). The application will include a new internal road, installing gas, electricity and drainage connection, and perhaps new buildings.  Peel Holdings Ltd, the airport’s owner (owns 80%), has to submit the bid to the £1bn fund by the deadline of June 13th. There has been an 80% fall in the number of passengers since 2006, from 912,000 down to 190,000 in 2011.  The focus on freight confirms the expectation the airport will find it difficult to increase passenger numbers. However, their airport’s air freight tonnage has plummeted to almost nothing in the past two years.


Airport expansion plan revealed by firm

25th May 2012

By Rob Merrick  (The Northern Echo)

AN expansion plan is being drawn up for loss-making Durham Tees Valley Airport and will be handed to the Government within weeks.

Airport bosses are preparing a bid to the Regional Growth Fund to develop the 250-acre south side of the airport, near Darlington, for freight services.

The application will seek to improve access to the site with a new internal road, as well as installing gas, electricity and drainage connections.

It could include new buildings.

However, Peel Holdings Ltd, the airport’s owner, is racing against time to submit the bid to the £1bn fund by the deadline of June 13.

MPs hailed the bid, revealed at a meeting with Transport Minister Theresa Villiers, as further proof of Peel’s commitment to the airport, after a turbulent period. Peel is the majority owner again, owning nearly 80 per cent of the business, with the rest in the hands of six North-East councils.

Despite an 80 per cent drop in passenger numbers in the past six years (190,000 in 2011 compared to 912,000 in 2006), the airport was given a big vote of confidence from airline KLM and unveiled a new marketing and investment plan.

However, it appeared the focus on freight reflects growing frustration that Government policy and the struggling economy will make it difficult to increase passenger numbers.

Explaining the growth fund bid, Peter Nears, Peel Holdings’ strategic director, said: “We want to open up the south side of the site for freight distribution, which is only a small part of our business at the moment.”

Mr Nears described the meeting as extremely positive, but said APD must be cut. He added: “The passenger market is very difficult at the moment.” He also criticised the Government’s focus on Heathrow and a proposed airport in the Thames Estuary, saying: “They call it a national hub, but unless it serves Durham Tees Valley and other airports, it is not doing that job.” The comment reflects long-standing difficulty in securing lucrative slots at Heathrow, an issue that Ms Villiers pledged to explore with the European Commission.

Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield, who organised the meeting, said: “It is obvious that the owners see a future in Durham Tees Valley and MPs will work with them to ensure that success.”

James Wharton, the Tory MP for Stockton South, said: “Everyone is pulling together to support our local airport and secure its future. There is a real consensus that we want it to succeed.”


Terminal Passengers:

2011      190,000 (down – 15% on 2010)
2010      225,000  (down – 22% on 2009)
2009      288,327 (down – 55.4% on 2008)
2008      646,741  (down 12.1% on 2007)
2007      734,000  (down 20% on 2006)
2006      912,000
2005      902,000
2000      740,000
1996      429,000
Air Freight
2011        3 (almost no change on 2010)

2010         –  ? none   

2009        298   (up +3% on 2008)

2008        290  (down 63% on 2007)
2007        786  (up 72% on 2006)
2006        457
2005        363
2004        485
2003      1,087
2002      1,007
2001      1,927
2000      3,007
1996         68


Earlier news:

Durham Tees Valley campaign to ship travellers over to Amsterdam for connections

5.5.2012   Durham Tees Valley airport is running a publicity campaign with KLM, to let people know “The World’s on Your Doorstep”. The local authority, Hartlepool Borough Council is also backing it. The aim is to promote the KLM flights (3 per day) to Amsterdam, and then all the other destinations that can be reached from Amsterdam. The Air France/KLM group operates flights from 14 cities in the UK to their hubs in Paris and Amsterdam.  There are flights each day to Heathrow from Newcastle airport, which is only about 35 miles from Durham Tees Valley airport.    http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/local/airport-campaign-1-4518265


Durham Tees Valley airport lobby to get Public Service Obligation route to London

March 15, 2012    Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield, will table an amendment to legislation currently before MPs to require airlines to maintain routes if investment and jobs depend on it. He wants to revive air links to London from regional airports such as struggling Durham Tees Valley. The idea will also be put to Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers when a delegation, led by Mr Wilson, meets her on April 24, to discuss the Durham Tees Valley Airport problems. He wants the committee considering the Civil Aviation Bill to examine the possibility of a clause, which would require an obligation to continue to fly because of the impact on the Tees Valley of withdrawing flights to London.    Click here to view full story…


Owner of airport seeks help from MPs

17th February 2012   (Northern Echo)   The new owner of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has sought the help of politicians to secure a long-term future for the business. The Peel Group has lobbied Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle and Louise Ellman MP, chairwoman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, about the importance of the airport to the local economy. Peter Nears, Peel’s strategic planning director, has also begun a round of meetings with the area’s MPs.  Six Tees Valley councils own a minority share in the airport.  Mrs Ellman said it was important that the role of regional airports in promoting employment was recognised.   Click here to view full story ….


Durham Tees Valley Airport’s future secured by takeover by Peel Investments

February 12, 2012    Previous owners Peel Airports has sold its 75% majority share-holding in the airport to Peel Investments (DTVA). So the airport can continue in business and get over its current crisis. Peel Airports is 65% owned by Vantage Airport Group (formerly Vancouver Airport Services) and 35% by The Peel Group. Peel Investments is now the majority shareholder in the airport, with the rest of the shareholding (25%) continuing to be owned by the six local authorities, including Hartlepool Borough Council. Peel Airports Limited, (as different part of the Peel Group) continues to be a major shareholder in Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster. Durham Tees Valley airport had less than 22% the number of passengers in 2011 as it had in 2006.   Click here to view full story…


Buyer sought for nose-diving Durham Tees Valley Airport

December 16, 2011   Peel Airports has put their 75% stake of the airport up for sale, as it is losing money had too few passengers. Most airports have seen a drop in traffic, but for Durham Tees Valley it’s been more of a nose-dive than a controlled descent. In 2006, more than 900,000 passengers passed through its doors. This year that will have come down to 200,000. The recession has hit and airlines have also increasingly deserted Durham Tees Valley for the safety of bigger airports.    Click here to view full story…