I UNDERSTAND that the airfield at MoD St Athan will be closed on the weekend of the EUFA football game in Cardiff, (June 2-3), thus removing the chance of businesses there to gain revenue from what could prove to be the busiest weekend of the year.
As both Cardiff and St Athan are owned by the Welsh Assembly, surely they would want revenue from parking and maintenance staying in Wales and supporting local businesses. The revenue gained during this weekend would provide a shot in the arm for businesses at St Athan.
The parking fees of the aircraft alone would run into thousands of pounds for St Athan, and ultimately the Welsh economy, but instead these aircraft will now drop off their passengers at Cardiff International Airport and, due to the lack of space there, they will then fly to airports in the Midlands.
The importance of St Athan to the region should not be underestimated, and we should remember that not long ago the base employed more than 3,000 highly skilled and highly paid staff.
As a lecturer in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, I want to see a return to those glory days, making use of the facility on our doorstep.
St Athan airfield is also important to the local tourism industry, gradually becoming a destination for light private aircraft whose owners wish to visit the area.
These aviation tourists bring with them trade not only to the maintenance companies at St Athan, but to local hotels, restaurants and taxi companies.
My worry is that like so many others around Britain, St Athan airfield is being run into the ground so as it can become another area of ‘brown field’ land set aside for housing.
Standing as I am in the May elections, one of my stated aims is to be firmly behind what’s left of Glamorgan’s aviation industry.
Independent Candidate for Cadoc Ward