Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham today called for the owners of the majority of shares in Durham Tees Valley airport to come clean over their announced sale of their shares.
Peel Airports Limited, which owns 75% of the shares in the airport, was created just 18 months ago by their parent company, the property owning Peel Group who then sold a majority holding to the Vancouver Airports Group.
The arrival of experts in airport development was welcomed throughout the Tees Valley and much was promised to develop the airport and increase services. Very little happened.
In their statement today Peel Airports Limited tried to reassure staff and passengers that it was still business as usual and planned to find a buyer who would maintain airport services in the area but that the situation would be reassessed early in the New Year once a buyer has been found.
Alex said today:
“Peel Airports Limited promised much and delivered very little for the businesses and people of the Tees Valley and now they are choosing to just walk away.
“What I’d like to know is, what do they mean by the statement that the situation will be “reassessed” early in the New Year once the search for a buyer is completed? Are they committed to ensuring the long term viability of the airport or do they have other ideas in mind?”
“I understand the airport is losing around £2.5 million a year – so doubt very much that there will be a long queue of people wanting to buy it after the failure to develop it as planned.”
“I’d also like to know what the parent company’s plans are. The Peel Group, who originally bought the 75% slice in Durham Tees Valley still own a stake in the airport through their shareholding. What are their intentions – do they see a future for the airport? Will they intervene to put the airport on a secure financial footing? Are they considering buying what is potentially very valuable land for development?
“All these questions are difficult ones to be answered at a time when the airport is effectively up for sale but it is important to ensure the sale of the airport is totally transparent and no organisation can pick up these huge assets for a song and develop a plan which no longer includes an airport service.”