Airport development fee ends

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Cornwall Airport Newquay’s controversial airport development fee has come to an end.

The unpopular £5 levy for all passengers (aged over 16) departing the airport has been in place since 2006, and contributed to Ryanair’s decision to pull out of the airport five years ago.

The low cost airline announced its return to Cornwall, however, last October, when the Council confirmed it was scrapping the charge.

While the charge has proved unpopular with tourism bodies and airlines alike, Newquay hasn’t been the only regional airport to tax passengers in this way.

Adult passengers flying out of Norwich International Airport are charged £10, while Durham Tees Valley Airport imposes a £6 ‘passenger facility fee’ for adults, £2 for children.

Meanwhile, the airport has said that passenger numbers this Easter were 15% up on the same period last year.

FlyBe’s new Doncaster-Sheffield three-time-weekly service started on March 24 and its daily Birmingham and London Stansted summer services recommenced on March 27.

The Easter weekend also saw the introduction of the Embraer 195 Jet on the three-times daily London Gatwick and daily Manchester service – both increasing capacity on these routes and reducing flights times by ten minutes in each direction.

In addition to the start of the new Flybe routes, March also saw the recommencement of the Aer Lingus Regional Dublin service, while Ryanair returns on April 3, with its two new routes to Alicante and Frankfurt-Hahn.

Airport MD, Al Titterington, said: “The start of the busy summer period marks the busiest period for Cornwall Airport Newquay in a number of years.

The airport carried over 250,000 passengers this past year and the forecast is over 370,000 – that’s 50% growth – for the coming financial year, making the airport the fastest growing airport in the UK this year, which is good news for Cornwall and its economy.”