While this may be vital for Liverpool's long-term economic well- being, the most urgent need is for a direct London-Liverpool air link to replace the one that British Midland closed recently.
Any potential carriers should not be put off by this seeming vote of no confidence. The route was, in fact, profitable, but there were richer pickings to be had elsewhere. In August, the Gran Regatta Columbus finishes in the River Mersey. During the week of 12-16 August more than two million visitors will come to Liverpool, but few of them will be able to arrive by air. This lack of service is troubling the business community that needs air links with the capital, and organisations such as Merseyside Development Corporation, whose remit includes convincing potential investors of Liverpool's opportunities.
A pounds 1bn airport will be a great vote of confidence in Merseyside's future, but an immediate resumption of the Liverpool-London air link is a more pressing need.