Earlier this week Alex Cunningham, the MP for Stockton North, demanded an end to the secrecy surrounding the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport which could face closure as early as 2012.
In a parliamentary debate, urging the government to support the South Tees development, he stressed that he feared for the airport as the agreement to keep it open runs out in less than four years’ time.
Concerns which have risen after the local MP received correspondence from the airport owner, Robert Hough, Chairman of the Peel Group, which Mr Cunningham shared during the live debate.
Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North said:
“The final sentence of Robert Hough’s letter does tell a story. He apologies for not being able to be more helpful but adds ‘we hope that we will receive support from the Combined Authority to take the airport forward in the most sensible and appropriate way, but the ball is not in our court.”
“So that means the ball is in the Mayor’s court – the man who blocked a grant to the airport to attract more holiday fights just last year.”
Mr Cunningham believes ministers will not ‘bail out’ the Mayor and local council tax payers of the Tees Valley mustn’t be lumbered with a bill and the responsibility for an airport which continues to lose millions of pounds.
“The Mayor promised to buy the airport when he was elected two years ago but the whole matter is shrouded in secrecy. Its time he was open with the people of the Tees Valley, demonstrate how he plans to bring it into public ownership and tell us all where the money is coming from.”