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Plymouth Airport "to Be Closed"

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..at the end of the year...another airport gone from the southwest...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/plymouth-loses-vital-link-airport-2275913.html

Plymouth City Airport is to close by the end of the year. Its owner, property firm the Sutton Harbour Group, said it was unable to make the struggling airport financially viable and losses meant the airport had to close.

Plymouth is in fierce competition in the South West with larger airports in Newquay and Exeter. Nigel Godefroy, chief executive of the Sutton Harbour Group, said: "During our 11-year involvement with Plymouth City Airport we have done everything in our power to make it a success, even launching our own regional airline.

"So this has been an incredibly difficult decision, given the efforts by so many, including our own staff, to give the airport a future.

"We have always fought for Plymouth's air links and sought to do our best for the city and its people, our employees and shareholders, but the usage of the airport simply does not support the high cost of operation."

In a statement, the firm said "the wider economic downturn and challenges for the UK regional aviation market" were to blame for the planned closure. It said losses were set to pass the £1 million mark over the next year. With its connection with Gatwick having ended in February, it anticipated departing passenger numbers dipping below 100 per day.

Sutton Harbour sold off its airline, Air Southwest - which is based at the airport - last year, as it struggled against competition locally from Exeter-based Flybe. Its new owner, Hull-based Eastern Airways, axed a number of routes from Plymouth, further impacting on numbers.

Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said losing the airport was a huge blow to the city and urged Sutton Harbour and Plymouth City Council, which owns the land on which it is built, not to use it for housing or any other use, suggesting it be "mothballed" for five years until the economy picks up.

"Its value as an airport is in excess of £1 billion, that is what it would cost to build again from scratch," he said.

"Using the land for housing would only recoup around £40 million.

"If the city had a motorway or a fast train line this move would be more palatable. But without them the airport is a vital transport link."

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its hard to run an airport.

you have a field, a radio tower, some private maintenance firms and a shed with a big C on it.

course, the council will charge 1million rates, and selling the place to build 1000 high density executive ipads will earn them fortunes.

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Bad news I guess.

Where I am from (Derry in Northern Ireland), we have an airport - probably in a similar position to Plymouth - it's vastly unprofitable and survives due to taxpayers money encouraging flights to it.

Normally as a tax payer I'd be livid - but I'm flying back tomorrow and it is costing less than £100 for 2 people return on Ryanair from Glasgow. :)

Which is really cheap.

This makes me think of which other airports will close - and how will that affect people who bought a house in Spain/France and now can't visit it as easily as they thought.

This was all predictable (and predicted here) many years in advance.

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Bad news I guess.

Where I am from (Derry in Northern Ireland), we have an airport - probably in a similar position to Plymouth - it's vastly unprofitable and survives due to taxpayers money encouraging flights to it.

Normally as a tax payer I'd be livid - but I'm flying back tomorrow and it is costing less than £100 for 2 people return on Ryanair from Glasgow. :)

Which is really cheap.

This makes me think of which other airports will close - and how will that affect people who bought a house in Spain/France and now can't visit it as easily as they thought.

This was all predictable (and predicted here) many years in advance.

I remember reading an article a while ago - when Ryanair opens a new french airport, you see the housing market in an hours radius around it, dramatically shoot up...

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For just over a year I taught at the college that is right next to PLH, and used the airport once or twice. It was the only viable way of getting to and from London in a day (the planes went to London City), and the plane ticket prices reflected that (this was during the Brymon Airways era, long before lo-co airlines existed). The only people who used it were business travellers who weren't paying themselves, and even then the airport must have been receiving massive subsidies. A decade and a half later, my sister works for a small, business-oriented airline that has been thinking about PLH for some time, but repeatedly decided that the sums didn't add up and stayed away. Newquay and Exeter have cut into Plymouth's potential market share, business travellers are also very cost-conscious these days, and the runway and facilities are such that the ideal planes for the sort of trips Plymouth would support cannot be accommodated at that airport. Added to which, the airport's relatively high location (up a very steep hill leading out of the city to the north, and effectively in the Dartmoor foothills) means that it gets fogbound very quickly and they only have Cat I ILS. Flights getting diverted to Exeter followed by a bus ride for the passengers is an almost weekly occurrence.

Still, this must be very bad news for the city. The road and rail links out of the south-west peninsula are so bad that you're looking at five hours (door to door) to London however you do it, three to Bristol and a full day's travelling to Manchester or beyond. Plymouth's economy will go rapidly back to tourism and marine/naval stuff, I guess.

Related to which, I really do wonder how long my local airport (Teesside / MME) will survive, now. Flew out of there last week on one of the KLM feeder flights to Amsterdam. Only 11 passengers on a Fokker 70, and those KLM flights were about the only ones scheduled that day.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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Related to which, I really do wonder how long my local airport (Teesside / MME) will survive, now. Flew out of there last week on one of the KLM feeder flights to Amsterdam. Only 11 passengers on a Fokker 70, and those KLM flights were about the only ones scheduled that day.

They have a few daily flights on Eastern Airways to Aberdeen.

Small planes (maybe 20-30 seats) - big fairs (think £300 return as standard).

Clientele? Almost exclusively the Oil Industry - and those I know who work here M-F 0 they all drive up on Monday back on Friday - EAirways are just too expensive.

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Still, this must be very bad news for the city. The road and rail links out of the south-west peninsula are so bad that you're looking at five hours (door to door) to London

Well, that depends upon exactly where you are of course, but the actual train journey is about 3 hours IIRC (it's a long time since I've been to Plymouth though) - not exactly high-speed, but not too bad considering the distance, although that was in the days of actually getting trains instead of some pokey overcrowded bus on rails. At some point this "Everything needs to be next door to London" attitude needs to change.

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For just over a year I taught at the college that is right next to PLH, and used the airport once or twice. It was the only viable way of getting to and from London in a day (the planes went to London City), and the plane ticket prices reflected that (this was during the Brymon Airways era, long before lo-co airlines existed). The only people who used it were business travellers who weren't paying themselves, and even then the airport must have been receiving massive subsidies. A decade and a half later, my sister works for a small, business-oriented airline that has been thinking about PLH for some time, but repeatedly decided that the sums didn't add up and stayed away. Newquay and Exeter have cut into Plymouth's potential market share, business travellers are also very cost-conscious these days, and the runway and facilities are such that the ideal planes for the sort of trips Plymouth would support cannot be accommodated at that airport. Added to which, the airport's relatively high location (up a very steep hill leading out of the city to the north, and effectively in the Dartmoor foothills) means that it gets fogbound very quickly and they only have Cat I ILS. Flights getting diverted to Exeter followed by a bus ride for the passengers is an almost weekly occurrence.

Still, this must be very bad news for the city. The road and rail links out of the south-west peninsula are so bad that you're looking at five hours (door to door) to London however you do it, three to Bristol and a full day's travelling to Manchester or beyond. Plymouth's economy will go rapidly back to tourism and marine/naval stuff, I guess.

Related to which, I really do wonder how long my local airport (Teesside / MME) will survive, now. Flew out of there last week on one of the KLM feeder flights to Amsterdam. Only 11 passengers on a Fokker 70, and those KLM flights were about the only ones scheduled that day.

Teesside has not long to go, in my view. Didn't they also implement a passenger tax (some 10£ per passenger), just to use the airport?

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For just over a year I taught at the college that is right next to PLH, and used the airport once or twice. It was the only viable way of getting to and from London in a day (the planes went to London City), and the plane ticket prices reflected that (this was during the Brymon Airways era, long before lo-co airlines existed). The only people who used it were business travellers who weren't paying themselves, and even then the airport must have been receiving massive subsidies. A decade and a half later, my sister works for a small, business-oriented airline that has been thinking about PLH for some time, but repeatedly decided that the sums didn't add up and stayed away. Newquay and Exeter have cut into Plymouth's potential market share, business travellers are also very cost-conscious these days, and the runway and facilities are such that the ideal planes for the sort of trips Plymouth would support cannot be accommodated at that airport. Added to which, the airport's relatively high location (up a very steep hill leading out of the city to the north, and effectively in the Dartmoor foothills) means that it gets fogbound very quickly and they only have Cat I ILS. Flights getting diverted to Exeter followed by a bus ride for the passengers is an almost weekly occurrence.

Still, this must be very bad news for the city. The road and rail links out of the south-west peninsula are so bad that you're looking at five hours (door to door) to London however you do it, three to Bristol and a full day's travelling to Manchester or beyond. Plymouth's economy will go rapidly back to tourism and marine/naval stuff, I guess.

Related to which, I really do wonder how long my local airport (Teesside / MME) will survive, now. Flew out of there last week on one of the KLM feeder flights to Amsterdam. Only 11 passengers on a Fokker 70, and those KLM flights were about the only ones scheduled that day.

Depends how much they are charging per seat...Must of been over three years ago, but an ex work colleague want to go from Bristol to Paris, and was quoted over £450 for a seat...I believe that was BA..

Edited by Dave Beans

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Plymouth airport - a true waste of time and space.

Especially space. They had hugely disruptive and expensive works to divert the A386 (Plymouth's second-most-main arterial road) around it to give it more space just a few years ago.

I've never actually found a use for it, despite it being more accessible than the railway station from where I live. Nearest I've come is traveling to Dublin, but there was never a flight on the right day.

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For just over a year I taught at the college that is right next to PLH, and used the airport once or twice. It was the only viable way of getting to and from London in a day (the planes went to London City), and the plane ticket prices reflected that (this was during the Brymon Airways era, long before lo-co airlines existed). The only people who used it were business travellers who weren't paying themselves, and even then the airport must have been receiving massive subsidies. A decade and a half later, my sister works for a small, business-oriented airline that has been thinking about PLH for some time, but repeatedly decided that the sums didn't add up and stayed away. Newquay and Exeter have cut into Plymouth's potential market share, business travellers are also very cost-conscious these days, and the runway and facilities are such that the ideal planes for the sort of trips Plymouth would support cannot be accommodated at that airport. Added to which, the airport's relatively high location (up a very steep hill leading out of the city to the north, and effectively in the Dartmoor foothills) means that it gets fogbound very quickly and they only have Cat I ILS. Flights getting diverted to Exeter followed by a bus ride for the passengers is an almost weekly occurrence.

Still, this must be very bad news for the city. The road and rail links out of the south-west peninsula are so bad that you're looking at five hours (door to door) to London however you do it, three to Bristol and a full day's travelling to Manchester or beyond. Plymouth's economy will go rapidly back to tourism and marine/naval stuff, I guess.

Related to which, I really do wonder how long my local airport (Teesside / MME) will survive, now. Flew out of there last week on one of the KLM feeder flights to Amsterdam. Only 11 passengers on a Fokker 70, and those KLM flights were about the only ones scheduled that day.

It should be remembered that Brymon were the outfit who started what became London City Airport.

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Teesside has not long to go, in my view. Didn't they also implement a passenger tax (some 10£ per passenger), just to use the airport?

I would reckon that any airport which implements a passenger tax will close soon after. Passenger tax = fewer passengers= no low cost airlines.

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Sutton Harbour Holdings, the Plymouth company that took on the lease on the Airport a few years ago is of course primarily a property development company.

Hmm....wonder what their plans for its future might be ? :rolleyes: and was that always the game plan ?

The rail connection is poor and subject to shut downs in the wrong type of weather and whilst the A38 is a fairly fast road, ( except when members of the Birmingham Navy overturn their caravans in the middle of it ) the perception of no motor way or decent transport infrastructure makes it hard to attract business to the area.

In the 80's Mount Wise in Plymouth had 50% unemployment and towards the end of the 90's St Peters Ward came up in a UMIST study as the 3rd most deprived area in the country. I see more grim times ahead for the City sadly.

Edited by bricor mortis

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"Its value as an airport is in excess of £1 billion, that is what it would cost to build again from scratch," he said.

"Using the land for housing would only recoup around £40 million.

What? After buying the land, what would they spend the other £960m on? As BL says, small airport facilities aren't that complex

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The rail connect ion is poor and subject to shut downs in the wrong type of weather and whilst the A38 is a fast road, the perception of no motor way or decent transport infrastructure makes it hard to attract business to the area.

That section of the railway around Dawlish/Teignmouth can only get worse :ph34r:

I understand Beeching recommended keeping the other railway line from Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock open, and closing (or maybe it was relegating) the coastal line. Even back in the 1960s he saw problems with a line that gets pounded by the waves whenever high tide combines with a bit of wind.

They may be rebuilding Tavistock-Plymouth. Seems to me a huge folly: it's going to be a slow and tortuous line in competition with a great bus service that goes far more useful places. But if they were able to reconnect it through to Exeter, I'd call that genuinely useful.

Edited by porca misèria

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Teesside airport will undoubtedly close, probably the worst uk airport. I hate it with a passion and avoid it at all costs.

The security there is so intrusive, photo taken before going through the metal detectors, whatever the outcome of the metal detectors a pat down search, it really used to tee me off, Newcastle is much better.

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doncaster and coventry airports will surely be adding runways soon.

Coventry airport went bust in 2009 after a winding up petition by the revenue. It is now owned by some executive jet/air ambulance outfit, no more holiday flights, it is all over.

Within the next few years we will see a major regional airport go under, in addition to all the sub-prime regional airports like these toy ones. The chavs cannot travel - even the cost of a passport is beyond most folks now, let alone the flights! So chavter flights will cease and larger airports which rely on the chavter airlines will close.

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What no Airport? Uni fees going through the roof? I was told Plymouth was ok.....you mean my student let house is Plymouth is fooked?

I'm gonna have to do some Wayne watching over the next few months ( you'll geddit Maddog :-) )

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Coventry airport went bust in 2009 after a winding up petition by the revenue. It is now owned by some executive jet/air ambulance outfit, no more holiday flights, it is all over.

Within the next few years we will see a major regional airport go under, in addition to all the sub-prime regional airports like these toy ones. The chavs cannot travel - even the cost of a passport is beyond most folks now, let alone the flights! So chavter flights will cease and larger airports which rely on the chavter airlines will close.

Thought the passport cost more than the flights these days.:D

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how comes you mainly surface for air when there's a travel thread?go on then,which is first

UK Airport Directory

We have put together a brief profile of each of the main airports in the UK. Simply click on the relevant airport names to read more.

London Airports

London City Airport

Gatwick Airport

London Heathrow International Airport

London Luton Airport

Stansted Airport

Other English Airports

Birmingham International Airport

Bournemouth Airport

Bristol Airport

Doncaster Robin Hood Airport

Durham Tees Valley Airport

East Midlands Airport

Exeter International Airport

Humberside Airport

Leeds-Bradford International Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Manchester Airport

Newcastle Airport

Southampton Airport

Scottish Airports

Aberdeen Airport

Edinburgh Airport

Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Inverness Airport

surely one of the big london ones can't go.would stansted be first?

Bournmouth, Leeds Bradford, Southampton, Prestwick (again), Humberside, plus the ones we already mentioned, and of course Liverpool - Oliver Letwin is organising a ban on most northerners from being permitted to travel. And any airport in Wales is doomed. London Luton will die too, once the chavters and budget airlines cease flying from there. The big 3 London ones will suck back any residual flights from the little southern airports mentioned.

Things will revert to how they were 30-40 years ago, it's UK seaside hols from now on. Aviation will be for the rich.

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..at the end of the year...another airport gone from the southwest...

"Its value as an airport is in excess of £1 billion, that is what it would cost to build again from scratch," he said.

How on earth does it costs a billion to build a micky mouse airport.

All it is a large lump of land with a tarmac strip and small terminal building on it.

If the value isn't in the land (which it appears that it isn't) you can do the rest for 20-30 million. This isn't LHR T5!

tim

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