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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 13:22 GMT
Cash threat to Newquay airport
Newquay Airport
The airport faces a 750,000 deficit
Newquay Airport's future is in doubt because Restormel Borough Council wants to withdraw its funding.

The council says it is concerned that the burden of funding has fallen disproportionately on people in Restormel.

The cabinet has agreed to ask Cornwall County Council to take over its share of spending on the airport which both councils own.

The councils spend about 150,000 each on maintaining the airport which is already facing a 750,000 deficit.

1.7m shortfall

The number of passengers at Newquay has soared in the past two years, from 85,000 a year to nearly 250,000.

Newquay is very important for Cornwall's economy, but there are limits to what the councils can do at Newquay
John Lobb, leader of Cornwall County Council
But low-cost airlines, such as Air South West and Ryanair, which form the bulk of the airport's traffic, pay lower charges than BA which dropped its routes between the South West and Gatwick in October.

Restormel leader Joan Vincent, said: "We have had concerns for some time about our budget. We already have a shortfall of 1.7m and to find extra money is well-nigh impossible.

"We have considered putting a levy on all passengers using Newquay Airport, but Ryanair said it would pull out if we did that."

The council has asked other Cornwall district councils to pay 50,000 each, but has been refused.

Ms Vincent said: "It is only fair that the whole of Cornwall pays and that is why we have made the recommendation."

John Lobb, leader of Cornwall County Council, said privatisation of the airport could be on the cards.

He said: "We have to look at the potential for increasing Newquay's income.

"Newquay is very important for Cornwall's economy, but there are limits to what the councils can do at Newquay.

"The county council will need to look very carefully at how to make sure that this tremendous asset is maintained and there might be a role for the private sector in that."




SEE ALSO:
Airport considers 'departure tax'
28 Nov 03  |  Cornwall
Firms urged to fly
19 Nov 03  |  Cornwall
More councils may pay for airport
30 Sep 03  |  Cornwall
Passenger tax could help airport
24 Sep 03  |  Cornwall
Airport faces cash crisis
19 Sep 03  |  Cornwall


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