Balfour Beatty acquires Blackpool Airport for £14m

Balfour Beatty's Regional & City Airports subsidiary has acquired 95% of Blackpool International Airport for £14m in cash.

The airport is being sold by Mar Properties, a large Northern Ireland-based property developer, which acquired the airport from Blackpool council in 2004 through a joint venture with City Hoppers. Mar later bought out City Hoppers's stake to take sole control.

The takeover by Balfour Beatty is subject to receiving the approval of the remaining minority shareholder, Blackpool Borough Council, which owns 5%. Approval is expected to be received by the end of this week.

Cllr Peter Callow, leader of Blackpool council, said: "This is absolutely great news for Blackpool. The airport has developed rapidly in recent years and I am confident that Balfour Beatty will be able to take it to an even higher level. I know that they have very exciting plans for the future which will see expansion of both flights and facilities. Clearly they have the contacts and capacity to deliver these aspirations which should mean growth for the whole area and more jobs for local people."

The airport's customers include, Ryanair and and it is forecast to handle about 500,000 passengers in 2008 but has capacity for 2m.

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive, said: "Blackpool International is a well-located airport with the potential to become a thriving international gateway to Lancashire and Cumbria. We will work together with the airlines and our local partners to help increase its penetration within this core catchment area and to play its part in attracting inbound visitors to the region. We believe that our approach will deliver significant, sustained growth in passenger traffic at the airport and will generate important economic benefits for it and for Blackpool.

"Our aim is to develop Blackpool to be the airport of choice for residents, businesses and visitors of Lancashire and Cumbria."

RCA acquired Exeter International Airport for £60m in January 2007. Balfour Beatty also has experience of working as contractor on development programmes at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Dubai and Miami.

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