Bosses defend asking passengers to pay fee

Blackpool Airport
Blackpool Airport

Angry passengers have been asking why they still need to pay Blackpool AIrport’s Airport Development Fee of £10 when the airport is set to close and therefore will not see any more development.

Christine Hedges, of St Annes, was one of a number of people complaining about the fee. She said: “Those of us who fly out of the airport pay £10 each, which was supposed to enhance the airport and improve it.

“My family have paid more than £250 this year up to now and we are just a family going on holiday!

“My two neighbours have paid more than £80 and if you multiply that by the number of other people flying out then where, just where has our money gone? We thought we were paying it to help secure the airport’s future.”

Ray Griffin said: “Everybody is fuming about having to pay the £10 now.”

Maureen Lockley said: “It is absolute stupidity to have to pay £10 a time, when I found out today I had to pay the development fee I could not believe it.”

But officials at the airport said that anyone using the terminal had to pay the fee although passengers who had paid it in advance for flights which would now take place from other airports could get their £10 back if they called in before October 16.

Sue Kendrick, Corporate Affairs Manager at the airport said: “The ADF is paid by all departing passengers aged 16 years and over in order that they can access the airside facilities at the airport. If passengers have purchased ADF tickets and accessed the airside areas then refunds would not be applicable.

“The ADF is paid directly to Blackpool Airport Limited and forms part of its operating income, together with the funding provided by Balfour Beatty; all money received to date has been used to invest in airport infrastructure and cover operating costs.

“This will continue to be the case while the airport remains operational together with the free car parking marketing offer.

“It is likely that without the introduction of the ADF in 2009 the airport would have faced closure much sooner and we appreciate the support of all our passengers which has assisted in helping to sustain the operation into 2014.

“The ADF also helped to fund the free passenger parking offer.

“We also upgraded the passenger facilities in the departure lounge, new toilets and departure lounge carpet and we had a new and much improved catering and bar facility.”