In an historic occasion this week staff at Blackpool Airport gathered to celebrate the official transfer of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) licences back into the name and control of Blackpool Airport Operations Limited (BAOL).
Following a lengthy review and intensive work
behind the scenes by the Airport and Blackpool Council transition team over the
last six months, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has issued an Aerodrome
Licence and Air Navigations Service Provider (ANSP) Certification to BAOL,
which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackpool Council. The award of the CAA licences to BAOL allows
the Company to take direct control of the Airport management; the first step in
achieving the airport’s longer term goals which are to:
maximise opportunities for growth as part of the
achieve a greater level of direct operational control
and flexibility to take sound investment decisions;
be more efficient and cost effective; and
ensure a long-term, sustainable future for one
of England’s oldest airports and a key strategic asset for the Fylde Coast.
Holding the licences in the name of the Airport company
rather than the management contractor is the norm in the aviation industry and
brings Blackpool Airport into line with its peers in the sector. BAOL have
worked closely with the CAA for this process to be completed.
Cllr Campbell, Chair of the Board at BAOL said,
“We set off on this journey recognising the size and complexity of the task
ahead, and enlisted the help of aviation specialist, Transition Manager, Sally
Franks to lead the team through the transition period. The whole team
has done an outstanding job, working tirelessly with the CAA and the outgoing
management company to ensure a smooth and seamless transition of operations.
“The purpose of the event was to say a big thank you
to all our staff and to recognise all their hard work. Blackpool Airport is
back in control of its own destiny and we’re excited to be at the threshold of a
new era where we can build a bigger, brighter, more 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.