Friday, October 09, 2009

Dundee Airport Consultative Committee

In addition to meetings at the City Council and progressing West End Christmas Week, today I attended the second meeting of the Dundee Airport Consultative Committee.

It was an extremely positive meeting. In addition to an update on passenger and aircraft movements, showing real and sustained growth for the airport – particularly impressive given the economic downturn – there were discussions about the security arrangements at the airport, a CCTV upgrade, air traffic control capital investment, the fire safety arrangements and possible new airport hub links for Dundee Airport once the economic outlook has improved.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) has taken Dundee Airport forward in a very positive way, following the transfer from Dundee City Council ownership. The airport manager, Derrick Lang, and his team have been very approachable in relation to the issues I have raised in past months – particularly around noise complaints – the number of complaints has greatly reduced this year.

One matter that has been raised by a number of residents recently has been the appearance of car park barriers. HIAL has proposals to introduce car park charges from 30th November. I made clear my concern about this – a view echoed by the MP and MSP for Dundee West who also attended today’s meeting. Dundee’s complimentary and easy-to-use car parking at the airport in my view makes using Dundee Airport attractive. I have no problem with charging non-airport users for parking at the airport, but made clear my view that airport customers should not be charged for car parking. The airport manager has agreed to feed back the views of the airport consultative committee members to HIAL on this concern.