New report reveals Newquay Airport ‘going from strength to strength’ (?)
Date added: February 11, 2011
11.2.2011 (This is Cornwall)
Warning: this article contains some very suspect maths !
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 there.”
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% by plane.
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
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.
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 subsidies.
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 fees.
It is also seeking around £40 million over the next five years from Convergence Funding.
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 sold.
“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 Permission
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 related buildings