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Old 8th Apr 2008, 16:38
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You're right - up to a point. The airport loses over £1/2m per annum - we've never hidden the fact. Rental income from Stobart and WAD being here will be about £1m. We'll also have increased revenue from the limited but incremental pax operations we will have on top of the current 23,000ATMs and yes, we will be pursuing air freight business very hard. And we'll get some more from the car parks, and other terminal facilities.

If the planning goes through, we will not be allowed NOT to improve the aviation facilities and do the Stobart etc parts by themselves. And typically, planning consent has a 3 year time on it - that's three years to START the consented development. We won't take three years as we must move Stobarts here in 2009 (their current lease expires then) and our proposal is to start the runway, new AGL, ILS etc in month 7 from the start. We've spent about £1m on the whole planning process so far - if we get consent, then not doing any part of it is unthinkable.

In 2005, 118,000 people drove from our catchment area to MAN and NCL in order to fly to London, about half of them to onward connect. About 100,000 take the train to London. More by car and coach. We have no illusions about numbers, but there is demand. And who knows - a Stobart branded joint venture operation? What other airline has a link to a signed up fan club of 30,000 - all of whom I'm sure would long to fly, even just once, in a Stobart branded aircraft!
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 01:47
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What kind of freight aircraft would be feasible to operate from there? Or allowable under the planning conditions? As I see the largest passenger aircraft planned are JS31/41 and similar. Would there be any plans to install radar there as well?
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:39
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We're anticipating starting PAX operations with J41 or similar - if demand is there we can move up to ATR 42/72, Dash 8 Q400. For freight, again, ATR, Bae 146. The limiting factor at the end of the day will be runway declared distances, probably under 1600m (TORA) and 1400m (LDA). ILS on runway 25 only and no radar.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 11:54
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In 2005, 118,000 people drove from our catchment area to MAN and NCL in order to fly to London, about half of them to onward connect. About 100,000 take the train to London. More by car and coach.
But isn't the problem that those who drive to MAN or NCL have the choice of going to LHR, LGW, STN, LCY and SOU from there? A service from Carlisle would only be able to serve one of these markets and thus limit the number of connections (particularly as a LHR would not be possible). The most attractive route for business people (LCY) would be rather useless for leisure pax and vice versa. In the end, a lot of people would still be driving to MAN and NCL despite a LON service from Carlisle.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 12:24
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Virginpax makes some valid points - I don't think anyone is under any illusion about the challenges.

On the other hand - if you don't need to get back and forth between London and Cumbria - you may underestimate just how difficult that journey is.
Despite upgrade works that have been going on for (what seems like) decades, the weekend train service is a joke. An air service to (any) London airport would be a leap forward.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 17:22
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I still can't see how it can be commercially viable, but I wish everyone the best of luck and hope it works out.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 10:01
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which 10 restrictions have been removed?

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Old 25th Apr 2008, 21:31
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permission granted and its off to government office north west now, maybe diggers on site within 4-6 weeks if it all goes to plan.
Just a caveat on that.

Stobarts quoted as saying that if it goes to a public enquiry then its off to Widnes. No questions, can not afford the delay.

Lets hope the GONW has Carlisle's best interests at heart. Plenty of people that work there will consider Widnes to be in the North West.

Here's hoping we get the all clear.

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Old 25th Apr 2008, 21:53
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Carlisle Airport does have an aviation future - as long as Cumbria continues to develop econcomically.

Maybe if CUFC make it to the Championship it will happen.
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Old 25th Apr 2008, 22:02
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Maybe if CUFC make it to the Championship it will happen.......................

................and relax

The Moss
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 06:52
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Public Inquiry

From the News and Star:

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has called a public inquiry to examine plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport. Her decision means that the £35m scheme for a new runway, terminal, hangars, warehousing and offices will be delayed for around 12 months. And it raises doubts as to whether the proposals, which include scheduled flights to London and other destinations, will go ahead at all. Airport owner Andrew Tinkler is understood to be considering his position. He could walk away, especially if haulage group Eddie Stobart pulls out of plans to move its Carlisle HQ to the airport. The firm may go to Cheshire instead, taking 175 jobs out of Cumbria. Mrs Blears has called an inquiry because, she says, the scheme raises planning issues of “more than local importance” and because it “may conflict with national policies on important matters”.

Airport manger Richard Gordon said: “We have to examine what the [Secretary of State’s] letter says, what are the issues and understand how and why they may have to be addressed. Then we have to review and understand our options. We are going to take a few days to go through that process. We will take legal advice and talk to our consultants.” He added: “We are bitterly disappointed at this turn of events, given we had very high-level support. We had the backing of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Cumbria Tourism, the CBI, MPs, the county and city councils, and the Chamber of Commerce. It’s a kick in the teeth.”

Carlisle City Council approved Mr Tinkler’s planning application in April but had to refer it to the Government Office North West because allowing offices on the airport breaches policy. Officials confirmed yesterday that Mrs Blears will make a final decision after the inquiry. The Planning Inspectorate must now appoint an inspector to chair the hearing, which should start within 22 weeks.

The inquiry will consider:
  • Whether there is justification for “non-airport activities” in such a rural location;
  • If there are sites nearer Carlisle that could house the offices and warehouses;
  • If the airport at Crosby-on-Eden is accessible by “all means of transport”;
  • If it would “contribute to sustainable economic development, protecting the natural and historic environment”;
  • If there would be a “significant impact” on archaeological features, in particular Hadrian’s Wall.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 16:41
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Out of the 5 principles the Government list which the Public Enquiry will examine, no 4 must be the most relevant:

"If it would contribute to sustainable economic development..."

Additionally, Mr Tinkler's threat to walk away to Cheshire speaks volumes for his true intentions behind the project - In common with Cumbria, the true catchment area of Cheshire is already well served by regional and international airports and has no need for another airport or air freight provider.

Scheduled passenger flights to anywhere from Carlisle are a pipe dream and simply not economically viable and, to my mind, especially in the current economic climate, there is no economic case for Carlisle Airport to be redeveloped.
It is still my opinion that the driving principle behind any development there is to build the business facility first, delay any investment in the airport side for a considerable period of time then postpone it indefinately.

It's a fact that, whilst Carlisle Airport may be very convenient as development site for road freight, there are also other sites in the area which would and could be developed at a similar cost.
I suspect that Stobart got the Airport at a good price, the developer's hoped that they'd be able to get away with non aviation development there without too much scrutiny and they've been caught with their pants down.
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Old 21st Jun 2008, 16:59
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Anyone know if Stobarts ever considered using Blackpool ?? Lots of defunct freight aircraft sitting on the ramp there !!!!!
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Old 22nd Jun 2008, 00:16
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niknak, whilst your thesis is interesting it has no bearing on the current situation.

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Old 23rd Jun 2008, 14:24
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Having been closely involved in airport planning processes before, I can assure you that the planning inspectors enter the process completely impartial, but their major and unequivecal remits when deciding if airport expansion is justified are:

1) the the economic justification for aviation related development compared with existing aviation infrastructure in the region along with enviromental concerns.
2) how much non aviation development the developer is applying for now, their stated position if their appeal fails, and
3) how much non aviation development could take place in the future.

It is significant that no one, not even the airport developers have commisioned surveys or investigated the cost per passenger of, for example, schedule flights to LCY, LHR or LGW, or the revenue they'd attract from air freight flown.
Perhaps they haven't done this because they know, as does anyone in the industry, that the investment required in getting the infrastucture at Carlisle back up to scratch for use by medium size jet/large turbo prop a/c, is around £25m, taking ino account the new runway, nav aids etc.

It's money that Stobart would have to justify to their shareholders, the City and to the Government - 3 out of those 3 would have grave doubts.
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Old 23rd Jun 2008, 14:31
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it`s a pity stobard bought carlisle, HUY as every thing he needs
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 18:10
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A couple of interesting stories from the News & Star

No action over illegal charter flights from Carlisle Airport claims
Last updated 14:39, Wednesday, 05 November 2008

The Civil Aviation Authority is taking no action following an investigation into claims that illegal charter flights took off from Carlisle Airport. The allegations centred on two aircraft operated by WA Developments International, a company which is owned by Cumbrian businessmen Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart.

The authority looked into whether the aircraft – a jet and a helicopter – were hired for private charters without an air operator’s certificate. This is a criminal offence that carries with it a fine of up to £5,000 and, in the most serious cases, a prison sentence. WA Developments International denied the claims. And yesterday the Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that no action was being taken against the company. A spokesman said: “The investigation was concluded and no further action was taken.”

Stobart's Andrew Tinkler sued for libel by ex-employee
EXCLUSIVE By Julian Whittle Last updated 10:11, Friday, 07 November 2008

Carlisle businessman Andrew Tinkler is being sued for libel. Chief executive of Stobart Group and owner of Carlisle Airport faces a claim for general, exemplary and aggravated damages. Peter Elliott, an aviation consultant from Appleby, says he has “suffered distress, injury and unlawful multiple attacks upon his personal and professional integrity”. He has issued proceedings in the High Court in Newcastle.

Mr Tinkler denies the allegations, which he argues are “irrelevant and scurrilous” and should be struck out. Mr Elliott alleges Mr Tinkler told the Civil Aviation Authority he had been sacked when in fact he withdrew his consultancy services in protest at “criminal aviation activities” going on at Carlisle Airport.

The legal claim says Mr Tinkler used his private jet and helicopter “to run an illegal airline for hire”, carrying directors of Tesco and Coca Cola without insurance cover “and on at least one occasion for Coca Cola without even a pilot’s licence”.

The claim also says that:
  • Mr Tinkler gave the Civil Aviation Authority false information that Mr Elliott flew a helicopter without the correct flying licence;
  • Mr Tinkler’s agent, airport director Richard Gordon, told a radio journalist Mr Elliott was “wired up to the moon”;
  • Mr Tinkler branded him a liar during a live web chat on the website of The Cumberland News’s sister newspaper, the News & Star

Mr Elliott is demanding an apology (from Mr Tinkler) in the News & Star so that he can “regain his personal dignity that has been taken away by the defendant’s actions”. As well as damages, he wants Mr Tinkler to pay his legal costs.

Documents were served at Mr Tinkler’s home at Newby East on October 20. He has now responded. He argues that the claim should be struck out because the allegations lack detail and Mr Elliott has used the wrong civil procedures for libel.

He says the Civil Aviation Authority investigated the allegations about unlicensed and uninsured flights and decided to take no action. And he says that he cannot be held responsible for statements made by Mr Gordon who is not, as Mr Elliott claims, his agent. The legal papers are now being considered by District Judge Ian Atherton. A date for the hearing has yet to be set.

Also, rumours on the Southend thread that Stobarts are looking to buy SEN.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 03:25
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Stobarts were folded into the Westbury Property Group last year; whose main function is to develop Business and Warehousing facilities.

It would not surprise me if in the end the airport is converted into a nice big business park.

The WCML should be sorted by the December tt change and with HS2,3 and 4 on the table journey times by train to London could be cut by up to 1/3rd.

Best of luck....
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Old 19th Dec 2008, 16:15
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Looks like progress possible here:News & Star
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Old 19th Dec 2008, 19:54
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I still find it very hard to believe that Stobart or their backers can make an economic case for redeveloping Carlisle Airport, the projected costs of their initial plans were way below reallity and even now the numbers simply don't stack up.
Anyone involved in aviation, airport development and air freight (of which Stobart have no direct operational experience) will know that pre recession the air freight market was very well sewn up, now it's tighter than a ducks rear bits.

I don't doubt that they may well move to the airport, but if they do, it will be to operate from a site that will be cheaper to develop as a freight centre for trucks and that there will be no development of the airport infrastructure.
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