2017 is THE defining year for Plymouth Airport.
In 2017 the policy to safeguard Plymouth Airport for aviation use will be challenged in an Examination in Public.
We are raising funds to get the best legal and professional expertise to win that examination.
On this page we will cover:
- What we're looking to raise
- How we pland to spend it
- What we did with last year's finances
- How close we are to reopening the airport
- Why 2017 is such a critical year
What are we looking to raise, and how will we spend it?
- Target #1: £25,000 for operating costs for the next year to continue the momentum we began. This covers professional fees, office space, communciation costs and travel expenses. Once we reach that target, then we want to go on to:
- Target #2: £50,000, the additional £25,000 for the Examination Public. These funds are used to secure experts and barristers for the Examination in Public that will happen in 2017 (explained below). We need the very best planning and aviation barristers. After that we will go on to raise:
- Target #3: £75,000, the extra £25,000 towards the transaction fees in preparation for actually purchasing Plymouth Airport.
Why does this matter to Plymouth?
It's simple: Because the people and businesses of Plymouth want their airport open again! 38,000 signed a petition saying as much in 2012, and by backing our crowfund, you are continuing that work, and helping us reopen Plymouth Airport.
What did we do with last year's crowdfunded finance?
Well our story began in 2012 when our VIABLE campaign received 38,000 signatures in support of keeping Plymouth Airport safeguarded as an aviation space.
Then last year, together with our supporters, we raised £21,521 which launched FlyPlymouth with intentions of acquiring and reopening Plymouth Airport.
Here's how we spent the money:
- Part of last year's funds covered our core costs and communication services,
- But most of all, they paid for the expert and professional services (plus their travel) required to develop our business plans and submit these to local and national government.
That work has been done.
Our plan forms part of the evidence supporting the "Plymouth Plan", the strategic planning framework for the development of the city to 2031, and things are now moving towards a culmination in mid 2017.
So if you backed us last year, your donation was used to provide the evidence that safeguards the Airport site (for the moment).
Why is 2017 so important?
Plymouth City Council is finalising the Plymouth Plan that we've just mentioned, which states that Plymouth airport should not be allocated for housing development but reserved for aviation use between now and 2031. That Plan will undergo Examination in Public next year: Summer 2017.
During the Examination in Public, a planning inspector will decide whether the policy to allocate the airport for aviation use is sound and FlyPlymouth’s plans will form part of the evidence on which this will be decided.
We are confident, as is Plymouth City Council, that the Plymouth Plan has been properly created and is formed of sound policy based on good evidence. Therefore, we expect a favourable outcome.
However, we won't be sitting on our laurels: FlyPlymouth intends to participate in the Examination in Public and ensure that the case for aviation is well structured and delivered by the very best experts and barristers. That will require funding which we are raising with this crowdfund.
The Examination in Public is the hinge that Plymouth Airport rests on. If approved, the land must be operated as an airport. Without approval, Plymouth could lose its airport once and for all.
Then what happens?
Once the Examination in Public is determined, we will be seeking to acquire Plymouth airport as an airport at a fair market valuation. The present funding work will contribute towards the transaction costs for purchasing the airport.
FlyPlymouth’s plans to acquire and operate the airport for General Aviation (GA) are fully self-funded and do not require national or local government subsidy. And this can be achieved without relying on the return of the Navy’s FOST helicopter operations – although they will be extremely welcome.
The GA phase of our plans will see the airport relicensed and turning a good profit. But it will also prepare Plymouth airport for the return of scheduled services in a secondary stage of the business.
A future base airline comprised of 32 seater aircraft will serve routes to key UK and European destinations supporting economic growth and employment in the city. And it will deliver this within the existing airport infrastructure and established passenger demand.
What happens if we don't raise the funds?
If we fail to win the Examination in Public, then everything we have all worked for ends, and the Airport will be sold for redevelopment.
This is why it is critical that we get the fightings funds we need for the examination.
So that's the plan.
We have a way to go and right now it’s all about 2017. If you believe in what we are doing, please take the next step and stand with us by pledging today and making sure we achieve our funding goals.
And don't just stop there - share this with as many people as you can to get the word around that Plymouth can fly again.
Help us to get the job done. Let’s get Plymouth flying!