Roger Lewis marks his 1st anniversary in post as Chairman of Cardiff Airport on November 1st 2016, having been appointed in March 2015 by the Welsh Government. He has taken this opportunity to reflect upon the activity at Cardiff Airport over the past twelve months and to report to the Airport's stakeholders on what has been achieved so far and what is planned for the future.
Lewis reports as follows:
"First and foremost, on behalf of the Board of Cardiff Airport, I would like to thank and congratulate Debra Barber, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, for the outstanding job she is doing in building a strong company so adeptly. Along with her fellow Executive Directors, Spencer Birns and Huw Lewis and alongside all of the Airport team, they have together worked tirelessly to deliver an outstanding and successful year.
Cardiff Airport, in conjunction with our airline partners, is now better positioned to serve our passengers, with more destinations, at better prices and at better times.
Our goal is to be an outstanding Capital City Airport of which Wales can be proud.
Cardiff Airport can play a significant role in the aviation industry, both locally and nationally, and it is without doubt a strategic asset for Wales, already assisting in driving our nation’s economic growth. The Airport can play its part in the London airport debate as over one million passengers a year travel down the M4 to fly long haul. It is our ambition to help ease London airport congestion by achieving long haul flights from Cardiff. The abolition of Air Passenger Duty will help us to deliver on this.
For Cardiff Airport to achieve its full potential, we need a unity of purpose across the various political and business agendas and to align our respective strategies both in Wales and the UK, and I will continue to do all I can to take this forward.
A significant hurdle we have to overcome is Air Passenger Duty. £26 paid from every domestic return flight goes to the UK Treasury and I will continue to call upon the UK Government to abolish this punitive tax which is holding back our growth. Air Passenger Duty has been devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is time for Air Passenger Duty to be devolved to Wales. The considerable economic benefit and increased employment and prosperity such a move will make, will come at a very modest cost.
We have much more to do to create long term sustainability for our enterprise, however, I am confident that we can deliver an Airport in Cardiff which is loved by its passengers, is welcomed by its partners, is profitable and recognised by all as being committed to delivering an exceptional service."
The Current Performance - 2016
"Before looking to the future it is important to recognise and highlight the success achieved over the past 12 months. There have been significant developments both in terms of passenger growth and connectivity but also improvements to our passengers enjoyment of flying from Cardiff.”
Lewis continues on priorities for the coming 5 plus years.
2017 and beyond
Lewis concludes: "In addition to currently carrying over 1.35 million passengers in and out of Wales over the last 12 months, the wider economic importance of Cardiff Airport to Wales is significant.”
The Importance of Cardiff Airport
“As a Board, we continue to discuss how we enhance and develop our strategies for growth and sustainability, to identify our priorities, agree our objectives, and set clear goals and metrics for success. At the heart of our debate is the wellbeing of our passengers, our staff and our partners in terms of security and safety.
We are determined to build a dynamic gateway between Wales and the world for people and business, and to create a welcoming entrance fit for our nation. This is an ambition I believe we all share. Working with our partners across Wales, the UK and the world, we will succeed.
I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to this outstanding year for Cardiff Airport and in particular thank our passengers for making the past 12 months so memorable."