Business Minister Edwina Hart asks Cardiff Airport owners to provide more investment: Wales Online

Posted: March 24, 2012 in Airlines, Aviation & Airports (General News), Cardiff Airport
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

[Wales Online] Business Minister Edwina Hart today held out the possibility of cooperation with under-fire Cardiff Airport but stressed it would have to provide more investment.

The airport is struggling with falling passenger numbers and departing airlines

The airport is struggling with falling passenger numbers and departing airlines

The airport, struggling with falling passenger numbers and departing  airlines, has been the subject of two separate attacks from First Minister  Carwyn Jones in the space of a week.

Last week Mr Jones was accused by the Liberal Democrats of “talking our  capital city’s airport down” after he said he would not want to bring people  through it into Wales. But yesterday, appearing before the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business  Committee, Ms Hart said the Welsh Government could assist the airport, but, like  Mr Jones, said she had little confidence in its current Spanish owners.

Airport, however, refuted the criticism.

It comes amid a backdrop of declining passenger numbers and air carriers flying from Cardiff  Airport.

Giving evidence to the committee’s inquiry into international connectivity  through Welsh ports and airports, Ms Hart said she wanted to see the airport at  the heart of the proposed aviation enterprise zone centre around St Athan.

She told AMs: “In terms of the airport, there are obviously concerns from  members about the airport, the role of the airport, and I hope the enterprise  zone will be invited to have a seat, I understand, on the board of the  enterprise zone.”

A spokesman later clarified that she meant the airport.

“The airport will be a key player, but in order to be a key player you have  to be interested in making your own business work, and there’s always a lot of  discussion of what government can give in terms of cash and inducements, but a  company’s really got to be willing to think of itself what routes it needs to go  for, what it needs to do, not necessarily with our assistance but perhaps with  our assistance,” said Ms Hart.

She added: “Our policy is quite clear. We want Cardiff Airport to be a  thriving airport, it’s an important economic driver in the area.”

A spokeswoman for Cardiff Airport refuted the ministers’ criticism.

In a point-by-point e-mail, she said that route targets were clearly  presented and linked to known demand or opportunity for the region.

On declining passenger numbers she said…..

Read the full story at……

Matt Withers, Senedd Correspondent
March 22nd,  2012


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