Blackpool Airport – News
Blackpool Airport terminal to face the bulldozers
14th January 2016
Blackpool airport’s international terminal is set to go next month after planning permission for demolition was granted.
An application to take down the terminal built in 1995 was submitted by airport owners Balfour Beatty to Fylde Council as part of a future plan to use the site for a new energy college.
The council used delegated powers to approve the decision which will see the removal of building and two portable cabins once used by hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers heading for the sun when commercial airline Jet2 flew from Blackpool up until October 2014.
Then the airport was temporarily closed after its operating company ran up debts of £35m but reopened for limited commercial flights in April 2015.
Blackpool and The Fylde College has submitted plans for a two storey college building constructed with 40 solar panels and 12 solar thermal water heating panels plus two 12m high wind turbines.
The plans were opposed by campaign group Save Blackpool Airport which wants to see a return of commercial jets to Squires Gate as they said the turbines could interfere with radar and there were no plans submitted for a replacement terminal. Rob Blower from the group said the planning decision was disappointing.
He said: “We wrote opposing this decision, but as soon as Balfour Beatty removed all the equipment and conveyor belts in the auction last summer we knew the building would be taken down.
“Although we have been told there is going to be a replacement terminal they have given no indication of its size.
“If they really wanted to get commercial flights back they would build a terminal and then seek airlines but we think they will only look at building one if an operator is keen to come forward.”
The National Air Traffic Services group has written to the council to object to the plans saying that the wind turbines would interfere with aircraft radar transmissions.
Today Blackpool and The Fylde College said it had withdrawn the part of its plans relating to the turbines.
A spokesman said: “Blackpool and The Fylde College has chosen to withdrawn this element of the application, not because of NATS or flicker issues. This has been done to avoid delay to the overall application while we continue to work together with planners and consultees on other issues of visual amenity and then determine whether a separate application for the wind turbines is appropriate.”
The spokesman said that it would still be a leading exponent of green technology with other sustainable technology such as solar electric, solar thermal, rainwater harvesting, smart metering and a living green wall.
A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “Permission has been granted for the demolition. Before a decision can be made on the energy college, the council would need to see plans for a an interim terminal.”
Airport equipment to go under the hammer
26 March 2015
A raft of equipment from Blackpool Airport is to be sold at auction. Balfour Beatty which owns the Squires Gate operation has announced that equipment from airside and the terminal are now up for sale at an auction set for next month. They say none of the items is crucial for exisiting air operations and that the sale should not impact on future operations including the return of larger commercial airlines. But campaign groups and political figures have expressed deep concerns over the move. Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “I find the timing of this ‘auction’ quite bizzare and singularly inappropriate coming straight after the welcome news of CityWing’s return which I and others strongly pressed for and welcomed.
Blackpool Airport to reopen as airfield for small aircraft
18 November 2014 (BBC)
Blackpool Airport is set to begin non-commercial operations next month. Blackpool Airport will reopen for small aircraft and helicopters but will not serve commercial passengers. A company called Squires Gate Airport Operations Limited was incorporated six days ago at site owner Balfour Beatty’s offices in London. The company is advertising for air traffic controllers and other staff to work at the airport from December 1. They will be part of a new operations team supporting independent operators and businesses at the site. Balfour Beatty closed the airport last month after failing to secure a buyer, with the loss of about 100 jobs. A spokesman said: “Following the airport closure, we announced our commitment to develop a sustainable future for aviation services at Blackpool Airport. Today is the first step in that process. Bond Offshore Helicopters will return to Blackpool; it operates services to oil and gas rigs in the Irish Sea. The staff redundancy bill totals more than £4.3m but the report estimates that only £528,244 will be available to pay towards this cost. The government will have to cover outstanding staff costs from the National Insurance Fund. More at:
Failed Blackpool airport, closed owing some £21 million, of which £2 million to unsecured creditors
Blackpool airport has been closed down, but it has now emerged that Blackpool Airport Ltd (the operator), which is part of its owner, Balfour Beatty, owed divisions of its parent company Balfour Beatty £19.2m. It also owes unsecured creditors, firms and individuals supplying goods and services to the airport, £2m. Now the assets and equipment on the airport’s site will have to be sold off to the highest bidder to pay off creditors. Liquidators have visited the airport to price up anything which can be auctioned off to raise money. The airport had been losing around £1.5m a year and had been put up for sale in September. A Blackpool councillor commented: “Clearly the management of the airport was not working and has not been for a long time. The debt seems an awful lot and it seems to be much more than the losses they had been reported as making over recent years. It’s clear … Balfour Beatty was out of its depth when it comes to running an airport. I think it has a lot of explaining to do.”
Unite union calls for more time to help save Blackpool airport jobs after closure on 15th
Unite Union bosses have called on Balfour Beatty to think again about the rapid closure of Blackpool Airport to give parties more time to come up with a rescue package to save jobs. As no buyer has been found for the airport, it will close on 15th October. Although air traffic control and fire cover will also end at that point, the smaller general aviation companies will continue to operate. However, more than 100 jobs are set to go – including fire fighters, security, air traffic controllers and administrative staff – and the long term future of the airport now lies under a cloud as Balfour Beatty, MPs, local councils and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership continue to look for ways to retain aviation use of the site while making the best use of the 400 acres to support jobs and the local economy. Unite said “Because it is going to be made insolvent then our members will have to claim back their redundancy and any back holiday pay from the state.” Unite wants the owners to rethink. The Blackpool area already has high unemployment, and a shortage of skilled or well-paid work.
Blackpool Airport closure shock
29 September 2014 (Blackpool Gazette)
Blackpool Airport will close down next month unless a buyer can be found. Since the end of last month, owners Balfour Beatty have been trying to find a buyer to take over the operating interests in the terminal, which was bought for £14m in 2008. But in a statement, the company today said that unless an agreement can be reached before October 7, it is “likely the airport will close” with the last commercial flights taking place on October 15th. The airport has been making a loss for a number of years. Three airlines fly out of the terminal.
They are Jet2.com, Stobart Air, and Citywing
Blackpool airport (losing about £1.5 million per year) put up for sale by Balfour Beatty
Blackpool Airport has been put up for sale by Balfour Beatty, which bought it in 2008. The airport is saying the sale will not affect flights, and it hopes to get new routes. Balfour Beatty paid £14m for the airport, and has now has decided to sell its operating interests in the site as part of a wider decision to sell all its interests in regional airports. But it will continue to own the land on which the terminal stands. Alan Cavill, assistant chief executive at Blackpool Council, which sold the airport in 2004 for £13 million, welcomed the news. A London-based restructuring specialist is handling handle the sale and inviting expressions of interest from would-be buyers before September 10th, but no price has been put on the airport. Balfour Beatty has invested almost £30m in the site since 2008. But passenger numbers have dropped over the years from a peak of around 500,000 in 2007. It gets passengers from the North West of England, Southern Scotland, Cumbria and Cheshire. The airport makes an annual loss of about £1.5m per year. Three airlines are based at Blackpool including Jet2 with 13 destinations.
Blackpool Airport fury over permission for 73 homes that would block its growth
5th August 2011
The airport has slammed Fylde council for failing to properly consider the detrimental impact a new housing development could have on the region’s economy. In an unusual step Fylde councillors could be asked to reconsider granting approval for 73 homes on the former Pontins site amid fears it will hamper the airport’s ability to grow. The airport remains adamant some of the proposed 73 homes will be affected by an increase in noise levels.
Jet2 to pick up their own baggage at Blackpool
7th January 2011 Jet2 recently won a High Court battle with Blackpool airport after bosses there said they wouldn’t cater for late night or early morning flights. Jet2 will now take over check-in desks and baggage handling operations to secure its future at the airport. Jet2 staff will now greet passengers, check them in and carry out airside roles. Jet2 now employs over 60 staff at the airport and plans to take on a further 10 over the busy summer season. Click here to view full story…
Jet2 win court injunction against Blackpool airport so it has to stay open after 9pm
5th November 2010 Holiday flights were to have been diverted away from Blackpool Airport as a row with Jet2.com escalated. The airline had been told that all flights due to arrive after 9pm would have to find somewhere else to land. as staff could not be paid to stay late. A high court decision has now reversed this. The airport is due to lose £2.7m this year and could be ready to shed 85 jobs. It was no longer prepared to provide ground staff for late night Jet2 services. Click here to view full story…
Blackpool flights to be diverted after 9pm to save on staff time
3rd November 2010 Holiday flightsare being diverted away from Blackpool Airport as a row with budget airline Jet2.com escalates. The airline has been told that all flights due to arrive after 9pm will have to find somewhere else to land… as the airport is CLOSED. The airport is due to lose £2.7m this year and could be ready to shed 85 jobs. It is no longer prepared to provide ground staff for late night Jet2 services, which have to divert to Manchester. Click here to view full story…
Blackpool Airport in crisis
23.10.10 Blackpool Airport is in reported to be in crisis with two thirds of its staff facing the sack and bosses admitting they could lose their biggest airline. The Gazette reports all 125 workers were called in for a mass meeting yesterday and told as many as 85 of them could be made redundant. The shock move has come after low-cost airline Jet2 told the airport there was ‘no potential for growth’ in its European services from Blackpool. Airport bosses also told the newspaper that their business has suffered ‘substantial loss’ due to the recession. They blame a downturn in the aviation market and say a ground crew handling agreement with Jet2 is no longer viable. It has left them £1m out-of-pocket over the last five years. Now the airline is being asked to provide its own ‘handling’ staff or bring in a contractor, with fears Jet2 may opt to quit the airport, despite having a 10 year contract. (UK Airport News) link
Blackpool Airport seeks business help for London link
25.06.10 Business travellers from across Lancashire and the Lake District are being canvassed for their views to help reinstate a sought after London link from Blackpool Airport. The airport is seeking the opinions of North West business travellers to gather vital information about preferred flying destinations, favoured flying timings and general travel arrangements. (UK Airport News) link
07.04.10 Blackpool Airport call on public to ask airlines for flights
Blackpool Airport passengers down 25% in January
15.03.10 Blackpool Airport bosses say the hub is looking to a brighter future – despite a sharp fall of almost 25% in passenger numbers in January compared to a year earlier. Bad weather, with the airport closed for much of a two week period contributed to the poor passenger figures, but was largely due to the departure of Ryanair. Just 4,875 people passed through the terminal in January, compared to 6,118 12 months previous. (UK Airport News) link
14.06.09 Blackpool Airport boss to leave
Blackpool Airport to expand car park as “demand soars” !!??
18th April 2009 The airport plans to extend the terminal’s car parks, by 500 spaces. There are currently 485 passenger parking spaces and 135 visitors spaces. There is also an overspill car park with 120 spaces. 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. Bob Fielding, from the lcoal group ROAR said: “Airport expansion is now a thing of the past.” (Gazette) Click here to view full story…
Blackpool Airport passengers down by 63%
28th February 2009 Passenger numbers at Blackpool have dropped by 63% in a year. Just over 7,000 people used terminal in January this year compared to 19,236 in January 2008. The withdrawal of routes has been blamed for the drop rather than the credit crunch. In January Ryanair pull the plug on its flights to Dublin and Girona after the airport introduced its controversial £10 airport development fee payable by all passengers aged over 16. (Gazette) Click here to view full story…
Huge boost for Blackpool Airport – runway improvement
7th February 2009 The airport hopes to have more long haul flights due to a £1m cash injection. The money is being used to upgrade the runway following the introduction of the controversial Airport Development Fee (ADF) at £10 per passenger. The airport wants services from Blackpool to be extended to the eastern and southern Mediterranean. There will be a partial re-laying of the runway, taxiway and the apron where planes are parked, starting on 23rd Feb. (Blackpool Gazette) Click here to view full story…
New air route gets off to flying start
Airport shrugs off Carlisle revival plan
27.08.07 Jet2 puts Blackpool Airport summer 2008 flights on sale
Blackpool Airport objects to wind farm plans
12.07.08 (UK Airport News) Blackpool Airport has objected to plans for a £2.5 million giant wind turbine tower on the outskirts of Garstang. The airport fears that the 127 metre high turbine proposed for the Dewlay cheese factory off the A6 at Kirkland could hamper their radar – threatening the safety of planes and passengers. Link to story
Blackpool Airport urged to go green
31.05.07 (UK Airport News) Fylde Council and Blackpool Airport‘s neighbours have called on Balfour Beatty, the airport’s new owner, to tackle carbon emissions, the Gazette reports. The appeal comes as Fylde aims to rid itself of the unwanted tag of being one of the least energy efficient boroughs in the country.
Officers from the council have already met with representatives from the construction giant to discuss how to tackle pollution. Council leader John Coombes hopes activities both on the ground and in the air can be made more green. http://www.uk-airport-news.info/blackpool-airport-news-310508.htm
All articles in reverse date order
Blackpool Airport News Stories
Some NEWS about Blackpool airport: There is news on the UK Airport News website 16.06.11 Jet2 wins Blackpool Airport opening hours court case 16.04.11 Blackpool Airport defend £10 flight tax 18.01.11 New Madeira flights from Blackpool Airport 08.01.11 Jet2 take over ground handling at Blackpool Airport Jet2 to pick up their […]