Investors sought for airport future

Managing Director Simon Menzies next to the company's �4 million executive jet.
Managing Director Simon Menzies next to the company's �4 million executive jet.
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Hopes are high a new owner will be found for Blackpool Airport who will invest in the future of the air hub.

As revealed in yesterday’s Gazette, Balfour Beatty has put the Squires Gate terminal up for sale as part of a wider decision to sell all its interests in regional airports.

Simon Menzies, managing director of aircraft charter firm Pool Aviation based at Blackpool Airport, said his company expected to play a part in encouraging a new investor.

He said: “The oldest airport in the UK actually has one of the brightest futures, with its established infrastructure, loyal customer base, highly trained specialist staff along with strong support from its established tenants, partners and passengers.

“We look forward to working with all parties, saving jobs, while protecting and developing one of the most special and historic airfields in the UK.

“This is at the same time as delivering a strong sustainable asset to all the people in the North West of England, Southern Scotland, Cumbria and Cheshire who have chosen Blackpool as their favourite and most friendly airport.”

Chris Mustow, of Air Ads, also based at the airport, said: “We will have to see what happens, but we would like to see an operator come on board who will put aviation at the core of everything they do.”

Around 100 workers are directly employed by the airport, but it is not yet known how jobs could be affected by the sale.

In a written reply to workers’ questions about possible job losses seen by The Gazette, airport bosses say it is too soon to comment, adding “the size and shape of the company would be determined by the new owners.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “This is a vital part of the infrastructure for Blackpool and the Fylde. We need to keep it as a vibrant airport and I look forward to a far more thorough and detailed briefing on how they intend to take this forward.”