ST ANGELO Airport could be the new holiday destination of the jet-set if planning approval for a new aeropark gets the green light.
The aeropark, which is the brainchild of developer Peter Day, who turned his attentions towards Enniskillen following the rejection by Fareham Borough Council to build one at Solent airport near Portsmouth.
In an interview with Flyer Club magazine, Day said: “My planning consultant and I met with two leading local (Fermanagh & Omagh District) Councillors and the Head of Development at Enniskillen Town Hall to discuss my scheme of ten hangar homes and one used as a clubhouse adjacent to Enniskillen airport.
“The meeting was very positive and such a refreshing change from the negativity shown by Fareham Borough for my scheme.”
If Fermanagh & Omagh District Council give the go-ahead for Day to proceed, then the St Angelo aeropark could be fully operational 12 to 18 months after planning is rubber-stamped. However, there is a long way to go for that to happen but Cllr Roy Crawford says that if built, the new aeropark could be a huge boost for both tourism and Fermanagh’s local economy.
He said: “An aeropark is a facility that has hangars only in this instance that have living accommodation above them.
“It is not a new concept and is something that has been used very successfully in the United States.
“It is something that they’ve tried to roll out in England. Unfortunately, a lot of the small, privately-owned airports are being sold off for development.
“We are fortunate here in Fermanagh in that we still hold onto St Angelo. The developer has seen an opportunity that he could turn it into an aeropark which would consist of ten hangar holiday homes.
“The concept would be that you would fly in from other areas such as Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and even France, Holland and Germany. You would come in with your light aircraft to your holiday home. You park your aircraft in the hangar and then go upstairs to your living quarters.
“I’m very supportive of this – I think it is a fantastic initiative. The benefits could be people, for example, coming over for golf weekends and feed into the local economy that way while renting their aeropark hangar home as their actual base.
“Also from a tourism perspective, those coming over to stay can spend money in local bars and restaurants which would also be a boost to the local economy.
“From a Council perspective, it would generate additional taxes. It would also safeguard the airport as a viability going forward. Airports (of this magnitude) are very vulnerable – they generally don’t make much money as a rule. So this is a win-win.
“It is still subject to planning so it hasn’t been rubber-stamped yet. It is still in its infancy and is being talked about as a viable proposition going forward.”
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