Small airports urged to bid for £56m route funding

By Tom Newcombe,

UK airports and airlines are being urged to bid for government funding of up to £17.5 million in the next year to help launch new routes.

The department for transport said the ‘start up aid’ will be made available from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which was launched by the government in June 2013.

The funding, which is available to airports with fewer than five million passengers a year, has already been used to support London to Newquay and Dundee routes.

The £56 million is available to cover three years of financial support for start up aid, with £17.5 million being made available to bids in 2015/16 and around £20 million a year for each of the remaining years.

Chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander said: “I created the Regional Air Connectivity Fund because, as a Highlander, I appreciate the immense value of regional air routes to people living in remote communities across the UK.”

Aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, said: “Smaller airports are vital to local economies and ensuring they thrive is a key part of our long term economic plan.

“I want to encourage the industry to apply to expand their routes, to generate UK growth and jobs, as well as boosting our trade links with countries all over the world,” he added.

To apply for the funding, airports and airlines will have to provide evidence to show their proposed route will generate local benefits and represents value for money.

Sourced by bbt


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