Air traffic Controllers Return To Blackpool Airport

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Air traffic controllers return to Blackpool Airport

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Two Air Traffic Controllers have returned to work at Blackpool Airport after a period away, strengthening the team.

Steve Ashcroft and Cesar Aguirre-Mainar have both taken up their old seats in the Air Traffic Control Tower, bringing their wealth of experience and knowledge back to the growing team.

Steve worked at Blackpool Airport for nearly 25 years having initially joined as a trainee in 1988. Blackpool born and bred, Steve left the airport when it temporarily closed in 2014, moving to Doncaster Sheffield Airport where he worked until its closure last year.

Similarly, Cesar returns to the airport following a period at Bournemouth Airport. A favourite with local pilots due to his enthusiastic radio technique, Cesar has recently completed his retraining to allow him to operate independently.

The addition of these two experienced staff members strengthens the airports capability to provide an uninterrupted air traffic control service to its customers during its operating hours of 0700 -2100.

In addition to Steve and Cesar, Blackpool Airport is supporting the development of Air Traffic Control Assistants by funding and supporting their training to become Air Traffic Controllers. As well as promoting the career development of employees this investment in staff will further ensure ATC capability remain stable as the airport develops.

The growing air traffic control team is another example of recent investment in airport infrastructure, following over £2 million of funding into the 114-year-old airport, including new direction finding equipment, improvements to new airport lighting wiring systems, pavement and runway works plus a new voice communication system for Air Traffic Control.

Steve Peters, Managing Director of Blackpool Airport, said: “It’s great to have a growing team of qualified air traffic controllers working daily at Blackpool Airport, and even more so to welcome some familiar and experienced faces back into the tower.

“We’re expecting the volume of air traffic to grow considerably as more people choose Blackpool to fly into as part of executive charters, training flights and general aviation.

“Additionally, having a well-staffed, experienced air traffic control team will help us as we move forward with our airport business plan and the Enterprise Zone masterplan to become a leading corporate aircraft and flight training hub and a commercially successful airport.”

Blackpool Airport is a thriving hub for business, medevac and general aviation and offers aircraft handling, parking, engineering and refuelling services, flight and instrument training as well as having facilities for executive lounges and crew briefing.

Blackpool Council reacquired Blackpool Airport from Balfour Beatty in September 2017 for £4.25m via its ownership of Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd and Blackpool Airport Property Ltd, to save it from the risk of permanent closure and to secure its long-term future as part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

After transferring the CAA licences back under the control of the airport in November 2021 and appointing a new managing director, the airport is now implementing a 10-year business plan to increase and grow the profile of the airport, upgrading existing infrastructure and creating a long-term, commercially sustainable, future.

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