NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Sep 3rd, 2013.
COMMERCIAL airlines are keen to start running regular return services to major UK cities from North Wales.
A new terminal with two departure lounges is due to be opened shortly by Broughton-based Aviation Park Group Ltd, with the potential for new jobs when flights begin.
It will be capable of handling small aircraft carrying up to a maximum of 50 passengers.
“Interest has already been expressed by a number of carriers,” the company’s managing director Caroline Craft told Ms Sandbach, AM for North Wales, during the visit.
After touring the new terminal, Ms Sandbach said: “I understand that there has been significant private investment in this venture, which will provide a useful resource for the whole community.
“If the plans go ahead for flights to cities around the UK, such as City Airport in London, or to Edinburgh and Bristol, it could cut out a lot of travelling time for people, and save lengthy car journeys or using slow cross country rail services.
“It may also provide easy and quick connections to major air hubs, and so help those living in North Wales to take advantage of a wider range of international flights, whether for business travel or leisure breaks.
“I was also pleased to hear that the aircraft are quite small, as I know some fears had been raised locally over which carriers may be interested. Also, there is the potential for jobs to be created, such as in the café, baggage handling and other ancillary roles, when commercial flights start.
“I certainly plan to raise in the Assembly the need to support this venture, and especially if an operator is interested in a regular service to Cardiff,” added Ms Sandbach.
Flights will make use of Airbus’ main runway and control tower, with permission already granted by the CAA.
Research has shown there is a strong interest in travellers from North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside for domestic and European flights from the airport, which will offer quick check-in and aircraft turn-rounds.
The venture, at Broughton, will be separate from the existing VIP charter flight operations, also operated by the Aviation Park Group Ltd, which is regularly used by private aircraft operated by both celebrities and the business community from across North Wales and north west England.
Ms Craft said: “We are very excited about this expansion of our current business, we have been in operation for over 19 years and have built a successful and well respected business.
“Our intention is to develop this further with the opening of our new purpose built terminal here in Broughton.
During this expansion we have worked very closely with Airbus and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support, and as soon as we have completed the final negotiations we will be ready to fly!”