Support for airport fee increase
An independent passenger group has given its support to Norwich International airport's controversial plans to double the development fee people have to pay to fly from the city.
The airport development fee will increase from �5 to �10 per passenger in January 2012 but there will no longer be a charge for children under 16. Airport bosses have said the price hike is needed to safeguard the airport's future, and the recently formed Norwich Airport Passenger Consultative Group (NAPCG) has said it believes the increase is necessary.
NAPCG chairman Richard Barker said: 'Norwich airport's sound, commercial status is essential and we recognise the need for the increase in the airport development fee (ADF).
'This brings new funding to support a development which NAPCG expects to include maintaining and where necessary enhancing the good aspects of this regional asset and additional flights to both existing and new destinations.'
Mr Barker stressed NAPCG was an independent group which aimed to improve the experiences of passengers flying from Norwich and to ensure passengers' views were clearly expressed to airport management.
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He said: 'We realise passenger views are essential to helping us achieve, with the support of the management, a regional airport of which we can all be proud and which will make a positive contribution to the local and wider communities in the years to come. Passengers may be assured that we shall maintain a close watch on management decisions. We are reassured that the NAPCG ambitions for the improvement and sustainability of this airport are shared by this management. It is for these reasons we accept the increase in the ADF should go ahead.'
Since the airport development fee was introduced in 2007 it has contributed to more than �14m of investment in the airport, including a terminal extension, refurbished arrivals concourse, flight information screens, air traffic control equipment and fire training and rescue materials.
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As previously reported, airport chief executive Andrew Bell said: 'It's clear that if we are going to grow as a regional airport, we need to be more entrepreneurial and �10 is the fee it needs to be. What it means looking forward is that we've got the best chance of keeping the routes we've got, getting more routes and continuing to make the capital investments required at the airport.'
To contact the NAPCG, email NAPCG@Norwichinternational.com