New Blackpool Airport operator revealed

The day-to-day running and management will be transferred back in-house later this year

Following a review, Blackpool Airport – which is currently owned by Blackpool Council – is set to reinstate the operational licenses back into its own name.

Ahead of the search to appoint a new operational management contractor, Blackpool Council’s owned subsidiary, Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd (BAOL) decided to re-establish operations.

This step which allows the transfer of CAA licenses to operate the airport under BAOL is a step closer to the airport achieving its long-term goals. These include maximising opportunities for growth, achieving a greater level of control and flexibility, being more efficient and cost effective and ensuring a long-term, sustainable future for the base.

Blackpool Airport
Photo Blackpool Airport 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working closely with BAOL so that all arrangements can be put in place for its completion later this year. This will mean that the current contract with the license holder – Regional and City Airports (RCA) – will expire.

Councillor Campbell, chair of the board at BAOL, said: “The tender process for operational and management contracts has now come to an end and the Board has made the decision to bring the airport licences in-house. BAOL and Blackpool Council thank RCA for all their hard work over the past few years are now working with them to facilitate a smooth transition of airport operations.”

“We should not underestimate the size and complexity of the task ahead of us, but with the support and dedication of the airport staff, the Board have every confidence in the team to take our airport forward to a brighter, more sustainable and profitable future.”

Throughout the pandemic, the facility has been fully operational and RCA have been praised for their continual efforts. Although RCA will no longer be the license holders, they have vowed to work closely with all involved parties to ensure the smooth transition of management.

There will be no change to current job security or the day-to-day running of the airport for the foreseeable future. Stephen Smith will also remain as the airport manager.

In 2017, Blackpool Council reacquired the airport from Balfour Beatty for £4.25m, saving it from the risk of permanent closure. The council has invested almost £2m in the upgrade and maintenance of the site’s infrastructure, with more planned for the future.