Airport bosses hit back at Government

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LYDD Airport bosses are furious that the airport has ben side-lined in the Davies Commission Report over the future of aviation.

An appendix to report casts doubt on Lydd’s ability to meet future air travel expansion by blaming ‘operational and capacity constraints due to its proximity to Dungeness nuclear power station and its associated restricted airspace’.

The distance from Romney Marsh to London is also said to make Lydd an ‘unattractive prospect’.

Now bosses are drafting a response which they say will ‘set the record straight’.

Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq denied that Lydd Airport’s location was hampering its growth potential.

This year it won planning permission for a runway extension and a new terminal building as part of its ambitious multi-million-pound redevelopment.

“Our business case for future development was thoroughly examined during a nine-month-long public inquiry and our credentials as a viable, modern regional airport were upheld when the Government allowed our scheme to go ahead.

“The airport and the power station have worked together for many years and operational restrictions are in place to ensure both can co-exist while the airport grows so the Davies Commission’s interim report presents a potentially misleading picture of the potential for development at Lydd and we will be writing to set them straight about this.”

The airport says that total air travel demand in Kent and East Sussex amounted to 4.5m air passengers in 2009 according to CAA Survey data, of which 2.5m passengers were within the local catchment area of Lydd.

Mr Mutlaq added: ““Extra runways at Gatwick and Heathrow may be the favoured long-term solution to easing congestion in the South East but these options will take many years to complete. We need to take immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity and ease the pressure on Gatwick and Heathrow.”