Blackpool Airport enters a new era this month as the site becomes the the first Enterprise Zone for the town of Blackpool. The plan is to create 3,000 new jobs with 140 companies on the site – but general aviation is to stay, insist the local council, the Enterprise Zone and the site owners, Balfour Beatty.
“The Enterprise Zone specifically excludes the airport’s main runway which continues to be in use,” said a spokesman for Balfour Beatty. “Blackpool Airport has put in place safeguards should the return of volume passenger operations prove viable in the future.”
Rob Green, head of group overseeing the airport Enterprise Zone, told the Blackpool Gazette, “We could see developments with aviation companies moving in. For example, an expansion of executive jet operations as they become pushed out of Manchester and aircraft conversions to freight carriers.
“Aviation is absolutely vital to this zone. There are 400 acres of land on the airport site. London City airport operates on 100 acres. So you can see there is surplus land which can be developed but plenty of room for aviation.”
The first company to move in is Force Technology which specialises in the development of high precision spring applications for the automotive, transport and shipping industry. Another company moving in soon is Lancashire Energy, which will have a new HQ on the site of the now demolished former terminal.
Blackpool Airport dates back to 1909, and is home to a number of aviation businesses including:
- Bond Offshore Helicopters
- Citywing, which operates flights between Blackpool, the Isle of Man and Belfast
- North West Air Ambulance
- Hangar 3 business and private aviation services
- Fixed wing and helicopter flying schools:
Blackpool Air Centre
The airport welcomes General Aviation flights including flight training, instrument approach training and student pilots on Qualifying Cross Country flights. It has a new flight briefing lounge complete with internet and light refreshments. Fuel is available. All inbound flights are PPR; call ATC on 01253 472527.