at Shoreham has been featuring in the local press recently. The airport manager, supported
by the owners Worthing Borough Council and Brighton and Hove City Council, is seeking to
develop commuter services to regional airports both within the UK and on the continent.
Amongst the proposed developments to support such services are new
terminal buildings on the south side of the airport along with re-alignment and extension
of the main runway to provide an east/west surface of 1500m. There is also a suggestion
that the railway station that was closed down during WWII might be re-opened.
A study into the viability of developing the airport has
shown that within the possible catchment area 1.6 million air journeys are taken for
business purposes. It is believed that a suitable facility at Shoreham would provide an
attractive alternative to the difficulties of using the busy London airports. They would
also provide a jobs boost for an area that has higher than average unemployment.
The proposals do not envisage trying to rival Gatwick in
the size of operation and the services would be based on modern and quiet 70 seat commuter
aircraft. The plan is not without its detractors, and fears of increased noise and
environmental harm have been voiced.
A provisional timetable suggests that the development
company could be chosen by the end of the year, although there is much work to be done
with public consultation exercises and a public inquiry before anything can be finalised.