CEO Raoul Witherall welcomed attendees, saying that tonight is important as for the first time we have a solid timeframe for the airport.
A video message from Chairman Andy Byford was played, in which he said an airport is vital for Plymouth to thrive. (Watch the video here.)
The Department for Transport study is due any week. Regardless of its conclusion, Raoul reminded attendees that it is a political document, and should not affect our local process.
Our local process is strong and steady, and we are now working with the council. The Joint Local Plan had 90 votes for the airport, and only 4 against.
Richard Crocker has resigned his position to focus on his quarrying business post-Brexit. He gives his best wishes to FlyPlymouth and remains a supporter and advocate.
Our new website was launched this month, and can be viewed at www.flyplymouth.com. Attendees were vocal in their delight at the new website!
FlyPlymouth has announced its advisory panel, consisting of 6 aviation experts of exceptional experience and reputation. Full biographies can be viewed at our website on our team page.
2017: Plymouth Airport's Defining Year
2017 will see the Examination in Public, where the policy to safeguard the airport until 2031 will be reviewed by an investigator, with evidence submitted by the current leaseholders and FlyPlymouth. The timeline is as follows:
In January - March 2017, the Plymouth Plan will go through a pre-submission consultation.
In July will be the Examination in Public.
In September the inspectors report will be released, which will yield the result.
This means that we will have a final decision in 12 months - which is 52 weeks - only 4 more public meetings!
Raoul introduced Scott Gould, who is managing the crowdfund campaign. Scott is a 17-year professional in community engagement. Scott shared how humbled he is to step into this role in view of the hard work and persistence that has been put in by so many over the last 5 years.
Scott emphasised that all backers were being thanked for their pledge promptly, and made assurances that the the rewards will be delivered to backers within 1 month of the crowdfund's completion.
Scott explained our three targets for the crowdfund:
The first £25,000 is for our operational costs over the next year, which will cover office space and expenses, contracting and professional fees, and travel costs for our advisors.
The second £25,000, taking us to £50,000, is for the Examination in Public. At the Examination in July 2017, we will need to have an expert legal team to present our case, for which this £25,000 is allocated.
The third £25,000, taking us to £75,000, is for transaction fees. In preparation for the purchase of the site after a successful Examination in Public, we will need to pay to instigate the transaction on the site.
Scott is available to support anyone who is sharing the crowdfund to friends, family and colleagues, and can be emailed via firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was great participation between attendees at the meeting. Two key questions that were discussed and answered were:
Why pursue General Aviation first? The Plymouth Plan safeguards the airport for General Aviation use. This is because it is an easier case to make at a policy level. The sequence to establish Scheduled Aviation is to first establish GA. We absolutely intend to establish Scheduled Aviation.
Are Plymouth corporates being approached to back the crowdfund? Yes. Businesses were initially cautious to support the campaign but larger pledges are now coming through. We want to secure both corporate backers, and just as importantly, the people of Plymouth as backers!
July's winner was Ian Hill.
August's winner was James from Woolwell.
This month's winner will be drawn on October 5th, and the result announced on October 6th, on account of Donna being away. If you wish to join the lottery, please email Donna.
We have a Business Forum on Tuesday 11th October at the Plymouth School of Creative Arts, specifically to address how Plymouth Airport will impact local business. Please register your free place here.
Next Quarterly Public Meetings, at the Future Inn, are:
10th January 2017
28th March 2017
27th June 2017
26th September 2017
Raoul concluded by saying that after 5 years of hard work, we finally have a path to execution and getting the airport reopened.
Attendees were given a leaflet with the below timeline graphic.