Cornwall Council, which owns the publicly-subsidised Newquay Airport has said it will drop a controversial airport development fee which was introduced in 2006.
The charge will be withdrawn in March.
Low cost carrier Ryanair said the extra £5 (US$7.7) levied upon all passengers was the reason it withdrew services from the airport four years ago. It has now announced it will return to the airport in April 2016, offering flights to Frankfurt and Alicante.
The fee, which is charged in addition to the government’s Air passenger Duty charge, raised approximately £430,000 (US$659,000) in 2014/15 and was originally introduced to help sustain the development of the former RAF St Mawgan which currently handles about 220,000 travellers per year.
The council’s operating company, Cornwall Airport Ltd, also receives an annual subsidy, which amounted to £2.3m (US$2,5m) for previous financial year.
Airport CEO, Al Titterington, recently said the £5 fee had deterred airlines from launching new services in the past and Adam Paynter from the Cornwall Council cabinet commented: “Removing this charge will encourage more airlines to come to Newquay, giving passengers the opportunity to access more routes.”
The airport’s masterplan envisages handling 473,000 passengers per year by 2030.