BLACKPOOL AIRPORT CLOSURE CONFIRMED

The current owners of Blackpool Airport, Balfour Beaty, have confirmed in a statement today that the airport will close, after they failed to find a buyer for the loss-making transport terminal.

The official statement read, “We regret to announce that no agreement has been reached to secure the future of operations at Blackpool Airport. The airport operation has been making a loss for a number of years and unfortunately there is no option for the company other than to close.

“This is a very sad day for the airport which has a proud aviation history and a loyal, appreciative customer following. We would like to thank all our dedicated staff who have delivered exceptional service to passengers for many years.

“The airport will remain open to the public until 15 October 2014 and we will endeavour to maintain operations as normal until this date, after which time commercial flights will cease.

“While the sales process announced at the end of August was a final attempt to secure the future of the airport, the airport’s management had spent many months prior to this announcement approaching organisations with a potential interest in the airport in an attempt to find a buyer.

“Work is currently underway with the independent aviation businesses and tenants at the airport to understand if their operations can continue in the future. Working in partnership with the local authorities, regeneration plans are also being developed which will be designed to create future employment and sustainable economic development opportunities for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.

Cllr John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is a very sad day for Blackpool, Blackpool Airport and, most importantly, the staff who work there.

“My thoughts are with all of those who are affected by this announcement, both directly and indirectly.

“We will, of course, offer any help we can to them.

“This does not necessarily mean the end of the line for aviation at Squires Gate and we are aware that interest remains in the airfield and the site.

“As a passenger-led airport it has lost money throughout its tenure, has not delivered inbound tourism and the jobs growth one would expect for the size of the site and neither Balfour Beatty or any other company appears to be able or minded to save it on that basis.

“The site undoubtedly does, however, have significant potential to deliver quality jobs, growth and, equally importantly, profit as a commercial airfield and helipad as other similar ventures around the country have.

“We continue to work and try to make that possible and will continue to be as open and frank as we can with the public as we have from the outset.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45156/

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