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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
North-south air terminal approved
Cardiff International Airport
The services will cut travel times between north and south Wales
Flights between north and south Wales could be operating early next year after plans for a new terminal in Anglesey were approved.

Anglesey councillors have given permission for up to 10 flights a day from a new civilian air terminal at the RAF base in Valley.

Supporters say the flights will improve internal business and tourism links.

But critics argue the new services will cater only for the wealthy and that the A470 should be improved instead.

The planning application was made by the Welsh Assembly Government, who hope to appoint an operator to start flights between Cardiff and Anglesey early next year.

Anglesey council also hope the terminal could provide a daily air link to Dublin.

Between Ynys Mon and Cardiff it takes about four-and-a-half hours in a car - the flight time is about half an hour and that increased speed is very important to business people
Gareth Winston Roberts

The assembly government are backing the proposals after a consultation exercise in 2004 found there was a strong need for the service, said an assembly spokesman.

Two departure and two arrival flights would run from Monday to Thursday with two flights on a Friday, and none at weekends.

Aircraft would carry no more than 50 people and the price of a flight is expected to be less than 100 each way.

"By giving people the opportunity to fly instead of drive, it will cut travel times between north west Wales and south east Wales," said the spokesman.

"The aim is to improve business connections between north west Wales and south east Wales and increase tourism opportunities."

'Booming' economy

The terminal will be built on the edge of the RAF base at Valley.

Ahead of the planning meeting, Ynys Mon council leader Gareth Winston Roberts said they would be looking to expand air links to Dublin from the new terminal in the future.

The "booming" Irish economy means there is a demand for land and offices and it is hoped they will look to Anglesey if an air link is established, he said.

"I think it is imperative that we have this link between Cardiff and the north, especially with assembly offices at Llandudno junction opening up," he said.

"Between Ynys Mon and Cardiff it takes about four-and-a-half hours in a car. The flight time is about half an hour and that increased speed is very important to business people."




SEE ALSO:
Air link to begin 'within a year'
28 Feb 06 |  North West Wales
Airline's Welsh flights take off
09 Apr 06 |  Cornwall



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