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Carlisle airport to expand and Humberside airport for sale

A £35M expansion plan for Carlisle airport put forward by freight firm Eddie Stobart’s aviation arm was given the go-ahead last week.

Stobart Air’s proposals include the construction of a replacement runway, a new passenger terminal, a new air traffic control centre, hangars, warehousing and offices.

As well as using the airport for freight, Stobart Air intends to develop the opportunities for conventional scheduled, low cost and charter passenger services to Southern England and Europe.

A large-scale consultation exercise was undertaken by Carlisle City Council. Groups opposed to the airport expansion are concerned that the council is caught in a conflict of interest.

At a planning meeting to discuss conditions earlier this month, airport owner Andrew Tinkler stormed out, threatening to drop all proposals and move his Cumbria based business to Widnes.

The application will now be referred to the Government Office for the North West to determine whether a public inquiry should be staged. A planning inspector working on the Government’s behalf will then make a final decision on the application.

Elsewhere, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the UK’s second largest airports operator, announced last week it is examining its 82.7% majority shareholding in Humberside Airport.

A sell off would allow MAG to concentrate on its strategy of maximising the growth opportunities offered by its larger Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth Airports, which together handle around 28M passengers a year

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