26 JANUARY 2015
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Airports and airlines are being urged to bid for government funding of up to £17.5m in the next year to help launch new routes. Whether this includes potential operations such as Northolt remains to be seen.
This ‘start up aid’ will be made available from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund which was announced by the Government in June 2013 and is open to airports with fewer than five million passengers per year. This fund has already been partly distributed to support strategic routes to London from Newquay and Dundee but is now being extended to bids for more routes.
The £56m is available to cover three years of financial support for start-up aid, with £17.5m being made available to bids in 2015/16 and around £20m a year for each of the remaining years. The aid will create new routes, boosting connectivity, increasing trade and supporting jobs in the regions.
To apply for the funding, airports and airlines will have to provide evidence to show their proposed route will generate local benefits and represents value for money.
The initial application stage will run for five weeks, closing on Wednesday 25 February. Ministers will announce a shortlist of bids in March 2015. A list of successful bidders will then be published in June. www.gov.uk/government/publications/airports-with-fewer-than-5-million-passengers-per-year-start-up-aid
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