Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Airport closure was 'responsible'

Newquay Airport
Passengers are being bussed by road to alternative airports

A decision to close Newquay Airport was difficult but responsible, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

Flights were suspended at midnight when Cornwall County Council took over air traffic operations from the RAF.

The airport cannot host flights until it completes work to receive a licence from the CAA, which it hopes to be able to do by 19 December.

The CAA said the council had correctly put safety considerations above commercial pressures.

In a statement, the CAA said: "Newquay has taken a difficult but responsible decision to delay the opening, and the CAA commends Cornwall County Council and the airport's management team for allocating the appropriate highest priority to safety over the significant commercial pressure to open on time."

Compensation claims

Up to 7,000 passengers will have to use other South West airports.

Air Southwest is temporarily flying in and out of Plymouth Airport, while Ryanair is using Bristol and Bournemouth.

Skybus, which operates flights to the Isles of Scilly, is using Land's End Aerodrome.

The council is running a free shuttle service to take passengers between Newquay and the alternative airports.

The authority said it would consider "legitimate" claims for compensation, which could include both passengers and airlines.

Cornwall's MPs, who are all Liberal Democrats, are calling for an investigation into what went wrong with the handover from military to civilian control of the airport.

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