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Welsh government announces purchase of Cardiff Airport

Welsh government announces purchase of Cardiff Airport

The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has today announced the government has purchased Cardiff Airport for a total investment of £52 million.

This follows a period of due diligence and negotiation with TBI, the airport’s previous owner.

Announcing the purchase, the first minister said: “Cardiff Airport is a vital gateway to Wales for business, tourists and general travellers alike.

“It is essential that its future is secured and that we develop high quality sustainable services.

“The Airport will not be operated by the Welsh government.

“It will be managed at arm’s length from government on a commercial basis and, over time, I expect to see a return to the public purse on the investment.”

A chief executive of the airport is expected to be announced in due course.

Lord Rowe-Beddoe has been lined up to serve as chairman of the Airport Board in the interim.

First minister Jones had previously been critical of the airport after a slump in passenger numbers from a peak of two million in 2007 to just over one million in 2012.

Edwina Hart, Welsh minister for economy, science and transport said: “The airport is a major piece of economic infra-structure for Wales.

“I look forward to working in partnership with the workforce at the airport as we develop a high quality service for passengers and create a facility of which Wales can be proud.”

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew Davies earlier questioned the government’s decision to buy the airport.

“Elsewhere in Wales neo-natal services are being cut because the local health board cannot find £4 million – is this the best way to spend £52 million of taxpayers’ money?” he asked.