LYDD Airport says it has wasted no time in trying to attract airlines following the Government’s decision to approve its £25 million expansion.
Bosses from the airport are set to fly out to Dubai next week to attend the Dubai Airport Show 2013, where they will be promoting Lydd’s plans for an extended runway and new terminal to more than 200 companies from 32 countries.
Following government approval of its planning applications earlier this month, Lydd Holdings, which owns and operates Lydd Airport (also known as London Ashford Airport), is to invest £25 million in a 294m runway extension plus a 150m starter extension, and a new terminal building capable of handling up to 500,000 passengers a year.
The owners have already spent £35 million upgrading the airport over the last decade – including the installation of a state-of-the-art ILS; a new executive terminal with VIP facilities; improved passenger check-in and security; and a new departure lounge.
But in Rye this week Colonel Anthony Kimber, chairman of Rye emegergency action group REACT, said: “It could see increased aircraft movement over Rye due to planes flying to southern European destinations such as Spain and Portugal and we will be keeping a close eye on this.”
Airport executive manager Hani Mutlaq said: “Our runway extension will enable B737-type aircraft to fly with a full payload of passengers, maximising the availability of routes and aircraft choice to operators and providing much-needed additional airport capacity in the South East of England.
“Lydd Airport is the perfect base for airline operators. It has 2.5 million people within its catchment area, is within easy access of the M20 motorway, and is just 14 miles south of Ashford, which offers a high-speed rail link that gets you into London in just 37 minutes.
“We cater for a wide range of aircraft operations and provide extensive services, including full ATC and navigational aids, with 24-hr operating capability, full terminal services and excellent engineering and cargo facilities.”
In the meantime, the airport’s owners have begun to address the pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.