Carlisle Lake District airport to open for passenger flights in June | Travel

Flights from the south of England, Belfast and Dublin to the small regional airport are set to spice up tourism to Cumbria

Carlisle Lake District airport, which is owned by the Stobart Group.
Photograph: Alamy

Commercial passenger flights will probably be coming to Cumbria from June from airports together with Southend, Dublin and Belfast, although the carriers have not but been confirmed. It would be the first time Carlisle Lake District airport has been used for industrial flights since 1993. Currently the airport is generally used for flight coaching and native sightseeing journeys.

Previous makes an attempt to ascertain passenger flights from the airport have been largely unsuccessful. In the 1940s, 60s, 80s and 90s connections had been launched to locations similar to Belfast and London however all had been shortlived.

In current years, nonetheless, Cumbria has loved a gradual improve in tourism. During 2015-16 customer numbers rose by 5%, and in 2017 the Lake District gained world heritage standing, whereas Hadrian’s Wall, simply north of Carlisle, celebrated 30 years as a world heritage website. Last yr Cumbria obtained 45 million guests (38.eight million day trippers and 6.three million overnighters). The airport, owned by the Stobart Group, is 4o miles north of Keswick, within the coronary heart of the Lake District, and 50 miles from Kendal.

The growth is supported by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, which has dedicated £four.95m to assist make enhancements to the airport’s runway and the terminal.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism stated: “The Carlisle airport plans will be a great boost for Cumbria’s connectivity and our £2.72bn tourism industry. The fact that we as a county are about to have our very own airport … is an exciting time for the region; especially with last year’s announcement for the Lake District gaining world heritage status.”

The airport has more commonly been used for flight training and local sightseeing trips.

The airport has extra generally been used for flight coaching and sightseeing, when well-known planes have landed, similar to this Spitfire. Photograph: Alamy

Local vacationer companies have additionally responded positively. Rachel Carr, of boutique lodging company Hidden River Cabins, stated it will be a terrific increase and encourage friends to go to from additional afield. She stated: “The cabins are set in north Cumbria in a rural setting and the nearest airport is Newcastle, around 1½ hours away.” . “With the airport we hope to see an increase in guests visiting from Ireland and the south of the UK.”

However, environmental teams have questioned why the airport is being developed in favour of bettering rail networks within the area.

“Passenger rail in the north-west is currently poorly served, in relative terms, as fares are often prohibitive and the frequency of services is in decline,” stated Phil Davies, appearing chief government officer for Cumbria Action for Sustainability.

“Taking people off the train and into the air runs at 180 degrees against UK and global climate change targets. We would welcome investment in the rail and coach services of the north-west and the rebalancing of transport investment across the UK.”

He added: “As a positive opportunity, the airport has a vast area of land which lends itself to the deployment of ground mounted solar PV panels. We would therefore support a local ‘carbon offsetting development’ – the installation of a community-owned and community-benefitting solar PV array on the site of the airport. If we really are to look after our planet, such developments must be accompanied by positive environmental programmes to reduce emissions, commensurately.”

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