The airport had been closed since the beginning of the month after owners Cornwall County Council failed to secure the licence in time, following the hand over from the RAF, which had previously provided air traffic control, fire cover and runway maintenance.
The temporary closure has not reflected kindly on Cornwall. An estimated 7,000 passengers were affected, while estimates put the cost to the economy at approximately £6 million. Ryanair has also withdrawn from flying from Newquay until the Spring, after publicly voicing its lack of faith in the council.
The councillor responsible for the airport, Andrew Mitchell, was understandably delighted that the licence has now been secured. And he sounded an upbeat note for the future of the airport. “I am really looking forward to watching our new civil airport go from strength to strength in the coming years. We have exciting plans for the growth and development of the airport to benefit Cornwall as a whole.”
The Liberal Democrat prospective MP, Stephen Gilbert, was also delighted that the matter had finally been resolved, calling it “a great Christmas present for Cornwall”.
He said: “Credit where credit is due. The team at the airport have worked round the clock over the last three weeks to get the licence and their hard work has paid off. Newquay Airport now looks set to be one of the fastest growing airports in Britain and will provide a much needed facility for Cornish businesses and travellers.
“We still need to know what went wrong, but this is a great Christmas present for Cornwall and the airport is now set to play a major role in the Cornish economy for years to come.”