Gloucestershire Airport clarifies its position by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Following recent media reports, Gloucestershire Airport has clarified a number of issues relating to its operations, finances and future.
The Airport is the UK’s busiest general aviation airport, handling 83 000 flights in 2016. It has been voted the UK’s ‘Best general Aviation Airport’ for three of the last four years. It is home to around 180 aircraft, ranging from microlights to intercontinental business jets.
The Airport opened in 1936. It lies within the planning jurisdiction of Tewkesbury Borough Council within the Green Belt and the 400 acre site is owned by Gloucester City & Cheltenham Borough Councils. In late 1992, these Councils formed a Limited Company – Gloucestershire Airport Ltd – and granted it a 999 year lease on the land and 135-year lease to operate and manage both the Airport and the associated business park activities.
The Airport does not receive any subsidies from the local taxpayers. The 2016 accounts, as published with Companies House, show that it paid over £100k in rental and premiums to its Council shareholders. It also paid more than £100k in business rates.
There are forty aviation-related businesses located at the Airport employing over 500 people and a further twenty aerospace and other businesses at Meteor Business Park employing over 1500 more. The Airport’s economic contribution to the regional economy has been independently calculated to be in the order of £250M.
In 2014, the shareholding Councils appointed aviation consultants, York Aviation to analyse the business and assist in the development of a 10-year strategy for the Airport. This report and its recommendations were adopted by the shareholders, including capital expenditure of up to £6M, required to upgrade infrastructure, develop the Airport’s property portfolio and deliver medium to long-term profitability for the shareholders.
The Airport welcomes the recent shareholder approval of a borrowing facility that enables is to continue to deliver its long term business plan. The loaned funds will be repaid with interest at normal, commercial rates.
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