Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 14:02 UK

Airport job losses are announced

London Ashford Airport
Lydd Airport said it had created dozens of jobs in the past eight years

Six people are to be made redundant at a Kent airport as part of a restructuring exercise to cut costs.

The owners of Lydd Airport said the current economic climate meant it could not continue to operate at a loss.

They also blamed the decision to cut staff from 54 to 48 on the uncertainty over their expansion plans.

Earlier this month a hearing to decide whether the airport could extend its runway and build a new terminal was postponed for the fourth time.

'Long hard look'

The airport's managing director, Jonathan Gordon, said: "During the past eight years more than £25m has been spent on the airport project and dozens of jobs were created in the process.

"However, in light of the current economic climate, I have been forced to take a long hard look at the finances.

"The slight streamlining of our operations will produce the cost savings that we need to make, but I am saddened that it means the loss of six jobs."

A staff consultation is expected to take place this week.

Mr Gordon, who asked for the latest Shepway Council hearing to be postponed, said the meeting would now be held at the end of February or early March.

Lydd Airport, which currently caters for light aircraft and business jets, wants to extend its runway and build a new terminal to attract more passengers and bigger airline carriers.

Lynne Beaumont, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Shepway and a member of the Keep the Marsh Special Alliance, said she believed the delay until next year was to buy more time to answer environmental criticisms.

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