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The Chairman of a new group set up to support Durham Tees Valley Airport says it’s a chance to ‘demonstrate the pride which local people feel in their airport—and make a practical contribution to helping it move forward.’

Colin Granton, speaking today (20th Nov) at the airport at the public launch of the Friends of Durham Tees Valley Airport (FODTVA), said they had already received a remarkable response from people wanting to become involved in the support group.

He was joined by senior airport figures, including the Chairman Robert Hough who praised the group for their enthusiasm and commitment to ‘making Durham Tees Valley the success we all believe it can be.’

The group says it aims to recruit volunteers to promote, support and assist the airport wherever and whenever possible—already members have been involved in a recent emergency exercise—and it is drawing up plans for an airport Open Day next summer.

Explains Colin “There are a number of regional airports which have local support groups and we have worked closely with the Airport Manager Shaun Woods in developing our plans.

“We believe that having additional ‘helping hands’ can make a contribution in many different ways—everything from litter picking and snow clearing to attending events and providing advice and information to the public.

“What we are very clear about is that we are not about undermining the workforce at the airport in any way. We aim to be extra help, not replacement help.

“Since we set up our website a couple of months ago we’ve been hugely encouraged by the response from people who have attended our initial meetings.

“One of first big initiatives is the Open Day/Fly-In which we are planning to hold on Saturday, June 22nd next year. It’s early days but we are confident that we can put together an entertaining event, including flying displays and aerobatics, discounted trail flights with the resident flying schools and involvement from organisations including the Great North Air Ambulance and the Police Air Unit. 

“The ‘Fly-In’ is a regular event across airfields in the UK and involves visiting aircraft, ranging from sports two-seaters to business jets. Of course we would like to progress to a full-blown Air Show but we will have to see how the plans develop over coming months.”

Commented Airport Chairman Robert Hough “Since I took up this role earlier in the year, following Peel Investments (DTVA becoming the majority shareholders, I’ve been hugely impressed by the pride which local people take in the airport and how much everyone across the community wants to help.

“FODTVA is a really grass roots expression of that support and we look forward to working closely with them in a shared ambition of making Durham Tees Valley the success we all believe it can be.”

Information about FODTVA is available on the group’s website