Teesside International Airport
|Owner||Tees Valley Combined Authority (75%)|
Stobart Aviation (25%)
|Serves||North East, North Yorkshire|
|Elevation AMSL||120 ft / 37 m|
Teesside International Airport (IATA: MME, ICAO: EGNV), known previously as Durham Tees Valley Airport, is an international airport located in the Borough of Darlington within County Durham in north-east England. The airport is just east of Darlington town centre and just west of Stockton-on-Tees, and is about 10 mi (16 km) south-west of Middlesbrough and 24 mi (39 km) south of Durham. The airport serves the North East, County Durham, and North Yorkshire, and is situated close to the village of Middleton St George.
Teesside International Airport is one of the United Kingdom's smaller airports, offering links to seven domestic and five European destinations. The airport has a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Public Use Aerodrome Licence (number P518) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers and for flying instruction. Originally a Royal Air Force (RAF) station, the airfield became Teesside International Airport in the 1960s and was renamed Durham Tees Valley Airport from 2004-2019. The name 'Teesside Airport' is common on local road signs that were either placed before 2004 or on signs with not much space for the previous airport name. On 25 July 2019, the airport reverted to its previous name of Teesside International Airport, after a poll indicated 93% of locals preferred the previous name.
The airfield began its life in 1941 as Royal Air Force Station Middleton St. George or RAF Goosepool as known to the locals (though it has never officially held that name). It was home to many Canadian squadrons during WWII. Bombing missions from the station included those to Berlin, Hanover, Kassel, Mannheim and Munich. Post war it was home to the English Electric Lightning conversion unit and Javelin Squadrons. The RAF station was closed in 1963 and the airfield was put up for sale.
Teesside International Airport
The former RAF Station and airfield was then developed into a civil airport. The first civilian flight from the airport took place in April 1964 with a Mercury Airlines service to Manchester. Princess Margaretha of Sweden opened the international passenger terminal in 1966.
After flights to Manchester the airport continued to develop a network of both scheduled and inclusive tour charter routes. In November 1969 the first flight to London Heathrow was operated by British Midland—this route continued operating until 28 March 2009.
In 1974, the shares were divided between the newly formed Cleveland and Durham County Councils.
1990 saw the one millionth aircraft movement at the airport, in the form of a British Midland service to London Heathrow. In 1996 when Cleveland County Council was abolished, the airport ownership was divided amongst local Borough Councils. Working to a new Business Plan, passenger numbers grew steadily from 1993, up to the sale of the airport in 2002, based upon an expanding holiday charter business.
In 2002 the airport sought a strategic partner to assist with future development and Peel Airports Ltd was selected as the preferred company, taking a 75% stake in the airport with a commitment to invest £20m over the subsequent five years.
Durham Tees Valley Airport
On 21 September 2004 the airport was renamed Durham Tees Valley Airport as part of a major redevelopment plan. The reasons given for the name change were that it placed the airport better geographically as many of the airport's passengers, particularly those from outside the UK, were unfamiliar with the location of Teesside, whilst Durham was better known.
Shortly afterwards, a new access road, terminal front and terminal interior were completed, but the remainder of a planned £56 million expansion and development programme which would have enabled the airport to handle up to 3 million passengers annually never materialised due to falling passenger numbers after 2006. Other minor developments have seen new airfield lighting installed and during 2012, six-figure sums spent revamping the terminal building and renovating one of the World War II-era hangars.
Passenger numbers peaked in 2006 when the airport was used by 917,963 passengers. However, since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, numbers declined to 130,911 in 2017 before starting to rise again in 2018.
In November 2010 the airport introduced a passenger levy of £6 to curb the airport's losses. Passengers must purchase a ticket from a machine before being allowed to proceed through security. Similar schemes are already in place at other small English airports including Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich. Passenger numbers during 2011 were 15% lower compared to 2010.
On 11 January 2011, Ryanair left the airport after ending service to Alicante Airport, having previously served Dublin Airport, Girona Airport and Rome Ciampino Airport. They decided to leave the airport before the introduction of the Passenger Facility Fee. On 14 December 2011, Peel Airports Ltd put their 75% stake in the airport up for sale.
On 10 February 2012, The Peel Group purchased their 75% share back under a new subsidiary, Peel Investments (DTVA) Ltd.
On 30 October 2013, the airport announced it would no longer focus on charter flights as part of cost-cutting plans that will see the airport diversify into a business airport. The airport stated it would instead focus on scheduled routes and non-passenger related aviation such as cargo/general aviation. The news is part of a master plan for the airport site, including residential and commercial development, released in November 2013.
In November 2013, Peel Group released a master plan titled "Master Plan to 2020 and Beyond", covering the period up to 2050. This was followed up with a number of consultation events across the region with both the public and business community, the airport then took all feedback into consideration before releasing a final draft in April 2014.
Under the master plan, inclusive tour charter flights were axed as unprofitable. The cornerstone of the master plan is a housing estate which will raise up to £30m to be reinvested back into the airport under a 'Section 106' agreement.[clarification needed] This resulted in heavy opposition from the local public who fear the airport will eventually be closed to make way for further housing development, whilst supporters claim this is not the case, referencing most other airports which have more housing and often located closer to aprons and runways than what is being proposed at Durham Tees Valley. The houses received outline planning permission on 29 March 2017.
On 18 May 2017, Durham Tees Valley Airport announced significant investment to the airport's terminal facilities. Alongside extensive renovations in the departures area, improved retail services were introduced under the new 'Xpress' brand. The first phase of investment was completed in September 2017, with the second phase starting in Autumn 2017. The airport's Privilege Membership Club also faced improvements for passenger service upgrades.
Later in May 2017, Durham Tees Valley Airport also introduced a new ground handling service with Consort Aviation. Ground handling services are provided for general aviation and military aircraft.
On 7 August 2017, Loganair announced the introduction of two new services to Aberdeen and Norwich. The new service to Aberdeen introduced competition at the airport due to further investment on a route that is already served, including three flights on weekdays along with one flight on Sundays. The new route to Norwich operated six times a week  before being dropped in January 2018. The Aberdeen service was also dropped from 16 March 2018.
During November 2017, the airport launched its Flying For The Future campaign to try and build support towards the airport and encourage more people to use the facility.
On 4 December 2018, the Mayor of the Tees Valley Ben Houchen announced a £40 million deal had been agreed to buy Peel Airport's 89% majority shareholding in Durham Tees Valley Airport (made up of £35m for the airport and £5m for land with planning permission for 350 houses) which if approved would bring the airport back into public ownership for the first time since it was sold to Peel in 2003. Purchasing the airport was Houchen's primary election pledge in his campaign in the 2017 Tees Valley mayoral election. The deal will be completed subject to ratification from the leaders of the five local authorities that make up the Tees Valley Combined Authority who will vote on the deal in January 2019 at a purpose emergency TVCA meeting called by the mayor. If the deal reaches completion an established airport operator thought to be the Stobart Group has been lined up to run the facility.
Should the mayor's plan to buy back the airport be approved by TVCA, Houchen has said he plans to give local residents the opportunity to decide whether to change the airport's name back to Teesside International Airport. An online poll was conducted in December 2018 with the option of continuing with the Durham Tees Valley name or reverting to the airport's former name of Teesside International. Of the 14,000 people who took part, 93% voted for the name to revert to Teesside International.
On 24 January 2019, the plan was unanimously voted in favour of by the six TVCA leaders, bringing the airport back under public ownership after 16 years in the private sector. It is expected an established airport operator believed to be Stobart Group will be brought on board by March 2019 and the name reverted to Teesside International Airport.
On 14 March 2019, the Mayor held a press conference at the airport confirming Stobart Aviation as the new airport operator. Stobart will invest in a 25% stake in the new holding company with the TVCA owning the majority 75% (it is expected that prior to this the individual local authority shares will be transferred across to the TVCA).
Teesside International Airport
On 25 July 2019, the airport was rebranded back to Teesside International Airport, the name it operated under between 1966 and 2004. Prior to the rebranding, the airport announced a new summer holiday route to Majorca for the 2020 summer season and the renewal of the 2019 Burgas route also for 2020.
On 24 January 2020, the airport announced new flights to London City, Cardiff, Southampton, Isle of Man, Dublin, Belfast, and Aberdeen with Eastern Airways. On 26 February 2020, it was announced that for the first time in 9 years, holiday flights would again operate to Alicante. On 4 June 2020, the airport announced another holiday destination route, with flights operating to Newquay from 6 July 2020.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights out of Teesside International Airport:
|AlbaStar||Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca|
|BH Air||Seasonal: Bourgas|
|Eastern Airways|| Aberdeen, Belfast–City, Cardiff, Dublin (resumes 8 February 2021), London-Heathrow, Newquay, Southampton |
Seasonal: Isle of Man, Jersey
|TUI Airways||Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca (begins 10 May 2022)|
There are two flight schools located at the airport, Eden Flight Training (edenflighttraining.co.uk) and Scenic Air Tours NE (scenicairtoursne.com). Scenic Air Tours NE also offer pleasure flights around the North East.
There are also three multinational defence contractors based on site: Cobham Aviation Services provide electronic countermeasure training to the MoD using a fleet of Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft, Serco operate their International Fire Training Centre, one of the largest in Europe, on the airport's south side and Thales have their calibration and flight inspection subsidiary based with a Beech King Air and Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
On 15 May 2020 it was announced that US firm Willis Asset Management will lease two hangars at the airport to carry out maintenance and storage of a wide variety of commercial aircraft.
Passengers and movements
The airport saw strong growth from 1993 to 2006, when passenger numbers peaked at 917,963. Passenger numbers then declined steeply in the subsequent four years due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010. Passenger numbers continued to fall to a low of 130,911 (2017 figures), before showing small increases in 2018 and 2019. Freight volumes have slowly declined since 2000, to effectively zero tonnage by 2010.
With the airport back under public ownership in 2019, new holiday destinations have subsequently been announced. Combined with the "core" business flights currently operating out of the airport, the long-term hope is of pushing passenger numbers beyond 1.4m in the next decade by attracting a low cost airline.
|Updated: 28 March 2020|
2018 / 19
Arriva North East operates a bus service (No.12) that runs from Hurworth and Darlington to the airport six times per day. The extension of the service to the urban centre of Teesside east of the airport however, has been withdrawn as a result of cancellation of Stockton Council financial support.
The airport is situated off the A67 and is near the A1(M), A19 and A66 corridors. A significant upgrade to complete a fast link direct to the airport from the A66 was completed in 2008.
Teesside Airport railway station is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the airport terminal (around 15 minutes walk). The station was served by two trains per week until December 2017 when the service was reduced to just one train every Sunday. The airport is exploring the possibility of using more shuttle buses and "horizontal escalators" to boost patronage at the station in the future.
Taxis are available directly outside the airport terminal.
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Media related to Durham Tees Valley Airport at Wikimedia Commons