Enterprise Zone progress including airport

A future vision for  Blackpool Airport includes replacement hangars, a new control tower, fire station and administration facility,  a council report has revealed.

The report  to the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Prosperity Board by head of enterprise zones Rob Green said the council-owned air terminal had remained fully operational during the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Green said in his update: “Work continues to replace worn out systems and upgrade the airport’s operational capabilities with the new instrument landing system (ILS) now commissioned and a new RNAV (navigation) system ordered to serve Runway 10.”
He added: “The airport has remained fully operational during the present Covid-19 crisis – primarily to support offshore operations whilst airfields at Barton, Warton and Carlisle have closed, but also hosts a flight of private aviators and BAE staff who are on standby to operate NHS support flights at short notice.”
The report says Lancashire architects Cassidy and Ashton are drawing up initial plans for the replacement of old aircraft hangars and  aircraft parking aprons as a first step toward opening up the frontage of Squires Gate Lane for new business park development.
This work also includes feasability studies on the provision of a new control tower, fire station and administration facility.
It comes after the council’s executive  agreed a 25-year £1m loan in March to Blackpool Airport Operations Limited (BAOL) for investment in essential infrastructure.
The airport was upgraded to a category four airport in April which allows jets carrying up to 50 passengers to land.

The airfield can also operate at times up to category six capacity enabling it to accept by special arrangement  bigger jets, such as 737 airliners which can carry between 85 and 215 passengers.

Meanwhile a number of planning applications for development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone are due to be submitted during the summer including for further sports facilities,  commercial units, the eastern gateway access road, and changes to  Common Edge Road.
Once outline planning permission for phase one of the development is in place, work will go ahead on the new link road between Common Edge Road ad Amy Johnson Way with the new through route scheduled to open early in 2022.

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