The Welsh Government has decided to give a £21.2m extended commercial loan to Cardiff Airport to support its plans to boost passenger traffic.

The decision was announced by Welsh Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates. Cardiff Airport previously received a £38.2m loan from the government.

Skates stated that the airport’s growth is ‘hampered by the disproportionate costs that smaller airports across the UK face’.

The airport will repay the full loan amount plus interest according to a repayment schedule.

Since the government acquired the airport in 2013, it has been trying to transform it into a gateway for Wales and develop the airport infrastructure, services and passenger numbers.

Passenger numbers have reportedly increased by 65% since 2013. The airport currently receives around 1.7 million passengers each year, 30% of which are international.

Skates added: “Cardiff Airport’s financial performance and its extended loan facility will continue to be monitored by the Development Bank of Wales, which will provide the professional assurance for the term of the loan.

“I believe that we can look forward to a bright future for Cardiff Airport and support its growth ambitions.”

Last month, Cardiff Airport released its Environmental Flight Path framework detailing short and long-term environmental goals that will help it become a carbon-neutral airport by 2040.

In July, UK air traffic management company NATS received a ten-year contract to deliver services and expertise to Cardiff Airport.

In March, Cardiff Airport launched a new biometric passport checking system as part of the government’s plan to deal with situations resulting from a no-deal Brexit.