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Written Statement - Cardiff Airport Task Force

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The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales

Cardiff Airport is integral to the fabric of our national infrastructure. I am committed to making Cardiff Airport realise its true potential as a modern, competitive, thriving and commercially successful airport, which is a key economic driver and source of pride for the people of Wales. This is why, last month, I announced the establishment of a Task Force to look at how we can maximise its potential.

The Cardiff Airport Task Force aims to address how the competitive position of Cardiff Airport can be improved through collaboration between its owners, the Welsh Government and the wider public sector and business community. Whilst the commercial day-to-day operation of Cardiff Airport is the responsibility of its operating company, the Task Force will act as an agent for change alongside Cardiff Airport, providing better synergies, joint support and co-ordinated use of resources to achieve shared outcomes.

The Task Force will have clear aims and objectives. These are:

  1. To engage partners in high-level dialogue on strategic air transport development issues.  
  2. To promote better communication between Cardiff Airport, the business community, the Welsh public sector and other relevant bodies.  
  3. To identify and recommend specific improvements and investment needed for Wales to boost air connectivity.
  4. To deliver a shared understanding of the operational and commercial factors which underpin development of the air transportation industry.
  5. To deliver joint strategic initiatives for Cardiff Airport aimed at:
  • Growing Cardiff Airport (leisure, business and freight traffic).  
  • Improving the experience of airport users.
  • Maximising its economic impact, commercially and for Wales.  
  • Minimising negative environmental effects.
I will chair the group and will be seeking initial representation from: Cardiff Airport, the Vale of Glamorgan County Council, the Welsh Local Government Association, St Athan Enterprise Zone, the Tourism Sector Panel, British Airways Maintenance (BAMC), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Wales, the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and relevant Trade Unions.  Membership will be non-remunerated but can be supplemented when necessary and when appropriate to the matter under discussion.

The Task Force will consider and provide recommendations and actions on a number of specific issues (set out below). These will be set out in a Forward Work Programme to be agreed in consultation with the Task Force:

  1. Developing a set of strategic initiatives for Cardiff Airport.
  2. Collaborate on marketing and promoting Wales generally as a business, tourism and leisure destination, and Cardiff Airport in particular as the international gateway into Wales.  
  3. Managing communications and building unity on core messaging to improve co-ordination amongst all stakeholders.

An initial meeting is in the process of being arranged.