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Article from BTNews 8 FEBRUARY 2021

Plymouth Airport doomed?

Once the thriving connection to Heathrow and the world, its success and failure in many ways mirroring the city it is named after, Plymouth City Airport could be closed forever reports Plymouth Live.

Once the home of Brymon Airways, and later Air Southwest, the airport has laid eerily empty for nearly 10 years after halting operations in 2011.

The long leaseholder Sutton Harbour Group (SHG) triggered a so-called “Armageddon clause” enabling it to stop flights if the aerodrome was deemed uneconomic.  The site at Derriford, next door the major south west NHS teaching hospital, has featured many plans for rejuvenation.  SHG had purchased the airport, and the airlines involved, with the idea to developing the site for housing.  But planning inspectors stalled the scheme until 2024 via the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.  

A council committee meeting last week has decided that the main runway will now be used to store giant concrete bridge beams for the Forder Valley Link Road – despite objections about the risk of damage. They approved the scheme after being given assurances that the surface would be protected. The temporary use will span over nine months, and there are promises any damage would be properly repaired.  After that, its future once again will be unknown.

But many in the city still remember catching flights from the airport, gateway to the city.  The Heathrow service, four times daily and 100,000 plus passengers a year, were the most popular, as was Jersey and Dublin.

Local resident Sue Barry told Plymouth Live "felt more like catching a bus than taking a flight".  And others agreed, with another local adding: "I used it a few times in the late 90s – including for our honeymoon to get to Heathrow.  It was as Sue mentioned a bit like catching a bus, really easy security and baggage.

"The hop to Newquay before heading back to London was quite fun as take-off and landing are the interesting bits."


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David Starkie, London

My last departure from Plymouth was diverted to Newquay (via taxi). With business/corporate aviation growing and airfield performance of small jets for RPT services continually improving, it would be good to see it up and running again.