On Monday 28 November, Johnny Mercer MP met with Aviation Minister, Lord Ahmad, to pile on pressure for the publication of the long awaited study into the viability of the former Plymouth airport.
On being elected to Parliament in May 2015, Johnny made one of this first meetings with the then Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill MP. After being assured that the report would be published by the end of 2015, patience began to fray as it drifted into 2016 and the EU referendum with no publication.
With events elsewhere, including the Heathrow 3rd runway decision, taking precedence, the Plymouth MP sought to put further pressure on the Department for Transport and No.10 to publish one of the most eagerly anticipated documents from the DfT. Haranguing Ministers, officials and private offices, Johnny secured meetings with key officials and the over Minister responsible to call for an end to the absurd wait.
Speaking after his meeting, Johnny Mercer MP, said:
“Quite frankly, the wait for this report has been utterly absurd. At every step, there has been delay after delay for one reason or another and the issue simply hasn’t been treated with the respect it deserved and I made that unequivocally clear to the Minister.
“We finally appear to be making progress and I know expect the report to be published within the next week, once the date is approved by No.10.
“Ultimately, most people would want an airport and if it is shown to be viable I will be on the first plane. Previously, however, the government has made clear that there are no public subsidies available to routes that are not already operating and the last thing anyone in Plymouth wants is a drain on the city that is drip-fed public money to get by.
“Whatever the decision, I urge everyone in Plymouth to get behind the outcome of the report and push for the site to be put to the best, most viable use that can add some real value to this brilliant city of ours.”