A Blueprint for Cardiff Airport

Welsh Conservatives will today set out plans to reimburse Welsh taxpayers for the £52million of their money that the Welsh Government spent buying Cardiff Airport.

Welsh Conservatives will publish ‘A Blueprint for Cardiff Airport’, a document which sets out a vision for growth in passengers, routes and value, which will see taxpayers and the wider economy share in the proceeds.

The strategy sets out a bold vision to more than double the value of Cardiff Airport, sell it back to the private sector and divide the profits between investment in infrastructure around the airport and returning the original investment and more to Welsh taxpayers.

The blueprint includes the following commitments:

 

  • Establish a new ‘Airlines’ Director’ to attract new carriers

 

  • Devolve Air Passenger Duty to Wales to lower rates to improve competitiveness

 

  • Improve the Welsh marketing campaign to showcase Wales to emerging markets

 

  • Improve public transport links to Cardiff Airport and plan for longer-term investment in road infrastructure

 

  • Enhance freight transfers through Cardiff Airport by offering competitive rates to local, regional and international businesses

Every taxpayer in Wales invested £38.50 in the Welsh Government’s purchase of Cardiff Airport and under Welsh Conservative plans would get their investment back once the airport is returned to the private sector.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority show that passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport have halved in the past four years, while the airport lost 98% of its freight business between 2008 and 2010.

Byron Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Transport, said, "Today, Welsh Conservatives are setting out plans to return the investment that every taxpayer in Wales made in Cardiff Airport when Labour Ministers decided to buy it.

"We believe that after a period of revitalisation, investment and growth, that Cardiff Airport should be sold as a vibrant economic hub and that every taxpayer should get their £38.50 dividend back and share in the proceeds of growth.

"Cardiff Airport should be seen as Wales’ gateway to the world, but unfortunately the airport is suffering from neglect and a lack of leadership and vision.

 

"Welsh Conservatives opposed the Welsh Labour Government’s decision to nationalise Cardiff Airport, but now it is in public hands, we need to make it a success.

"We have an ambitious plan to increase the airport’s value by attracting new airlines and routes, improving public transport links and using Air Passenger Duty as a lever to make rates at Cardiff Airport more competitive.

"Cardiff Airport has tremendous potential as an international air hub and with an ambitious vision and effective leadership we believe Cardiff Airport can really take off.

Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Opposition, said, "This package of measures is unashamedly ambitious for Cardiff Airport, ambitious for our economy and ambitious for Wales.

"We are showing what steps a Welsh Conservative Government would take to face up to the problems of the Welsh economy and aspire to make Wales a more prosperous country.

"This latest policy announcement follows on from our vision for the Welsh high street, and our proposals to improve access to finance for small businesses, showing that the Welsh Conservatives are not afraid to bring fresh ideas in the face of inaction and inertia from the Welsh Labour Government.

 

"I hope Welsh Labour Ministers, having bought Cardiff Airport, will examine our proposals and bring forward their own coherent plans to make Cardiff Airport the Welsh success story we are confident it could be.

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