Councillor Says Cornwall Ratepayers Subsidising Islands’ Use Of Newquay Airport

Newquay Cornwall airportThe Cornwall Councillor who has responsibility for Newquay Airport says that Cornwall’s ratepayers are effectively subsiding islanders and the Steamship Company.

Cllr Adam Paynter says his Council pays £3.1m each year towards the running costs of the local authority-owned airport.

He was reacting after allegations were made in a Cornwall Council meeting that Skybus is charged more for use of the airport than larger airline, Flybe.

Cllr Bob Egerton told a Full Council meeting last week of his belief that Flybe were being encouraged to use the airport with lower landing charges.

Cllr Paynter told Radio Scilly he doesn’t know whether that is the case. He says this type of information is commercially-sensitive and he could find out if he asked, but his role doesn’t require access to that level of operational information.

In principle he believes that bigger carriers can agree special rates because their business models are different, and the charges need to be negotiated with the company that runs the airport.

But he says he doesn’t want really cheap deals for airlines, as Newquay airport has to make as much money as it can to stay viable.

He adds that the islands get a good deal from Newquay as there’s no other airport they can use when Land’s End is waterlogged. And he says the islands’ Council could pay half a million pounds towards running costs, if it wanted to ensure the same usage deals for everyone.

Skybus won’t comment. They say it’s commercially confidential information.

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