Dave Budd confirms backing for airport plan

Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd. Pic by Dave Charnley.

Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd became the fifth and final council leader to announce his intention to support a plan to bring Durham Tees Valley Airport back into public ownership.

“We have raised very real concerns over the airport deal in particular, in the face of a serious and worrying lack of information and an unwillingness to involve the leaders of the five authorities as equal partners,” said mayor Budd in a statement.

“I hope that lessons have been learned about how to head an organisation which respects the collaborative ethos established over many years.

“There have been many press statements and much hype about the mayor’s airport deal – a deal whose real cost is likely to be £75m, considerably more than the much touted figure of £40m

“The operator is not signed up and there is no contract that we can examine, though there is no financial risk to the prospective operator.

“The clear evidence from aviation industry experts is that the airport will continue to need considerable subsidy for the foreseeable future.

“The airport IS hugely important to this area and we all want it to succeed – but it is also the single biggest risk the Combined Authority has, and one which will not be a source of profit for many years.

“It is essential that we – and the public – receive regular progress updates.”

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