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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Airport sheds a third of its jobs
London Ashford Airport
The airport hopes to handle two million passengers a year by 2014
Lydd Airport in Kent is to make a third of its staff redundant, saying it can no longer sustain operating losses.

Staff were told that 25 jobs out of 77 will be lost as managers restructure and merge departments to save money.

Nineteen posts will go among airport employees and six from FAL Aviation, a subsidiary based at the airport.

Managing director Zak Deir said opposition and delays to obtaining planning permission for expansion plans had put pressure on finances.

Mr Deir said on Tuesday: "I can understand objections from some residents and pressure groups for such a development planned at Lydd."

I don't have the luxury of unlimited time to spend years waiting for planning permission
Zak Deir MD Lydd Airport

He added: "What I cannot understand is the reluctance of local and regional authorities to act positively and to support what has already been approved as part of their structure plans."

He said he deeply regretted the redundancies.

"Romney Marsh is crying out for investment so it does make me wonder if local authorities in Kent are serious about developing the economy of the area," said Mr Deir.

"Who else is coming forward with proposals to spend tens of millions of pounds on major new projects like this?

"Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of unlimited time to spend years waiting for planning permission.

"Every project has its time and the time for the development of Lydd airport is now."

London Ashford Airport (Lydd) has submitted planning applications to Shepway District Council for a new terminal building and a runway extension.

A Lydd airport spokesman was keen to stress that the redundancies would not impair the operational capability of the airport.


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