3m passengers a year and a new terminal are on Cardiff Airports wishlist

Cardiff Airport
Cardiff Airport

Among the items on Cardiff Airports 10 year “wish list” are a new terminal and 3 million passengers per year.

Cardiff Airport Chairman Roger Lewis revealed his vision for Cardiff Airport today which also included selling off at least part of the airport to the private sector as passenger numbers rise.

In the 2016 Annual Report he said: “2016 was a watershed year for Cardiff Airport, defined by a 16% increase in passenger numbers.

“This past year has seen a fundamental and positive change in attitude and perception about Cardiff Airport and what it can deliver for the people and businesses of Wales and within our catchment area. This change has been achieved by a remarkable team of great people working closely with great airlines alongside a range of great partners.

“Twelve months ago we promised that we would grow our business and we have delivered on that promise. We have now set ourselves a target for continued growth in 2017 with more routes, at better prices, and at better times.

“We have much more work to do to achieve our objective of creating a great airport with a wide range of aviation facilities which Wales and the UK can be truly proud of. We want Cardiff Airport to become a central part of the national success story, a symbol of Wales’ global ambition.”

The aim to get 3 million (m) passengers per year is a tough ask however, At its peak in 2007 the airport saw just over 2m and years of mis-management and under-investment saw that figure drop back to just over 1m in 2012. The current management team at the Welsh Government owned airport have managed to get figures back up to around 1.3m helped by Flybe opening a base and capacity increases from Vueling.

The current terminal, which was built in 1971, has certainly seen better days and Cardiff Airport have today said that it could be replaced over the next 10 years but any major investment on the terminal would need to be justified by passenger numbers.

2017 will see new airlines and routes at Cardiff with Iberia Express starting a new route to Madrid and Cypriot start-up Cobalt Airways also expected to launch flights to Larnaca in the summer also. Combined with extra flights from Vueling, Flybe & Ryanair the 2017 summer season is certainly looking positive.

This year also kicks off with Thomson using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to connect Cardiff and Dubai for the first time with flights in January and February as part of Thomson Cruise holidays.

Speaking about the current and future situation Debra Barber, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Cardiff Airport, said: “2016 has seen significant growth at Cardiff Airport, positioning Cardiff as one of the fastest growing airports in the UK. This growth is forecast to continue and we have announced a number of new routes ahead of the summer 2017 season.

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