AM calls for Hawarden passenger flights


Robert Doman

A NORTH WALES AM wants Flintshire to benefit from a passenger airport at Hawarden.

Antoinette Sandbach has hit out at what she calls the Welsh Government’s ‘absurd’ decision to buy Cardiff Airport for £52million.

She says North Wales is being treated as an afterthought by the government and believes a reformed transport policy would give Hawarden airport the opportunity to thrive.

“Many of the people I have spoken to in North Wales see this as a hugely expensive vanity project for South East Wales,” she said.

“Members of the public might ask exactly what economic benefits North Wales will gain from the £52m of Welsh taxpayers’ money that has been spent.

“This has been described as a ‘national’ airport for the whole of Wales but from North Wales this is an absurd argument for the Welsh Government to be making.

“If there was a broader and genuinely national strategy for aviation in Wales, then smaller airports like Chester Hawarden in my own constituency could be given the best opportunity to thrive.”

Ms Sandbach wants to see Cardiff airport returned to private ownership which she says would be in the genuine interest of the country.

She is in favour of more services being made available from Hawarden airport where Airbus employs more than 6,000 people.

“Having travelled on an Airbus A380 I can say first-hand what a wonderful experience that is,” Miss Sandbach continued.

“The aviation industry has a long and proud history in North Wales.”

She believes the airport could benefit from a genuinely national approach to aviation.

A new temporary £1million terminal is currently being built at the airport which could operate for two years to determine whether operating public fights is viable in the long term.

If the potential is there, international flights could take off from Hawarden. Airport bosses have already confirmed they have been in talks with several airlines after confirming some commercial flights would start this year.

Proposals include a North-South Wales route but residents living under the airports flight path fear the extra flights will lead to huge increases in noise and pollution.

See full story in the Leader

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