Yesterday, I received a briefing from the Liberal Democrat Portfolio Holder about what a great thing Newquay Airport is for the Cornish economy.
The annual subsidy from the Council is currently £3 million
per year (excluding the cost of capital on the £27m borrowed by the
Council to help pay for its upgrade to a civilian airport).
It is hoped to reduce the subsidy by increasing the number of
flights. The original business plan was for 1,400,000 flights per year.
It is still only about 200,000 despite the 'Dawlish Dividend' (whereby
extra people had to fly in and out in the absence of the railway).
The briefing also says that on Monday the Council submitted a bid to
be the UK's spaceport. However, this week the Liberal Democrat
Conference voted against airport expansion. Not only would the
spaceport be an extension of airport use, it would also need an
extension of the runway.
I wonder how long it will take before the Lib Dems at County Hall condemn their own policies?