COMMERCIAL airlines could soon start running regular return services to major UK cities from Flintshire.
A new terminal with two departure lounges is due to be opened shortly by Broughton-based Aviation Park Group Ltd, and is capable of handling small aircraft carrying up to 50 passengers.
Any new services could result in the potential for new jobs when flights begin and Welsh Government AM Antoinette Sandbach wants the Senedd to support the venture.
Mrs Sandbach recently toured the Chester-Hawarden airport at Broughton and said: “I certainly plan to raise in the Assembly the need to support this venture, and especially if an operator is interested in a regular service to Cardiff.
“It may also provide easy and quick connections to major air hubs, and so help those living in North Wales to take advantage of a wider range of international flights, whether for business travel or leisure breaks.
“If the plans go ahead for flights to cities around the UK, such as City Airport in London, or to Edinburgh and Bristol, it could cut out a lot of travelling time for people, and save lengthy car journeys or using slow cross country rail services.
“I understand there has been significant private investment in this venture, which will provide a useful resource for the whole community.”
Flights will make use of Airbus’s main runway and control tower, with permission already granted by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Research has shown there is a strong interest by travellers from North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside for domestic and European flights from the airport, which will offer quick check-in and aircraft turn-arounds.
The venture, at Broughton, will be separate from the existing VIP charter flight operations, also operated by the Aviation Park Group Ltd, which is regularly used by private aircraft operated by both celebrities and the business community from across North Wales and north west England.
Aviation Park Group’s managing director Caroline Craft said: “Interest has already been expressed by a number of carriers.
“Our intention is to develop this further with the opening of our new purpose-built terminal here in Broughton.
“During this expansion we have worked very closely with Airbus. As soon as we have completed the final negotiations we will be ready to fly.”
Jobs could include working in the cafe, baggage handling or other ancillary roles.
Potential airlines are yet to be confirmed.