Blackpool Airport to expand car park as “demand soars” !!??

18.4.2009   (Blackpool Gazette)

by Nick Hyde

This is a slightly strange story, bearing in mind that in March 2009, passengers
at Blackpool airport were down to 8,903 – which is a 69.6% decline from March
2008.   In February they were down to 7,376 – which is a 69.7% drop.   For the whole
of 2008 passenger numbers at Blackpool were down to 439,000 – which is a 21% decline
on the 2007 figure.

So much for soaring passenger numbers !

Long live journalistic licence …



BOSSES at Blackpool Airport plan to extend the terminal’s car parks.
Free parking was introduced for passengers in January when the airport brought
in its £10 development fee. And extra parking is now needed as the scheme has
been such a success.

The car park will be extended near to the Westgate end of the airport by an extra
500 spaces.

There are currently 485 passenger parking spaces at Blackpool Airport and 135
visitors spaces. There is also an overspill car park with 120 spaces.

Extra flights are also being sought for the Squires Gate hub.

Sue Kendrick, communications manager at the airport, said: “Increasing routes
and passengers is the only way forward in making this airport a sustainable business
for the future and we really do need and appreciate the support of all who choose
to fly from Blackpool International.”

The airport, which made a pre-tax loss of £4.2m for the year to May 2008, is
trying to attract passengers from other North West airports as it seeks to turn
a profit.

And the 2009 forecast shows traffic from Blackpool Airport will be down by 30
per cent.

Ms Kendrick said: “When you take into account the fact that Ryanair equated for
half our traffic, if we take them out of the equation, it shows that we have actually
grown our passenger base.”

Ryanair pulled out of Blackpool when the airport development fee was introduced.

Ryanair’s flights to Dublin and Barcelona carried around 100,000 passengers a
year. Carriers still operating from the airport include Jet2, Flybe and Aer Arann
and flights were 90 per cent full during Easter week.

The airport provides around 20 daily flights to 19 destinations in Ireland and
mainland Europe. Campaigners say expansion plans should be halted with the Government’s
headline-grabbing plans to make commuters go green.

Bob Fielding, from Residents Opposed to Airport Regime group (ROAR), said: “Airport
expansion is now a thing of the past.

“It seems quite pointless that the airport is thinking of expanding its car park
when the Government want people to take up electric cars.”

The airport does not need planning permission but must consult with Fylde Council.

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