Senior politicians involved in the transport field have been briefed on the drive now underway to secure the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport following last week’s announcement that Peel Investments (DTVA) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Peel Group, has become the majority shareholder.
Peter Nears, Strategic Planning Director for The Peel Group, has had talks with the Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle and Louise Ellman MP, Chair of Commons Transport Select Committee, and is beginning a round of meetings with the area’s MPs.
Mr Nears took the opportunity to brief Maria Eagle and Louise Ellman when sharing a platform with them at a major conference on transport issues affecting the North of England and stressed to them the importance of Durham Tees Valley to the local community and economy.
He explained “During a recent debate on the Civil Aviation Bill now going through Parliament a number of our local MPs took the opportunity to stress the need for Government policy to recognise the importance of regional airports, the difficulties they face in the current economic climate—and the further problems which could be caused if yet more financial burdens were placed on them through taxation and charging measures.
“Since last Friday’s announcement of the change on share ownership I have already met with the Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson who during the debate on the bill urged the Government to look at the possibility of introducing a so-called ‘public service obligation’ which would protect slots at Heathrow for a link to Durham Tees Valley, stressing the importance of access to international transport air network to the area’s industries.
“We discussed this issue and other factors which affect regional airports in general and Durham Tees Valley in particular—including the burden imposed through Air Passenger Duty and the suggestion that the costs of inspections by the Civil Aviation Authority could be transferred to airports.
“I was grateful for the chance to brief Phil Wilson together Maria Eagle and Louise Ellman on our thoughts as to how we can secure the future of the airport and will be seeking a continuing dialogue with all our local MPs and key stakeholders.”
Commented Louise Ellman “It is important that the role of regional airports in promoting employment is recognised. Additional costs can create major problems for smaller airports at this time of economic difficulty. The Civil Aviation Bill, currently under discussion, must not impose financial burdens on airports like Durham Tees Valley Airport.”
Said Phil Wilson “It is very important that every effort is made to secure the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport, it can be a strong economic asset for the Tees Valley. I am pleased the new owners are seeking support from local politicians. It is also important that business and local authorities in the Tees Valley pull together for the good of the airport.”