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Plymouth Airport To Close  
User currently offlinetrb10 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 179 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11015 times:

By the end of 2011, Sutton Harbour Holdings which owns Plymouth airport, will close the airport. Quite a sad day for Devon. I wonder what will happen to ASW as it is based there....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-13219590

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3954 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10882 times:

I guess that is what is bound to happen in the long run if you sell a city airport to a property developer....

User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2011 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10732 times:

Not a great surprise, once the Gatwick route went, then the viability of the other routes and the airport must have been dubious. Domestic air travel is very expensive these days, with the high fuel costs and taxation, and Exeter is clearly the main base for the region.


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19188 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10719 times:

Anyone yet know the last day of operations?

Within a short period, two UK airports - FZO and now PLH - have announced their closure.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineextspotter From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10603 times:

This is quite sad, however enevitable given the circumstances; a highly constricted airport, surrounded by areas of development, with very short runways and no room for growth. When the Gatwick route was pulled I thought that it may have just been a ploy with the eventual goal of shutting down the airport. If you cut out a route which makes up ~40% of the daily departures and arrivals, surely it isn't a good sign.


AF BE BY FR MV PD SZ U2 VZ DHC6, 8-3/4Q, 732/8, 763ER, A319, A380
User currently offlineLuftyMatt From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10579 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 1):


Yeah very true. It's a shame, but if there was no way of extending the runway then that place didn't have a future. I mean it couldn't even take a Dash 8-400, so FlyBe couldn't have opened up a couple of routes (which could have saved the airport.)
But it is sad to see it happen, I had a few flying lessons down there when I was in university there. Nice little airport to fly into.

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 3):
Within a short period, two UK airports - FZO and now PLH - have announced their closure.

It's not good, a sad year for British aviation.



chase the sun
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10419 times:

Quoting trb10 (Thread starter):
I wonder what will happen to ASW as it is based there....

The ASW operations team are already going. MD departed to Air Malta and the rest is being absorbed into T3's Humberside ops.

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 1):
I guess that is what is bound to happen in the long run if you sell a city airport to a property developer....

150 year lease, with far too much honour being placed on the integrity of Sutton Harbour Holdings. They have intended this from day one.

Quoting extspotter (Reply 4):
This is quite sad, however enevitable given the circumstances; a highly constricted airport, surrounded by areas of development, with very short runways and no room for growth.

That's not the case however. The land for extension has been set aside, and the other runway was sold on the condition that the land sale part funded the extension of the runway and improvement in amenities. Very uncouth breaking of promises there by SHH, I should hope the legal spiel behind the deal doesn't let them now do this without some recompense.

Quoting extspotter (Reply 4):
When the Gatwick route was pulled I thought that it may have just been a ploy with the eventual goal of shutting down the airport. If you cut out a route which makes up ~40% of the daily departures and arrivals, surely it isn't a good sign.

Unfortunately there was little choice when your competitor into NQY is prepared to take subsidies and then run at a loss until you are gone - in it's last months the LGW service hemorrhaged money. FlyBe now have the market to themselves, which was their goal.

All in all this leaves the catchment area of 500,000 people without an airport now, and a city without it's last viable lifeline. NQY and EXT are reasonably close, but NQY's fate isn't exactly safe either and if you have to fly into EXT, why locate your business in Plymouth a further hour away? Bit of a blow for the whole local economy, to say the least. The general feeling of people here for the past few months is that you might as well hang up a 'closed' sign on the entrance to the city...


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineual777uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10400 times:

This is terrible news for Plymouth.

I fail to understand how an extension to the runway or a new location was not harnessed years ago. The area is/was sreaming out for more than just prop service.

Very, very sad.


User currently offlineLuftyMatt From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10271 times:

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 7):
I fail to understand how an extension to the runway or a new location was not harnessed years ago


Extending the current runway was not possible, due to housing each end of the runway. As for not securing a new location, I don't know perhaps with the proximity of EXT and NQY it was felt to be too much of a high risk investment.



chase the sun
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10159 times:

Quoting LuftyMatt (Reply 8):
Extending the current runway was not possible, due to housing each end of the runway.

Sorry, that's totally incorrect. A tarmac extension was not possible at the Western end due to the proximity of the A386, although that was subsequently diverted to allow for an extended RESA to be constructed along with road junction improvements. At the Eastern end the land has been designated for an extension by the council - meaning any permanent development is prohibited. I think there is one warehouse still in use there, all the others have either been demolished or are being used for short term ventures. If you look at the PLH Masterplan you will see the proposed extension and rebuilt terminal area.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineLuftyMatt From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10128 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 9):
Sorry, that's totally incorrect

Ah ok, my mistake. There were (or are) houses at each end though. At least this was always sited as reasons given as to why runway extension was not possible, also I remember from when I used to fly there.



chase the sun
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10043 times:

Quoting LuftyMatt (Reply 10):
There were (or are) houses at each end though. At least this was always sited as reasons given as to why runway extension was not possible, also I remember from when I used to fly there.

There used to be an active industrial estate at one end of 13/31, which is mostly gone, and some houses about 200m from the other. Maybe you are thinking of the old cross runway, that did have housing at both ends, but it hasn't been used for a long time and was recently sold.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9864 times:
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The writing has been on the wall for EGHD unfortunately for a number of years. With the withdrawal of Air Wales, Air South West, Gamma, Navy Flying Squadron and with Plymouth School Of Flying moving to be Aviation South West at Exeter (Although the old PSF aircraft were leased and members transferred to "Plymouth Flying School" started by a former PSF member) as well as others in the last 5 years it is sad, but not altogether unexpected. I am glad to say I have Plymouth in my logbook on a few occasions and worked at PSF for the last year of it's existance.

It's a shame Sutton Harbour went back on their word but with the climate as it is I can understand there is not much option for them.



I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9503 times:

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 12):
It's a shame Sutton Harbour went back on their word but with the climate as it is I can understand there is not much option for them.

There's a difference though between unprofitability and not intending to generate a profit. It's patently obvious to most down here that the latter has been occurring, specifically because they wish to redevelop the site. They've massaged the figures, agreed to promises they have no intention of fulfilling and ignored advice and countless opportunities to do remedy the situation.

I think (and certainly hope) the matter will be taken out of their hands quite shortly.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinewilld From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8236 times:

A very sad day but all the while BE and the consortium who own EXT must be rubbing their hands with glee. It is clear now that EXT will be the only 'major' airport in the South West outside of BRS.

User currently offlinedivemaster08 From Cayman Islands, joined Jul 2008, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

Pity as I flew in and out of this airport once to catch the ferry to france from here. Was a BA Dash8 from LGW and we went via Newquay first!

Unfortunately the way my ferry back and the flights were, meant that i spent around 3-4+ hours waiting for check-in for my return flight and the airport wasn't really made for long waits!



My dream, is to fly, over the rainbow, so high!
User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7065 times:
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Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
There's a difference though between unprofitability and not intending to generate a profit. It's patently obvious to most down here that the latter has been occurring, specifically because they wish to redevelop the site. They've massaged the figures, agreed to promises they have no intention of fulfilling and ignored advice and countless opportunities to do remedy the situation.

Agreed. The mere fact it cost 4 times as much to park an aircraft at Plymouth as it did at Exeter tells you enough about the people who ran Plymouth and their intentions. The recession and current climate is a convenient excuse for them.

Quoting willd (Reply 14):
all the while BE and the consortium who own EXT must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Not necessarily. I used to work for BE once upon a time and had mates at Air South West who were narked at Flybe about Newquay and running at a loss and the whole competition there... I brought the topic up with a manager once and asked why Flybe would want Air South West out of business? His answer was that the last thing that Flybe wanted at that time was Air South West out of business because Flybe do their maintenance. Aircraft maintenance contracts can be far more lucrative than exclusivity on a route.



I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6518 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
There's a difference though between unprofitability and not intending to generate a profit. It's patently obvious to most down here that the latter has been occurring, specifically because they wish to redevelop the site. They've massaged the figures, agreed to promises they have no intention of fulfilling and ignored advice and countless opportunities to do remedy the situation.

Dan,
this is exactly what happened at Sheffield City Airport(SZD).   Dont even get me started about Peel Holdings!   

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 6):
I should hope the legal spiel behind the deal doesn't let them now do this without some recompense.

We thought we'd be able to get decision reversed with legal proceedings against Peel but it didn't work!

Dave(SAAB900).


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3954 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4664 times:

Sheffield City, Coventry, now Plymouth.

Wonder what airport is the next on the list. Humberside appears to be weak. "The Independent" also mentioned Durham Tees Valley and Derry as candidates.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/...ign-of-things-to-come-2276386.html

[Edited 2011-04-29 00:42:57]

User currently offlineHumberside From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 4917 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4567 times:

Articles like that make my blood boil. Maybe if some proper research had been done a more informed opinion could be made

Scheduled flights are not everything. Humberside is the perfect example of that. Theres charter flights, cargo flights, North Sea oil rig helicopter flights, Police helicopter base, general aviation and the HQ of Eastern Airways including maintenance facilities and Jetstream 41 flight simulator. A new business aviation centre will open in June and a new on-site hotel recently opened

And financially while HUY has a significant amount of debt that stops a net profit being made, operationally it was profit making up to and including 2008-09. The last available Manchester Airport Group accounts show a £700,000 operating loss in 2009-10. Not good at all, but hardly a no-hoper and terminal loss maker in operational terms

Also HUY would not exactly be easy or cheap to shut down. Eastern would no doubt want a LOT of compensation. As would the flying schools, the hotel operator, Humberside Police. And I doubt the oil companies would be happy. Public money invested in the perishables hub may have to be returned. Plus North Lincolnshire Council retain a minority shareholding and I doubt that they would approve airport closure.

It's hardly the simple case of Plymouth with one airline, a bit of general aviation and few if any on-site based companies

[Edited 2011-04-29 02:43:00]


Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
User currently offlineGiancavia From Vatican City, joined Feb 2010, 1310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 18):
Sheffield City, Coventry, now Plymouth.

Wonder what airport is the next on the list. Humberside appears to be weak. "The Independent" also mentioned Durham Tees Valley and Derry as candidates.

I thought Coventry had made a come back and had some new plans?


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3954 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4469 times:

I was more talking about commercial passenger services, not closing an airfield altogether, but obviously did not make myself clear enough. The problem, however, is, like in PLH case, if there is enough other traffic to make it worthwhile keeping an airport open.

What we are seeing now in the UK is a bit like the situation a couple of years ago in Germany when airports like KEL, MGL, KSF and AGB lost passenger services - as a matter of fact, today is the last scheduled flight into HOQ. All these were smallish regional airports with a handful of scheduled services and certain limits that only allowed regional aircraft to operate - a model that fitted nicely the 1980s/1990s style of air transport that has now been replaced by LCC airtravel and only survives in very select, extremely high yielding markets.

A good comparison with PLH would be KEL where for almost 20 years a dedicated local airline (Cimber Germany) that at one point linked up with the Lufthansa provided services with ATR42s to places such as FRA, MUC, BER and CGN. It worked okay for many many years, but because of competition from a (much) larger airport (HAM) it did not pay off in times of ever decreasing airfares. Larger aircraft/other rutes were out of question because of a short runway. Two smaller regional airlines gave it try when Cimber left but failed quickly. Nowadays, the airport has no scheduled services any longer.


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2574 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4419 times:

I don't know much, but my general impression, from the information available, is that this outcome was planned from the start, regardless of profitability or not. We all know that a company not interested in a certain asset can intentionally run it down to a loss, in order to close it due to "lack of profitability" - we see it everywhere, not just airports.

I don't have the knowledge to say if PLH is worth keeping open or not, but I do think we have to rethink the model of privatizing all airports and demanding that they run at a profit, while it is perfectly OK to maintain highways and railways with subsidies.


User currently offlineGiancavia From Vatican City, joined Feb 2010, 1310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4366 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 22):
I don't know much, but my general impression, from the information available, is that this outcome was planned from the start, regardless of profitability or not. We all know that a company not interested in a certain asset can intentionally run it down to a loss, in order to close it due to "lack of profitability" - we see it everywhere, not just airports.

I don't have the knowledge to say if PLH is worth keeping open or not, but I do think we have to rethink the model of privatizing all airports and demanding that they run at a profit, while it is perfectly OK to maintain highways and railways with subsidies.

The way airports are treated in the UK is pretty shameful, They create tonnes of jobs and provide people with an escape from the miserable british weather and in most places were there long before all the people that protest their expansions.

I see it 1st hand at Luton, Airport on lease from a council who has no interest in it but on a crappy time scale so that any major investment will not reward the people leasing it by the time its up. So everythign sits as it is.. never living up to its potential.

No expansion at LHR.. STN restricted .. etc etc

Plymouth never looked that promising but others are being stifled majorly. Having said that a Runway extension at Plymouth would have helped greatly.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4354 times:

As it has now appeared in the press, I can add this:

When SHH took over the 150 year lease of the airport they insisted on having an 'Armageddon' clause in the contract. This dictated that if the airport became 'unviable' they had the right (even through just owning the lease) to close it and redevelop the land. Over the past few years they have made being unprofitable their intention to achieve this and activate the clause, which has been frustrating to say the least for people who do use the airport frequently, especially businesses. I am aware of at least one situation where a scheduled operator was reportedly denied landing rights, and I have no reason to doubt this.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
25 LuftyMatt : This is very short sighted of them, an airport like PLH could work given a little bit of imagination/ vision and the right investment. Don't forget i
26 Flying-Tiger : Having taken a look on the flight schedule it´s not really a surprise: Around 60 flights per week, around 7-8 per day, spread out over the day with a
27 vfw614 : That's exactly the calculation that has been put forward by the airport owner. The question really is whether there is a realistic chance to bring pas
28 Post contains images PlymSpotter : This is the whole point - it doesn't, and that is precisely what the airport's owners have been striving for. Countless opportunities to remedy this
29 2travel2know2 : NQY isn't a major airport? I believe CWL doesn't really qualify as an airport in the South West. Any chances EXT or NQY will change name to: Exeter-P
30 Post contains images PlymSpotter : I'd doubt it, unless Ryanair enter NQY again and rebrand it as such, which is very very unlikely. Looking at the great circle distances it's easy to
31 LuftyMatt : Dan, do you think there may be a chance of Plymouth City Council intervening in the closure of the airport? Maybe if enough local support was drummed
32 Giancavia : No they have no need to take on the plymouth name. They have their own pull.
33 Post contains images PlymSpotter : It would have closed several years ago (when SHH first tried it on) if the council hadn't already intervened (which lead to the likes of LCY being la
34 EGTESkyGod : I presume you mean from airport to airport? Because I'm pretty sure you can get from Exeter to Plymouth by train in just over an hour...
35 NQYGuy : It's about the same via car and train, give or take between Exeter and Plymouth. Getting to NQY is another story altogether, especially by public tra
36 Post contains images PlymSpotter : Indeed, it's just under an hour on the fast trains between Exeter and Plymouth. You change at St Davids and wait for the hopper bus which takes you o
37 N14AZ : Just out of curiousity - what will happen to your a.net name? Whitout an airport people might think you are a train-spotter!
38 Post contains images PlymSpotter : Hehe, I'll have it changed to mocktudorspotter once the old airfield is covered in those ghastly little modern houses. Dan
39 2travel2know2 : The world outside Devonshire/Cornwall or Great Britain for this matter happens to be quite geography-impaired. As somebody who has visited Plymouth a
40 NQYGuy : That would mean more government subsidies (another topic altogether!) and with the current UK budget being somewhat tight, I simply cannot see the co
41 extspotter : I am sure there is some demand, however due the very small catchment area in the UK, large availability of flights UK -> US and a once weekly seas
42 vfw614 : Getting by public transport from Plymouth to EXT is not exactly convenient as the airport bus operates with a rather erratic schedule. If you miss one
43 Post contains images PlymSpotter : BRS-EWR did well and was popular with passengers down the back, it was the variability of loads up from which became an issue, perhaps not helped by
44 2travel2know2 : Indirectly in this subject, since part of the intercontinental traffic to/from Devonshire/Cornwall went via BRS, So if CWL is to woo new UA with load
45 EGTESkyGod : Totally agree that Plymouth will not be added to the name... I personally don't think there will be a name change, but if there was to be any name ch
46 Post contains images PlymSpotter : I think it wasn't so much CO moving to LHR, but LHR in general offering so much additional choice and often lower fares, plus the option of non stops
47 yenne09 : It is very sad to seen what happen to Plymouth airport. It is hard to believe that a city of more than 250,000 people can't sustain a viable airport.
48 2travel2know2 : So BRS passengers wouldn't use UA/CO to EWR from CWL? The appeal with CWL might be that's in Wales, why fly to LON if you could fly to Wales via EWR?
49 skipness1E : Basically they got a lot more bang for their buck by flying the BRS aircraft into LHR as the Bristol passengers can access LHR quite easily on the M4
50 Giancavia : Little off topic but.. I noticed as predicted Aer Arann has cut down its flights from Southend and Moved more back to Luton after such a short time, O
51 Post contains images PlymSpotter : I doubt a meaningful number would, unless a hypothetical CWL flight could compete on price with LHR, which is unlikely unless massive subsidies are p
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