Aviation Framework and the Local Development Plan

The relevant national policy is the Aviation Policy Framework 2013. It sets out that adopted Masterplans should provide a clear statement of intent on the part of an airport operator to enable future development of the Airport to be given due consideration in local planning processes. They also provide transparency and aid long-term planning for users, investors and other businesses.

UK Government recommends that airports continue to produce Masterplans and that they are updated at least once every five years. This will be our first Masterplan and it will continue to be updated in the future to help take into account emerging relevant policy and guidance.

The consultation document ‘Beyond the horizon: the future of UK aviation – call for evidence on a new strategy’, closed in October 2017. The UK Government will hold a consultation on the policy detail for all of the strategy objectives later in 2018, leading to the publication of a final UK Aviation Strategy in 2019.

The Airport’s aspirations to improve its accessibility, employment and commercial offer within the Cardiff Capital Region aligns well with national planning policies. In particular, Cardiff Airport and its Enterprise Zone has been identified as a strategic opportunity area, with the national policy framework supporting its expansion and associated development.

Local planning policy aspires for an ‘Airport City’, which the Vale of Glamorgan Council envisages will take the form of a destination for local and international businesses, including: quality office accommodation, specialist education, training facilities and leisure developments. Local Development Plan Policy MG10 describes how the Council envisages the Enterprise Zone being developed, and highlights that a Masterplan is required.

The Airport Masterplan aims to better connect the Airport as part of an integrated and sustainable transport network with associated complementary aviation, business and commercial land uses to help provide economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits. In particular, the improved connectivity of people, goods, facilities and services will help the Welsh Government and Cardiff Capital Region achieve successful outcomes in the national interest. Being complementary to other investments and initiatives including the Metro, there is a strong policy case for investing in improved strategic infrastructure, transport connectivity and economic development opportunities at the Airport and its Enterprise Zone.

 Enterprise Zone

The Welsh Government has adopted a Strategic Development Framework for the Enterprise Zone, seeking to achieve:

  • Airport expansion – to accommodate up to three times the level of current activity
  • Education, training and R&D – specifically an aerospace education and training hub
  • Airport / aerospace office campus
  • Hotel, conference and leisure facilities
  • Logistics hub
  • Transport interchange to support future Cardiff Capital Region Metro proposals and reserve space for a potential rail connection; and
  • Energy Park.

The vision for the Enterprise Zone is to be:

“Europe’s centre of aeronautical excellence, a catalyst for growth in the Cardiff Capital Region and an international gateway with world-class facilities, opportunities and a highly skilled quality workforce.”

The Enterprise Zone seeks to help realise the Welsh Government’s aspiration to help expand air services at Cardiff Airport, whilst strengthening its role as part of a long-term, integrated and sustainable transport network in Wales. As such, the Enterprise Zone also seeks to support planned major infrastructure proposals such as Cardiff Capital Region Metro, being delivered by Transport for Wales as part of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.

Cardiff Capital Region

The City Deal, agreed in 2016, is a £1.28 billion investment in the Cardiff Capital Region. It focusses on the three key themes of ‘Connectivity’; ‘Skills’; and ‘Innovation and Growth’ for developing the economy in the region, while the City Deal aims to help achieve improvements across four investment priorities:

  1. Transport and connectivity
  2. Regeneration, industrial premises and housing
  3. Skills and employment; and
  4. Business growth and innovation.

It is envisaged that the expansion of Cardiff Airport and its supply chain could help the Cardiff Capital Region achieve those priorities. As such, the success of the Enterprise Zone, Cardiff Capital Region and its City Deal are essential in helping achieve a regionally and nationally significant economic growth opportunity, helping facilitate and attract employment and skills. The Airport Masterplan is an important element of that opportunity, where better connectivity to an international pool of labour, visitors and trade prospects will help create jobs and make Wales a prosperous place to live, work and play.

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