Plans to give Carlisle Airport a £25 million revamp have been put forward to the local council.
Carlisle Airport’s management hopes to attract domestic and European flights if the project is given the green light.
Airport operator Stobart Air has revealed plans to build a new runway, a control tower and other facilities, and could eventually offer flights to London, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.
A spokesman said there would never be more than about five or six passenger flights in and out each day because there are not enough potential passengers to support more. However, a modernised Carlisle Airport would boost tourism to the Lake District, and give local people an alternative to having to travel to Glasgow, Manchester or Newcastle for flights. Carlisle Airport is located seven miles east of Carlisle and the M6.
Airport director, Richard Gordon, said: "The only way we can make the airport pay is to bring these other businesses there. The loss would be huge both emotionally and economically for Cumbria and Carlisle if the application was refused."