Sunday 22nd November 2015
Calls For Airport To Go Back To Original Name

***STORY BY BDAILY WEBSITE***

Campaigners are calling for the owners of Durham Tees Valley Airport to revert to its former name of Teesside Airport, following  what they described as an ‘open, honest and forthright’ meeting with Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton.

An 85% decline in passenger numbers over the last eight years led to campaigners Anth Ayre and Andy Preston calling for action to be taken to address the situation. Backed by mayor of Stockton, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, 9000 have since signed petitions run by the campaigners.

Next on their agenda is to set a meeting with Peel to rename the site Teesside Airport, the name the current owners dropped for Durham Tees Valley Airport soon after obtaining the majority of shares from the five local councils in 2002.

Mr Ayre said: “Mr Wharton is wholly supportive with the aims of our campaign, which is to see a strong airport, to work with the owners - present or future - to increase available routes and boost the local economy via a viable, successful airport. 

“He promised to support and help us wherever possible and we’ll be meeting him again in the future.

“Mr Wharton has previously led calls for Peel to revert to the airport’s name to Teesside, as opposed to the highly unpopular name of Durham Tees Valley Airport.

“We, too, believe that would be one small but positive step in the right direction so would call on Peel Holdings to actively consider this name change.”

Cllr Dalgarno added: “Mr Wharton gave us some useful advice on how to win more support for our campaign. 

“This is only the start of our campaign but our meeting with the Northern Powerhouse minister has given us some new ideas and new energy.”

Mr Preston said it was important that the five local councils – Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland – also released details of the terms of the deal that saw them sell the airport to Peel “for peanuts” in 2004.

“Apart from calling on the name change, we plan to put more pressure on the local authorities to release the documention, so that we can understand what terms and stipulations were included about the airport’s future use.

“Despite several Freedom of Information requests, the councils have so far refused to release any details about the terms of the sale, insisting that it was ‘commercially sensitive’. 

“We not believe that is an acceptable response – and I don’t believe most people around Teesside and Darlington will feel it is acceptable either.

“The airport has been declining at a staggering rate for almost a decade now. We are not prepared to allow that to continue without a fight.”

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