Passengers charged to use Durham Tees Valley Airport

Durham Tees Valley Airport The airport is operating at a loss and needs to "stabilise" its finances

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Passengers departing from Durham Tees Valley Airport are being charged a new fee just to use the airport.

From Monday, adult passengers must pay a £6 airport facility fee - the cost for children is £2.

The airport's owner, Peel Airports, said it did not want to charge customers but it was the only way to safeguard its future.

Chief executive of the group Craig Richmond said the airport was operating at a loss.

Passengers pay the new fee at machines in the terminal which issue tickets enabling them to pass through security and into departure areas.

Similar schemes are already in operation at other UK airports including Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich.

Mr Richmond said: "It is not something we want to do - this is a great regional airport with a lot of support - but it is a tough time and when you see your passengers drop off by between 30 and 40%, you have to do something to stabilise the finances.

"But I think people will pay it, if they are from this community, because they know it is such an important facility.

"I remain optimistic that the airport has a bright long-term future provided we can meet the current challenges."

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