I am pleased that today we have finally seen the launch of the government funded feasibility study into Plymouth airport.
This study has looked at all the individual pieces of work done so far and sought to base its findings upon those.
However, I am obviously hugely disappointed that it has taken so long and we have only finally seen the report today after some serious arm twisting in Whitehall. In short, it is not good enough and I have made that clear to government on more than one occasion.
That being said, the report itself does not appear to paint a positive light for passenger services from Plymouth airport and the size limitations on aircraft and potentially even further declined predicted passenger numbers is not welcome news. Furthermore, the fundamental necessity of public funding from Government is a real problem.
My own opinion is and I recognise this is an emotive subject, but that I simply want to see the land used productively to benefit Plymouth. What I believe would be an absolute travesty is that the site be laid empty for over 20 years. It is that sort of backward thinking that has not allowed our city to fulfil it’s amazing potential.
This is not a full stop, the study was never meant to conclusively decide the fate of the site, simply inform the decision as best as possible and I think it has done that. This study will clearly feed into the Examination in public next year where the planning inspectorate will review the Plymouth Plan. In the meantime, I’m sure groups on either side of the debate will continue to make their arguments to best of their abilities.
You can read the full report here.