Council leader Tudor Evans writes letter to Prime Minister calling for airport support
COUNCIL leader Tudor Evans has drafted his letter to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to support Plymouth's airport.
The letter follows a debate in the full city council on Monday, which was triggered by a 38,000-signature petition.
Campaign group Viable, which organised the petition, is fighting to reopen the airport, which was closed last December by Sutton Harbour Holdings, the leaseholder and former operator.
In the debate Cllr Evans indicated that the land at Roborough would remain designated as an airport for at least the next nine years.
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But, pledging to write to Downing Street, he admitted: "We need help."
And now the Herald is encouraging readers to write their own letters to the Prime Minister.
Cllr Evans has agreed to collect letters and forward them on to Mr Cameron.
You may want to include some of these messages in your letter:
Plymouth plays a vital role in the region's economy and wants to help lead the sub-region out of recession. To help achieve its plans for economic growth and ensure long-term competitiveness it needs good connectivity.
The Government already provides support nationally for road, rail and broadband connectivity and it needs to provide support to regional air connectivity as well.
The airport in Plymouth will require substantial investment to enable it to re-open, meet CAA regulations and to enable larger aircraft to use it in the longer term. The level of investment needed can only be provided by the Government.
State ownership would provide airline operators with the opportunity to build sustainable air services for the future.
This is a national issue because the Government needs good air connectivity in the regions if it is to deliver its growth plans.
Over the last 20 years considerable efforts have been made by a number of parties in Plymouth to support sustainable air links between Plymouth and London and other UK regions.
One of the key reasons why Plymouth Airport closed last year was the pressure on airlines to use the landing slots in London for more lucrative international flights.
The Government needs to recognise the importance of regional air connectivity to economic growth in the UK and ensure extra capacity for regional flights is provided as part of an expansion of capacity in London. This extra capacity for regional air services should be protected.