Coventry Airport shuts down

Peter Woodman,Press Association
Tuesday 08 December 2009 15:14 GMT

Coventry Airport has closed, the Civil Aviation Authority said today.

The CAA said the airport's owner, West Midlands Airport Ltd, had today issued a Notice to Airmen informing them of the closure.

The owners had been due to appear in the High Court tomorrow to respond to a winding-up petition.

The airport has not been used for scheduled passenger flights since airline Thomsonfly ceased operations in November 2008.

Since then, Coventry has been operating as a cargo terminal and a base for executive jets and aviation-related businesses.

The CAA said the Notice to Airmen effectively informed pilots and aircraft that the airport was no longer operational.

The authority added that air traffic control at Coventry was still handling aircraft overflying Coventry.

John Bates, of the Coventry Aeroplane Club, which used the airport, said: "There have been a series of meetings going on all morning involving the owners, the Civil Aviation Authority and others.

"From what I can understand, the company running the airport has gone into administration and that flying has been suspended."

Opened in 1936, the airport was used as an RAF base during the Second World War and was damaged by enemy bombing.

Owners of the airport included Coventry City Council and Thomson Holidays' parent company Tui, which took over in 2004 under the Thomsonfly brand.

A spokesman for C4 Logistics, which used the airport as one of it bases, said: "We don't use Coventry Airport a lot to be honest. It's only one of our bases, we also use East Midlands Airport near Nottingham.

"We are surprised it is being wound up but it won't really affect us."

Rob Davies, from HD Air, said he moved the company's business to Birmingham at the beginning of November.

He said: "We moved because we got a better deal and we were more comfortable with the management at Birmingham."

Ken Taylor, leader of Coventry City Council, said: "This is a real blow to Coventry and I am very disappointed to hear this news. I believe that a city like ours should have its own airport.

"We remain committed to the long-term future of the site as an airport and we will be doing all that we can to support the attempts to secure new ownership and on-going commercial management.

"We understand that the airport will remain closed until at least the outcome of the winding up order tomorrow.

"Subject to CAA endorsement, the air ambulance service can continue to operate from the airport.

"The operational management will remain on site while the status of the company remains as it is."

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