‘Millions wasted on underused regional airports’, says report

Millions of pounds of EU money has been wasted on underused and oversized regional airports, according to a report released yesterday (Tuesday).

The European Court of Auditors said that £200 million was spent on infrastructure deemed “unnecessarily large”.

The report called it “poor value for money”, as it revealed that many of the aviation hubs were built in sparsely populated areas where there were not enough passengers to keep them afloat, The Times reported.

An airport in Kastoria, northern Greece, cost more than £6 million to run but brought in less than £140,000 between 2005 and 2012.

Another in Córdoba, southern Spain, was predicted to cater for 179,000 passengers but handled less than 7,000 last year.

Fewer than 10% of the 306,000 passengers expected at Crotone, in southern Italy, materialised.

The EU has given Poland almost £80 million since 2007 to build three “ghost” airports in sparsely populated areas that that do not merit hubs.

The audit showed that only half of the 20 airports, which were given £530 million, deserved EU funding.

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Even by the unique standards of EU spending, this is a shocking waste of hard-pressed taxpayers’ money.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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