Newquay Airport 'to stay open' despite fewer passengers

Newquay Airport The authority has also commissioned company, Capita, to study the economic impact of the airport

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Newquay Airport will remain open despite a reduction in passenger numbers, Cornwall Council has said.

A review has been launched into its future to look at whether parts of it, or the whole site, could be sold.

In 2008, the airport served 431,100 passengers, compared with an estimated 195,000 in 2011, the authority said.

Recently the airport has been hit by service cuts from Air South West and Ryanair. The council added the review was not a threat to its future.

The two-month investigation would include market research into the airport's use and proposals from airlines.

Cornwall Council said PricewaterhouseCoopers would carry out the research, with the results presented to the council's cabinet in the New Year.

'Value for money'

Chris Ridgers, the authority's portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, said the review was "not a threat to the future of the airport".

He said: "We are very aware of the importance of a thriving and successful airport to the economy of Cornwall.

"However, the council regularly reviews all its services to ensure that it is providing value for money for council tax payers in Cornwall.

PASSENGER NUMBERS

  • 2004 - 253,000
  • 2005 - 335,829
  • 2006 - 348,345
  • 2007 - 356,657
  • 2008 - 431,100
  • 2009 - 359,578
  • 2010 - 285,000
  • 2011 - 195,000 (estimate)

(Figures from Cornwall Council)

"This means that we need to consider all the options for managing and financing the airport."

The authority has also commissioned Capita to carry out a study on the economic impact of the airport.

Cornwall Council said the results would be presented on 19 October.

The airport receives an annual subsidy from the council.

This year it has provided £3.6m, but the authority said it was likely to rise in the short term as a result of the withdrawal of services by Air South West.

The company made its last flight out of Newquay at the end of September.

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