Thursday, 25 August 2016

Limited scope for Fairwood expansion

On the face of it, the idea of Travel House owner Martin Morgan to expand Swansea Airport to regional status is an attractive one. Swansea hosts an expanding university, top division rugby and football teams and a thriving cultural scene. The airport itself is in Gower, the UK's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and could be an entry point to other west Wales tourist attractions.

However, a glance at the map shows that there is no direct connection to the rail or motorway networks. This would reduce its commercial viability. As a contributor to this Evening Post article points out, expansion of facilities to regain regional status would take "a significant amount of investment" over several years. The main runway would need to be extended by over a third of a mile to be able to the sort of aircraft needed for a regional service. This would require planning consent and possibly a public inquiry. Infrastructure to handle the new level of passenger traffic would have to be created.

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