In a surprise move the UK Government has put the kibosh on plans to build a new passenger terminal at Coventry Airport. The unexpected rejection of the application comes after two major inquiries and nearly four years. It had been widely anticipated that approval for the plan would be granted. Opposition and criticism from Coventry's nearest competitor, Birmingham Airport, together with pressure from regional conservation groups was well publicised, however, despite this, it was believed that the Government would give the plan the go ahead.
"We are bitterly disappointed with this decision as an airport and because of the impact it will have on the region. A new passenger terminal would make an enormous difference to Coventry Airport and those who use its services. In our view, this decision is extremely shortsighted and not in the best interests of the region," says airport Managing Director Chris Orphanou.
"Despite this setback, we believe our investment plans will only be delayed slightly. Our legal team will now be considering the full implications of the news," he added.
However, James Plaskitt, the Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington praised the decision and said he was delighted that the government had supported his opposing of the plans for building the terminal. "This has been a long campaign on behalf of many constituents.
"I always felt that the airport had a weak case. I always argued that local air travel demand could be adequately met at Birmingham. I am really pleased that these arguments I have been pushing for years now have been fully backed by the inspector and the government."
A Warwick District Council spokesman expressed relief that, after nearly four years and Â£750,000 of taxpayers' money, a resolution has been achieved.
"The council is therefore satisfied that this issue has now been resolved at this level and that there is now a clear framework for applying planning policy to the airport," stated Richard Brooker, who is Head of Communications at the Warwick District Council.
Airport International's UK Correspondent