New research, commissioned by Unite the union, has revealed that securing the future of Cardiff airport is crucial to the wellbeing of the regional economy.
Cardiff airport generates £93 million a year for the Welsh economy, supporting 1,750 jobs directly and 2,600 indirectly.
Unite is warning that without urgent action by the UK government to stabilise the aviation sector, jobs dependent on Cardiff airport, including crew, ground staff, engineers and associated retail, transport and other roles, will be swept away.
Unite has produced a blueprint of how the government should intervene across the entire aviation sector, including airlines and airports, to protect the jobs and conditions of workers. Such loans would come with strict strings attached regarding executive pay, corporate governance and requiring strict environmental standards to be adopted to radically improve the industry’s carbon footprint.
Unite regional officer Jo Galazka said: “Airports are hives of economic activity. Cardiff airport alone pumps £93 million into the Welsh economy, supporting the jobs and livelihoods of scores of workers, from air crew to taxi drivers to shop staff.
“If these jobs go then a huge economic hole will open up in the Cardiff area and it could take decades to recover.
“Overnight, airports were effectively shut down to protect the public’s health, but we are now pleading with the UK government to protect our area’s long-term economic security.
“We are not asking for a giveaway, but for loans that will be repaid when the sector is back on its feet, and we have support for this from across the political spectrum.
“But the clock is ticking. It is more than two months since the chancellor promised that a support package would be forthcoming for aviation, however he has yet to deliver. The communities that rely on Cardiff airport for jobs and their prosperity cannot wait much longer.”