We at Four bgb follow any news from Wales with a keen eye, but last week’s announcement that Cardiff Airport had been bought by the Welsh government was all the more interesting given that it came less than a week after the Aviation Policy Framework was published, setting out the British government’s policy on aviation.
There are many conflicting arguments for and against the decision but, say what you will, the purchase demonstrates how very important regional airports are to their local area. However, despite recognising that airports outside London do play an important economic role in the UK, the Aviation Policy Framework did not provide the strong solutions to assisting growth that many regional airports had hoped for.
As it stands, the UK’s air services are heavily focused on London and lengthy journey times to other areas of the country can act as an inconvenience-based deterrent to trade and investment. If key growth cities such as Cardiff, Newport and Cambridge were better connected by air, they would have even more economic potential. At the moment, government policy on matters such as Air Passenger Duty is making it difficult for smaller airports to develop since it is expensive for overseas airlines to bring new services to the UK and airports themselves are having to solve the problem by meeting the commercial gap.
Hopefully Cardiff’s new ownership will mark a turning point for the airport, attracting new services and bringing in more international tourists. It is very rare to find a visitor to Wales who isn’t blown away by its beauty; the easier it is for people to get there, the more people will come – and no doubt want to return again and again.