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Blackpool Thread

Old 15th Nov 2014, 16:52
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Yes it is difficult to imagine why a Director who ran up a £34million debt would be retained........assuming that debt to be the case! [It is also extremely difficult to imagine how such a relatively small operation could manage to 'run up' such a debt, unless of course BB were involved in imaginative accounting involving other parts of the Group].

As for the Licensing variations, it is quite possible that the Regulator could require strict compliance with the Licensing Requirements [ ie. no variations]. However, I would like to think it improbable that such a demand would be made. I am not sure what the variations were at Blackpool but from my vague knowledge of the Airport I can't imagine that any were too critical.

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Old 15th Nov 2014, 20:25
  #162 (permalink)  
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With the promised local economic boom in the event of fracking , an airport of some sort would be a benefit to the area............
Is that the same sort of local economic boom as the one that has been happening for the last 30 years as a result of offshore gas and which required a local airport for 7 days a week helicopter operations?
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Old 15th Nov 2014, 20:58
  #163 (permalink)  
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Yes , my post infers that the airport always had GA , Biz jets and Helicopters operating on a daily basis and it was always relatively successful at supporting those markets not the large commercial activities.

Offshore Oil and Gas support in the Irish Sea has a good few years left and will always be needed , as the energy industry is vital to the economy , Fracking will generate work on land , and the potential for possible Fracking offshore has also been mentioned in the media in the past , but if any potential airport purchaser could get its act together , it wont lose or drive away this or any other current ongoing aviation business , which it has either already lost in some capacity due to the current situation or faces the potential to drive away. Current based companies such as flying clubs/operators and biz jet operators are suffering on a daily basis due to operating restrictions - this just cannot be sustained as viable at the moment.

If Blackpool maintains an airport of some kind the potential for regenerated traffic will come ..... either from existing organisations in situ or new ones if the asset is marketed and operated correctly.

My post inferred that the Low Cost airlines wouldn't probably figure in the future - they cannot - if the airport stays as it is now , with limited equipment and few staff ...... once bitten - twice shy in that market !.

My own opinion - no Boeings to be seen here , move along please.....

Last edited by newaviator; 15th Nov 2014 at 21:12. Reason: update text
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 07:59
  #164 (permalink)  
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Newaviator has it spot on. its clock back more like 1981 after air uk pulled out and the only scheduled service was a daily iom service before up and coming spacegrand built it all up again. mind back then although rig support was in its infancy, there were training flights galore and even pleasure flights around the tower in them there olden days with bateson in g-aynn. at best it might just stay as a ga with pool etc (even back then there were no based bizjets they were just occasional visitors). it was bleak for the airport back in the early 80's but it's even bleaker now cos nobody has any money to gamble. the jet2 relationship i think was the only chance the airport had in its history to be what it was (and more) but clearly the airport considered theIr out of hours operation an inconvenience and weren't interested (mind who would be when they clearly signed a contract with jet2 at the beginning that was not in the economic interest of the airport -who's name was that i'd like to know.0

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Old 16th Nov 2014, 08:24
  #165 (permalink)  
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In reply to Helen49

However, I would like to think it improbable that such a demand would be made.
Unfortunately those days are over - a new EASA Airfield Certificate will be needed if licenced operations are planned.

Relevant legislation for Aerodromes

The Agency has prepared the implementing rules for aerodrome safety which then have been adopted by the European legislative institutions. Also at the same time EASA prepared the certification specifications (CS) for aerodrome design and the Acceptable means of compliance to the implementing rules AMC.

Current and planned rulemaking tasks in the field of Aerodromes
RMT.0485 Requirements for Apron Management Services (Legal requirement by Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009)
RMT.0589 Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (Development of IR addressing Rescue and Fire Fighting Services at aerodromes)
RMT.0638 Heliports (Certification requirements for colocated VFR heliports)
RMT.0591 Maintaining Aerodromes (Stemming from ICAO Annex 14 amendments)
RMT.0161 Aerodrome Equipment (Implementing measures (IR) for the certification of Aerodrome Equipment)

For a more detailed overview of EASA rulemaking tasks you can refer to the corresponding documents found on our document library.
Aerodromes | EASA
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 19:17
  #166 (permalink)  
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I think Jet2 is about as good as it got for BPL in recent times, can't see improvements anytime soon. Does anyone remember when ZB attempted to start a service in 2005 from Blackpool to Malaga? Don't think it lasted very long. Thomson/Britannia also used to run a weekly charter during the Winter from Blackpool to Tenerife, does anyone have more info on both of these?
This was 2006. I flew with Monarch that year to Malaga (Not sure about 2005) - In late summer they said they where pulling out. I don't think it was load factor, it was Jet2 saying they were adding Malaga as a new route from summer 2007 - In fact ZB did not finish the season they left and pax had to finish 2006 flying from MAN. In short LS scared them off.

At that time (2006) FR was flying Girona/Dublin and I think STN. The airport was buzzing 2006/07 until LS left because of the ADF.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 06:21
  #167 (permalink)  
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Danger Who Signed the contract

City Hopper Airports
Paul Wheelan and Walter Stark, this was the death Nail of the Airport
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 11:28
  #168 (permalink)  
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Was it Balfour who contracted with Regional & City Airports to run it on their behalf, not MAR Properties Ltd, or before them City Hopper Airports?

Do Regional & City Airports (RCA) still have a contract in place to run the airport or is that terminated, presumably so?

If MAR Properties walked away with £14m in 2007 what was the value of the council's 5% stake on the books back then, what's the value onf their 5% today?

If RCA were happy to go and buy the likes of Exeter (off Balfour) and more recently Norwich off Omniport, presumably they're waiting to pick this one up too for a £1?

Tangled webs.....
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 12:10
  #169 (permalink)  
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It is reported on the Private Flying thread that "Squires Gate Airport Operations Limited" are actively advertising for a variety of airfield personnel to operate on a 24/7/365 basis so things certainly seem to be moving towards re-opening in the very near future.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 12:14
  #170 (permalink)  
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Here's the link

Job Search | Jobstoday

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Old 17th Nov 2014, 16:15
  #171 (permalink)  

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What a surprise....not!

New company is C/o Balfour Beatty,

Last edited by IB4138; 17th Nov 2014 at 16:27.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 20:25
  #172 (permalink)  
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The closing date for positions is noon on Wednesday, 19th November 2014.

Roles will commence from 1st December 2014.
Good luck getting the airside passes that quick!
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 20:34
  #173 (permalink)  
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Well if there are no commercial services - the airside passes shouldn't be an issue ........

Run it like a US format GA airport only , and the tenants can look after their own respective acreage and access

No more of that security pass / access buffoonery of old with a pint of milk being scrutinised each time for the onsite tea shacks ......
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Old 18th Nov 2014, 17:33
  #174 (permalink)  
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So a councillor gets interviewed on Granada reports and says it will be good to see the runway used again
Strange as we drove past around they time, just after a Piper landed on that same runway!
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Old 18th Nov 2014, 20:49
  #175 (permalink)  
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If indeed the airport had £30m of debt I expect we will see the directors in court. It is illegal to knowingly trade when insolvent. And if the place was losing £2n or so per year there was no realistic chance of it trading out of this position.
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Old 19th Nov 2014, 19:48
  #176 (permalink)  
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You don't actually think that the airport actually owed that amount of money to BB in terms of unpaid invoices etc. do you all?

It's all a bit of creative accounting

BB set up a company to operate the airport it owns,
So the operating company would have been charged rent for the facility
The wages will have been paid via another part of the BB group as would HR services and a number of other services, so that will have accounted for another part of what is owed.
But end of the day it will have been all on paper, not as "real" money and just parts of BB owing other parts of BB virtual debt!
Of course the BB group can then adjust the debts owing to show the facility to either make a profit or a loss!
So BB will now be able to write off a huge virtual debt from the books so pay much less tax and no doubt go away happy!
Look at some of the figures here

BBC News - Blackpool Airport to reopen as airfield for small aircraft
Blackpool Airport Ltd, the Balfour Beatty company that ran the airport, owes creditors about £35m, a report by liquidators shows.

External companies and groups are owed £2.1m, including £10,500 to Blackpool Council and £168,672 to Fylde Borough Council.

The staff redundancy bill totals more than £4.3m but the report estimates that only £528,244 will be available to pay towards this cost.
The government will have to cover outstanding staff costs from the National Insurance Fund.

Balfour Beatty faces a loss of around £19m.
The company in charge of liquidation, Zolfo Cooper, revealed around £28.6m of the debt is owed to other Balfour Beatty companies.
But this can be offset against other internal funds, meaning the final cost to the company is reduced to £19m. Balfour Beatty declined to comment on the figures.
The report estimates Blackpool Airport Ltd's assets are £562,193.
This covers the amount owed to preferential creditors and the remaining £528,244 will be put towards paying unsecured creditors.
But this would leave outstanding debts totalling £34.5m not covered under the settlement outlined by liquidators.
(some of the utility companies tried it on after privatisation to remove "profit" from the regulated sides of the businesses. The regulators caught them out and fined them huge amounts)

From the figures quoted in the BBC the actual value of equipment owned by the operating company is put at around £500,000.
The rest is fixtures and fittings and are owned by the part of BB that owns fixtures, fittings and land. Face it, in another way, it means that if one part of BB ends up in liquidation the fixed assets can't be touched as they are owned by another company.
Just as has occurred.

Then of course another company can be set up, debt free to operate those assets.
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Old 19th Nov 2014, 21:33
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Poor choice of headline for a news article on the Blackpool Gazette website today. Apparently the Citywing managing director saying

'we would be delighted to come back to Blackpool'

merits the headline

'Airport could see return of commercial flights'

Airport could see return of commercial flights - Blackpool Gazette
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Old 19th Nov 2014, 22:06
  #178 (permalink)  
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West lakes

I don't think for a minute that the debt loaded onto the operating company was incurred in operating the airport. It's sharp practice plain and simple. But the fact remains that no matter the source of the debt, to operate with it in place is illegal if, as was obvious, there was no realistic chance of addressing it. My hope is that the receivers/insolvency service investigate this thoroughly.
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 09:52
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RCA was set up by BB and eventually sold to the company that bought Exeter off BB. Im led to believe by someone in the know that all the licences and key contracts are in the name of / contracted to RCA, airport director transferred to RCA as did the SATCO so when the operating company went out of business it had limited impact on the airport.

I think most people would come to similar opinion of the situation and motives if they reviewed the facts that are in the public domain over the last 4 - 5 years. From around 2010 when airport staff were put at the risk of redundancy due to a dispute with Jet2 and the airports desire to renogiate terms, subsequent court cases the airport lost with Jet2 and now the closure and reopening minus commercial operations.

Personally I say good luck, if Jet2 were making large profits while aware of the imbalance in the relationship they can have no complaint when the golden goose dies through neglect. No organisation however big can continue to sustain such large losses year on year with no realistic prospect of the situation turning round.

Unfortunately its the people who can least afford to lose their jobs who ultimately suffer, the staff at the bottom on low wages and often zero hour contracts.

Hopefully they can now build a sustainable business based on commercially viable contracts.
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 10:31
  #180 (permalink)  
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Well, to re-kickstart this thread, the good news is that is all starts again from 12th Dec.

Unfortunately, there's no Radar. And, of course, no Commercial services.

As yet, anyway.

Time, as always, will dictate the outcome......

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