Fly Plymouth launches fundraising drive to reopen Plymouth airport

13 May 2015 (Last Updated May 13th, 2015 18:30)

A campaign group working on reopening Plymouth’s airport in the UK has raised more than £1,700 in the first 24 hours of its new fundraising drive.

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A campaign group working on reopening Plymouth's airport in the UK has raised more than £1,700 in the first 24 hours of its new fundraising drive.

The airport was shut down in December 2011 in wake of economic downturn and losses incurred due to the challenging UK regional aviation market.

At the time of its closure, Plymouth airport owner Sutton Harbour Group had said its talks with Plymouth City Council could not present the company with any viable solution.

"It is time now for Plymouth to focus on reopening its airport and connecting with the world."

The airport's disused second runway was included in a £38m housing project.

The campaign group Viable said it will work on reopening the airport through its social enterprise FlyPlymouth.

The group has launched a crowdfunding on 11 May to raise £150,000 in two years. It needs £10,000 initially to begin on its mission.

FlyPlymouth to take a short operating lease on the airport and reopen the airport with fixed base operators, and services such as air ambulances, defence aircraft, search and rescue, police, charter aircraft, air taxis and general aviation users.

In the second stage, the group would launch a new base airline to fly Plymouth's captive proven passenger base to London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin.

The group, which aims to reopen the airport by Easter 2016, said it will be able to have commercial passenger travel by 2018.

The aim of reopening the airport is also to create more jobs in the region. The new base airline is expected to create 200 jobs and contribute around £17m to the local economy.

Fly Plymouth CEO Raoul Witherall said: "It is time now for Plymouth to focus on reopening its airport and connecting with the world.

"For this we need a new vehicle, one that can deliver on reopening the airport, creating a new airline and partnering together with Plymouth to achieve this. FlyPlymouth is that vehicle."


Image: Fly Plymouth aims to raise £150,000 in two years through its crowdfunding. Photo: courtesy of FlyPlymouth.