owned by Blackpool Council is to bring the management and day-to-day airport operations
Following a lengthy review and search to appoint a new
operational management contractor, Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd (BAOL),
Blackpool Council’s wholly owned subsidiary, has decided to take the
operational licences back into its own name. Transfer of the CAA licences to
operate the airport into BAOL Company’s name and under its direct control, is
an early step in achieving the airport’s longer term goals which are:
- to maximise opportunities for growth
- to achieve a greater level of control and
flexibility to take sound investment decisions
- to be more efficient and cost effective
- to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for one
of England’s oldest airports and a key strategic asset for the Fylde Coast.
This arrangement where the licences are held by the
airport owner rather than the management contractor is the norm in the aviation
industry and brings Blackpool into line with its peers in the sector. BAOL is
working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for this process to be
completed later in the year, at which point the contract with the current
licence holder Regional and City Airports (RCA) will expire.
RCA have done
an excellent job in helping steer the airport through some difficult times in
recent years, not least the ongoing pandemic, when the airport has remained
fully operational throughout. RCA has pledged to work closely with BAOL,
airport owners Blackpool Council and the CAA to ensure a smooth and seamless
transition of the licences.
The changeover of the licences will not impact
current job security and there will be no visible changes in the day-to-day
operations at the airport for the foreseeable future, with Stephen Smith remaining
as Airport Manager.
Cllr Campbell, Chair of the Board at Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd
(BAOL) said, “The tender process for operational and management contracts has
now come to an end and the Board has made the decision to bring the airport
licences in-house. BAOL and Blackpool
Council thank RCA for all their hard work over the past few years are now
working with them to facilitate a smooth transition of airport operations.
“We should not underestimate the size and complexity of the task
ahead of us, but with the support and dedication of the airport staff, the
Board have every confidence in the team
to take our airport forward to a brighter, more sustainable and profitable future.”
Blackpool Council reacquired Blackpool Airport from
Balfour Beatty in September 2017 for £4.25m via its ownership of Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd and Blackpool Airport
Property Ltd, to save it from the risk of permanent closure and to secure its
long-term future as part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone. To
date Blackpool Council has invested nearly £2m in the upgrade and maintenance of
essential infrastructure, with further significant investment planned.