24 AUGUST 2015


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Article from BTNews 24 AUGUST 2015

Government funds domestic routes

A shortlist of new international and domestic air links to be financially supported by government was announced last week.  The Regional Air Connectivity Fund will provide improved transport connections for businesses and passengers from local areas.

Fifteen brand-new routes have reached the funding shortlist, open to regional airports handling fewer than five million passengers a year.  What is not clear is whether new routes and airports can be added. 

Chancellor George Osborne was quick to promote the announcement clearly demonstrating his interest in vital low volume air services.

“We’re determined to build a one nation economy, where all parts of the UK are growing and connected,” he said.  “That’s why we support new regional air routes. Further funding for brand new routes will support many more businesses and individuals across UK regions as part of our rural productivity plan. This is a great deal for taxpayers too – the existing Newquay – London route, supported by the fund, delivers benefits to the economy of nearly three pounds for every pound invested".

Carlisle is highlighted, demonstrating the government's interest in opening up new airports.  Flybe would get seven routes including Norwich to both Exeter and Charles de Gaulle and Southampton to Munich.    www.gov.uk/government/publications/start-up-aid-for-airports-with-under-5-million-passengers-per-year-second-stage

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

David Starkie, London UK

Note that politicians first tax domestic air travel through APD and then give some of it back. Why tax it in the first place? This is an example of political patronage that distorts markets and harms the economy in the long run.