Fylde coast MPs have pressed the case for the return of commercial flights to Blackpool as Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps visited the town’s airport. Although Blackpool Airport was busy in 2021, with 14,000 more flights made than the previous year, no scheduled passenger flights have been operational since 2017 when the Citywing service to the Isle of Man ended. Blackpool South MP Scott Benton and Fylde MP Mark Menzies both stressed the airport’s potential to the Secretary of State, who visited the Westair facility at Squires Gate.
MP Mark Menzies said, ‘The constituency of Fylde has two runways but at present no scheduled passenger flights. There is huge potential here, something the Secretary of State absolutely agreed. He saw first-hand how Blackpool Airport has all the ingredients for success but one piece of the jigsaw is missing. The Secretary of State left understanding what Blackpool needs is a terminal building to bring the runway back into passenger use.’
MP Scott Benton said, ‘It is great that Ministers are talking about Blackpool and are able to see first-hand the opportunities we have here. With a review of Passenger Service Obligation flights and changes to domestic Air Passenger Duty there has not been a better time, since the airport closed to passengers, to talk about how we can bring those flights back. The Secretary of State was very positive about the future for aviation in Blackpool.’
As well as visiting the airport the Secretary of State stopped off at Squires Gate station where he was shown the works taking place to renovate platforms and discussed proposals for a passing loop on the South Fylde line.
MP Mark Menzies said, ‘It has been another challenging week for Fylde passengers, with delays and cancellations, a point made clear to the Secretary of State. It demonstrates just why we need a passing loop, to double frequencies and make them more reliable and I was able to talk the Secretary of State through the plans.’
MP Scott Benton said, ‘The Secretary of State was left understanding why this investment is so important. People in Fylde and Blackpool South deserve a better train service.’
Proposals for a passing loop on the South Fylde line are currently being considered by Ministers at the Department for Transport.