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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 18:25 GMT
Council takes on airport debt
Newquay Airport
The airport faces a 750,000 deficit
Council leaders in Cornwall are taking over the financial liabilities of struggling Newquay Airport.

Restormel District Council, which shares funding for the airport, has been released from its responsibilities for the airport's debt of more than 750,000.

Other district councils had been asked to contribute to the airport, which brought about 17m to Cornwall's economy last year.

But most said no, leaving Cornwall County Council with the bulk of the bill.

Cornwall County Council leader John Lobb said: "There will be an impact on the council tax payer, but we also decided that we want to set up a company to assist us in promoting Newquay Airport as soon as possible, and to ensure that it has a really sound footing."

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

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.

The airport is part of the RAF St Mawgan complex and the runway and fire cover are provided by the RAF.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram is awaiting the outcome of a feasibility study which will report on the commercial options for the RAF base and its associated land.


SEE ALSO:
Cash threat to Newquay airport
20 Jan 04  |  Cornwall
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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