Fylde MP calls on Government to help save Blackpool Airport

Mark Menzies MP has called on the Government to reduce Air Passenger Duty for smaller regional hubs in a bid to secure the future of Blackpool International Airport.

The airport, which is actually located in Mr Menzies’ Fylde constituency, is currently under threat of closure after operator Balfour Beatty failed to find a buyer when it put the business on the market last month.

Following the announcement that the airport was for sale, Mr Menzies met with its managing director in Parliament to offer his support, but made it clear that he wished the site to continue operating as a transport hub.

The Member of Parliament said: “I had hoped Balfour Beatty would be able to find a buyer which could take the airport on and give the necessary commitment to make it a profitable and viable venture, but it does not seem likely that will happen in the short term.

“I have written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Transport calling for the Government to sharply reduce Air Passenger Duty for flights operating from smaller regional airports to make properties like Blackpool more attractive to airlines and investors.

“I made it clear to Balfour Beatty that under no circumstances would I support this land being sold for commercial or residential development as airport runways are strategic national assets and should be protected.

“Blackpool is the third biggest airport in the North West and, with the correct support, could provide the area with endless opportunities to grow local business and tourism, with a working runway becoming increasingly important for the area’s connectivity to the rest of the UK and Europe.

“I will be working with Fylde Borough Council, which would deal with any planning or change-of-use applications for this site, and my neighbouring MPs in Blackpool to see what we can do to make this a more viable proposition for the aviation industry to keep operating from Squires Gate, as it has done for the best part of a century.”

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