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Discussion:

Exeter Airport to get bigger and bigger

Messages  1 - 14 of 14

 
 
 

Message 1 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 18, 2007

Reports this week suggest that Exeter Airport's new owners will produce their master plan next month pointing up the airport's future, with a minimum expectation of a doubling of current passenger numbers within the next eight years to reach the 2 million a year stage.

The airport has grown 300% in passenger numbers since 2003 so the projected doubling again in the next eight years is perfectly feasible.

In fact, if the consortium of protestors against the further expansion of Bristol Airport has its way (and it is surely the largest and best organised of any UK regional airport protest group) and growth there is curtailed, Exeter might see an even bigger increase in passenger numbers.

I live just outside Exeter's primary catchment area but wondered how local people view the prospect.

I am not against airport expansion per se - anywhere - but I do believe there should be reasonable guidelines that should be followed.

The problem is, I suppose, what is reasonable to airport supporters is not to airport opponents, and vice versa.



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Message 2 - posted by U3312314, Aug 18, 2007

Hello Donnely Yates, I live in Exmouth (under the channel islands flight path) and I would be delighted to see an increase in traffic. This will bring in extra trade, and therefore employment, to Exeter. Perhaps this might also prompt the ministry to dual track the Exeter - Waterloo railway line and make the A303 dual carriageway to help users from southern counties get here.
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Message 3 - posted by minnie3, Aug 18, 2007

Lucky you DD:-). Exmouth is a lovely seaside town. I know quite a few people who live there.

Do you not worry about extra noise on the flight path from more aircraft?
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Message 4 - posted by GrumpyOldGit, Aug 18, 2007

Hello Donnely Yates, I live in Exmouth (under the channel islands flight path) and I would be delighted to see an increase in traffic. This will bring in extra trade, and therefore employment, to Exeter. Perhaps this might also prompt the ministry to dual track the Exeter - Waterloo railway line and make the A303 dual carriageway to help users from southern counties get here.

Quoted from this message

Well said DD! <ok>

We used to live next to railway lines. WHen we first moved in they were areal pain (obviously, they tracks were there before us, so we couldn't complain!!). After a few months, though, we hardly noticed the trains.

I know planes are a tad noisier, but I expect it's pretty much the same principle. I stayed at a hotel directly under the flight path into Heathrow earlier in the year, and the noise wan't a major problem (No, I'm not deaf! ;)).

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Message 5 - posted by U3312314, Aug 18, 2007

Not at all Minnie, the only major cause of noise is from the police, coastguard and military helicopters flying along the coast. Throughout the summer they seem to be busy rescuing holiday makers from the sea.

The commercial ircraft seem quite quiet - they're not very big ones - Exeter could never handle a Jumbo Jet, its noisiest aircraft are the RAF Red Arrows who pop down for their summer holidays sometimes.<smiley>
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Message 6 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 18, 2007

It's refreshing to hear some positive comments about an airport in a non-aviation forum.

Exeter is an excellent facility for the South West but really needs some more scheduled airlines to operate from it because it is currently dominated by Flybe. I have nothing against that airline but no airport ought to be that reliant on one carrier.

Incidentally, Exeter can handle a jumbo jet (the Boeing 747) and has had at least one in there in the past three years or so, but we would be unlikely to see such an aircraft on regular service.

Although Flybe uses smallish Bombardier Q400 turbo props and Embraer 195 jet aircraft, some of the charter airlines that use Exeter operate much larger machines, such as wide-bodied Airbuses and Boeings on occasions.

Modern civil aircraft are becoming much quieter and less anti-social generally. I live fairly close to the flight path of a busier airport than Exeter and cannot say the noise bothers me - my wife feels the same.

In fact, the buses that pass our house are more of a nuisance from a noise point of view.
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Message 7 - posted by U3312314, Aug 19, 2007

Just a thought Donnelly - if a full 747 set down at Exeter I don't doubt the pilot would be able to park it quite safely .... but three or four hundred passengers in one go would bring customs and bus & taxi services to their knees!
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Message 8 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 19, 2007

D_D

Exeter is surprisingly busy at certain times of the week in summer when two or three medium-sized charter aircraft sometimes arrive around the same time as some Flybe aircraft and several hundred passengers in total disembark.

The airport is certainly in need of expanding and upgrading its infrastructure to take account of its increased passenger numbers, and the master plan will tell us how the new owners intend to go about it.

I should have made myself clear about the 747. I'm not sure it was in passenger-carrying service.

As you may know, Exeter is also used for parking up civil aircraft not currently needed for flying and I think the 747 stayed for a few days before going on to Bournemouth for a longer stay.

Incidentally, unless the Beeb removes it, here is a link that will take you to a picture of the 747 at Exeter.

www.airliners.net/op...
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Message 9 - posted by Bazza, Aug 20, 2007

Where from Exeter can you fly too?
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Message 10 - posted by U3312314, Aug 20, 2007

Where from Exeter can you fly too?

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Well this is only one airline but try

www.flybe.com/

this is the airports view

www.exeter-airport.c...
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Message 11 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 20, 2007

Flybe is the only scheduled carrier at Exeter (except for the tiny Isles of Scilly Skybus).

Over the past few years Flybe, which has its headquarters at Exeter, has turned itself from a staid, small regional carrier into an aggressively marketed low-cost operator (although like all so-called low cost airlines fares are not always cheap) that has burgeoned across the country serving particularly, though not exclusively, smaller regional UK airports using smaller aircraft than those used by the easyJets and Ryanairs of this world.

This has enabled Flybe to build up quite a route network form Exeter. Currently the following destinations are flown: Aberdeen, Alicante, Amsterdam, Avignon, Belfast City, Bergerac, Brest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Glasgow, Guernsey, Jersey, Leeds-Bradford, Malaga, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Mallorca, Paris CDG and Rennes.

Not all are flown daily whilst others are flown twice a day.

Weekly summer charter routes (some flown more than once each week) include, Innsbruck, Bourgas (Bulgaria), Larnaca, Paphos, Corfu, Heraklion (Crete), Funchal, Malta, Malaga, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Monastir (Tunisia), Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman (the last three in Turkey).

There are also two summer charter flights to Toronto each week and various one-off charter flights to other destinations.

Exeter saw nearly 109,000 passengers pass through its terminal in July and it handled just under 998,000 passengers in the twelve-month period ending 31 July 2007 (Civil Aviation Authority figures).

I mentioned Bristol Airport earlier. This handles six times more passengers than Exeter and, with Ryanair about to base aircraft there (easyJet already has eleven Airbuses based there), will be even busier in the next twelve months.

But it is running out of infrastructure space and, with the massed ranks of the anti-expansionists determined to blunt its major development ambitions, there may come a time when some of the growth that would have gone there might well go to the likes of Exeter and Cardiff airports, both of which are currently under-served in comparison with Bristol.




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Message 12 - posted by U3312314, Oct 17, 2007

DY, you may be interested to know that, according to BBC local radio today, an Airline, whose name I missed, is moving an Airbus A340 down to Exeter from Cardiff, together with its crew (obvious really) and support staff. Apparently they may also be replacing said aircraft with a Boeing Dreamliner. It was also said that they expected to create 50 jobs at the airport although whether this would be relocated staff or not was not clear.
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Message 13 - posted by plumbob, Oct 17, 2007

DD the airline is First Choice ;-)
DY, you may be interested to know that, according to BBC local radio today, an Airline, whose name I missed, is moving an Airbus A340 down to Exeter from Cardiff, together with its crew (obvious really) and support staff. Apparently they may also be replacing said aircraft with a Boeing Dreamliner. It was also said that they expected to create 50 jobs at the airport although whether this would be relocated staff or not was not clear.

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Message 14 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Oct 18, 2007

D_D

The First Choice aircraft is actually an Airbus A320. An Airbus A340 would be marvellous but First Choice doesn't have any and it would be rather too large for most routes out of Exeter anyway.

For the past two or three winters much of the Cardiff-based First Choice A320's work has been out of Exeter during the winter months, so the move is a sensible idea.

What is different is that it will be used exclusively from Exeter during the summer months as well.

You may be aware that the two tour companies, TUI Group and First Choice, are amalgamating and their respective airlines, Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways, may well become one airline in the future.

There is huge rationalisation in the industry at the moment with Thomas Cook and MyTravel also amalgamating.

This has led to a merry-go-round of based aircraft with, for instance, Bristol losing its based Thomsonfly Boeing 757 from next summer and Cardiff losing its First Choice A320 to Exeter.

Cardiff is likely to get an extra Thomsonfly 757 and Bristol (which will retain its two First Choice Boeing 757s) will get a Thomas Cook A 320 based along with its MyTravel A 320.

It's very good news for Exeter though which is the net winner out of all this in the South West Britain airports, and it may be added to in future years of course.

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner (not yet in any airline service and its introduction has been delayed) has certainly been ordered by First Choice and could operate out of Exeter. However, it is a wide-bodied aircraft and will be used on long-haul routes so it would supplement the A320, not replace it.

Bristol Airport, whose Achilles Heel is its short runway length, has been told by Boeing that the Boeing 787 could fly from Lulsgate non stop with a full payload as far as Capetown and the west coast of America.

Exeter, with a slightly longer and lower runway, would be in this position as well of course so it is possible that at some point really long-haul flights might operate.

I think you will see more new airlines at Exeter over the next few years.





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