Steve Hodgetts is business development and commercial director of Cardiff Airport. If anyone knows about the challenges facing the airport, it’s him. Certainly if there were any need for a rail spur, funded in part by public money, we could rely on him to make it known.
Well, the Enterprise and Business Committee of the Assembly has asked him to come and give evidence today (Thursday). The topic on the agenda will be international connectivity through Welsh ports and airports. Hodgetts and his airport colleagues have put together a rather meaty conversation starter in the form of this PDF.
From that PDF is this chart of customer research that the airport itself conducted.
As you can see they won’t be asking for a new rail link. They’ve never asked for one. Why? Only 3% of customers said that accessibility was important to them.
Yet a combined 57% of customers say that choice of destinations and choice of flights are the reasons why they don’t use Cardiff Airport in Rhoose.
In order to compete with other airports such as Bristol, the airport needs new routes. This is a key factor that will determine their success, not a rail spur. As we tune into senedd.tv to watch him live at 13:15, that’s what we’re expecting Hodgetts to be emphasising.