New airport hub could create four-flight-a-day service between Durham Tees Valley and London

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A PLANNED new airport hub – with four runways – could be hugely positive for the Tees Valley, experts have said.

But anything else might not prove sustainable for the Teesside economy, according to a new report.

A report by York Aviation and Oxford Economics has been published today.

It highlights how a decision on where to build new airport capacity in the south-east is of paramount importance to Tees Valley.

The report states that only a four-runway airport would restore the flight link between Durham Tees Valley Airport and the United Kingdom’s main hub airport.

Leading economists have calculated that a regular service between Durham Tees Valley and the UK’s hub airport would provide a £220m boost for our area every year, and create 2,180 new jobs.

The report, which is called Making Connections: Improving the UK’s Domestic Connectivity, was written by experts from York Aviation and Oxford Economics and commissioned by Transport for London.

It reveals that Durham Tees Valley Airport would gain a four-flights-a-day service to London by 2050 with a new hub.

The report comes as the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is deciding which option for airport expansion in the South-East to recommend.  

Analysis conducted as part of the report suggests even a third runway at Heathrow would not lead to a sustainable service to Durham Tees Valley service being established.

A third runway would fill up very quickly due to underlying demand and the pressure on airlines to use slots for the most profitable routes would mean Teesside losing out again.

Louise Congdon, managing partner at York Aviation, said: “There is no doubt that of all the options for expansion currently under consideration by the Airports Commission, a new four-runway hub airport would provide the nation and regions with the best connectivity to the UK’s main international airport.

“This could include eight new regional routes and a more frequent service for cities that have a Heathrow connection currently.

“It might surprise some people that a third runway at Heathrow will do little to improve regional connectivity and not support any new routes due to commercial pressures on airlines”.

She added: “We are aware of a good number of local businesses who use DTVA, as it serves the east coast of the UK perfectly, linking the major oil and gas, subsea and process manufacturing industries with bases in the Tees Valley and North of Scotland.

“Any opportunity to grow the Tees Valley’s links to a wider network of national and international businesses would be supported.”