Council takes control of Blackpool Airport following award of CAA licences
In an historic occasion this week staff at Blackpool Airport gathered to celebrate the official transfer of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) licences back into the name and control of Blackpool Airport Operations Limited (BAOL).
Following a lengthy review and intensive work behind the scenes by the airport and Blackpool Council transition team over the past six months, the CAA has issued an Aerodrome Licence and Air Navigations Service Provider (ANSP) Certification to BAOL, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackpool Council.
The award of the CAA licences to BAOL allows the company to take direct control of the airport management – the first step in achieving the airport’s longer term goals which are to:
- Maximise opportunities for growth as part of the Enterprise Zone;
- Achieve a greater level of direct operational control and flexibility to take sound investment decisions;
- Be more efficient and cost effective; and
- Ensure a long term, sustainable future for one of England’s oldest airports and a key strategic asset for the Fylde Coast.
Holding the licences in the name of the airport company rather than the management contractor is the norm in the aviation industry and brings Blackpool Airport into line with its peers in the sector.
BAOL has worked closely with the CAA for this process to be completed.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, chair of the board at BAOL said: “We set off on this journey recognising the size and complexity of the task ahead, and enlisted the help of aviation specialist, transition manager, Sally Franks to lead the team through the transition period. The whole team has done an outstanding job, working tirelessly with the CAA and the outgoing management company to ensure a smooth and seamless transition of operations.
“The purpose of the event was to say a big thank you to all our staff and to recognise all their hard work. Blackpool Airport is back in control of its own destiny and we’re excited to be at the threshold of a new era where we can build a bigger, brighter, more profitable future.”
Blackpool Council re-acquired Blackpool Airport from Balfour Beatty in September 2017, for £4.25m via its ownership of Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd and Blackpool Airport Property Ltd, to save it from the risk of permanent closure and to secure its long term future as part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
To date, Blackpool Council has invested nearly £2m in the upgrade and maintenance of essential infrastructure, with further significant investment planned.