CONTINUING Welsh Government investment in Cardiff Airport is essential if the economy of the Vale of Glamorgan is to grow, Councillor Chris Elmore has said.

Cllr Elmore recently visited the Airport with Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and the Welsh Government’s Economy Minister Edwina Hart.

He said: “Despite strong criticism from the Conservatives, the purchase of the airport by the Welsh Labour Government is turning around the fortunes of one of the Vale’s most important economic sites.

“It is very welcome news that new routes are starting and that more and more people are using Cardiff Airport as a gateway to Europe and beyond.

"Passengers numbers are up by 11 percent since the investment and with new flights being announced, it is absolutely clear that the Welsh Labour Government was right to acquire the site.

"With Ryanair returning after an eight year absence, it is clear that airlines are welcoming the strides being made by the new owners and the staff working hard day in, day out.

“Hundreds of Vale jobs depend on the success of the airport and I am pleased to see that the refurbishment of the departure lounge is creating a better atmosphere for passengers which is a key part of attracting more people to use the airport.

“I still want to see further investments in the terminal building, transport access and the destination map. With committed owners in place, I look forward to seeing the airport go from strength to strength over the next few years."

In 2013, the Welsh Government purchased Cardiff Airport from Abertis. The airport is managed at arms length from Ministers, but the Welsh Government has provided significant capital investment to ensure that much needed refurbishment works take place.

Ryanair is the latest airline to announce that it is adding additional capacity to the airport, starting a new route to Tenerife later this year.