Invitation is a significant gesture
THE concerns and anger at the loss of our airport are issues which are not going to go away.
A casual glance at these pages will show that many people are exceedingly worried about the long term implications for the city of the Roborough facility's closure. Others - including The Herald - are determined to preserve the site's status as an airfield, to prevent this prime parcel of land being built on and being lost to Plymouth's transport portfolio for ever.
Now the campaign to safeguard the airport land has reached new heights with Business Secretary Vince Cable being urged to visit the site. The call, by Plymouth's Liberal Democrats, also urges Mr Cable to get the civil servants in his ministry to draw up a detailed report on the impact that the loss of the airport last December is having on business development and the city's economy.
We feel this is a significant step forward and are glad that this issue is being raised at national level. The need for regional airports in UK regions such as the South West has been identified by MPs in the shape of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Aviation. This has called on the Government to allocate regions a quota of any new landing slots to London's major airports – or to subsidise protected routes.
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This chimes with the push in Plymouth to make sure the airport site is protected from development; even if the current economic climate prevents any airline from flourishing in the near future. The invitation to Mr Cable is to be welcomed as it will hopefully make him fully aware that Plymouth needs to maintain its potential for an air link.
We must protect the airport site long term, even if we cannot have an airline here in the short term.