Mayor calls on business support as 10-year airport plan is unveiled

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen is calling on local businesses to show their support for his 10-year plan to save Durham Tees Valley Airport from closure by adding their name to a letter he has drafted to the region’s local authority leaders – and he has published the plan in full.

The Labour leaders of the five Tees Valley councils will next Thursday (January 24) vote on mayor Houchen’s plan to bring the region’s airport back into public ownership.

Houchen promised to bring the airport back into public ownership during his successful campaign to be elected as the Tees Valley’s first mayor.

Ahead of the critical vote that will decide the airport’s future, the mayor has published his 10-year plan to save the airport from closure.

This is the first time the document has been released to the public, though council leaders all received a copy before Christmas.

In a message to local business leaders, mayor Houchen said: “Working with countless experts, consultants and indeed our proposed operator, this is a plan that will secure our airport’s future for generations to come.

“As valued representatives of our business community, I need your help to ensure the leaders of the five Tees Valley local authorities vote in favour of this plan next week.

He added: “With this plan, we will stop our airport from closing in 2021. With our new operator, with their experience and relationships with major airlines, we will land a low cost carrier, hit 1.4million passengers in the next ten years, and generate potentially thousands of jobs for local people.”

In order to make the airport a success, Mayor Houchen also promised:

• To scrap the “hated” £6 Passenger Fee which he said “puts off airlines and puts off passengers”.

• Stop the planned 350-home development outside the terminal.

• Change the airport’s name back to Teesside International.

He continued: “We have a huge amount of money from central government to invest in our local economic priorities, and saving our airport is a local economic priority.

“We don’t need to tax local people extra to progress with this plan. I do not levy a tax and I will never levy a tax, because we don’t need to levy a tax. You will not have to pay a penny extra to finance this 10 Year Plan.”

The 10-year plan can be read by clicking here.

Businesses can sign the letter to support the plan to avoid the closure of the airport by clicking here.

 

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