The Master Plan
Q: All the previous plans have failed, what makes this one different?
A: Only time will tell it would seem, certain aspects of the plan have already begun to take effect, as the re-modelling of the terminal is well under-way, so whereas the previous plans never even passed the first hurdle, at least we can say progress has been made with this one, albeit minor.
Q: The housing estate restricts any future expansion of the terminal
A: No, the housing estate is close to the terminal yes, but should the need to expand ever arise, it would certainly still be possible. That being said, the current terminal building has a capacity for 3 million people if memory serves, we currently cater for 150,000. Even with the most willing airlines and all the luck in the world, it would take years to reach the record 900,000 passengers seen in 2006, and decades to hit the 3 million capacity, so the need for any expansion any time soon is non-existant.
Q: Housing and airports do not mix, it will just create more noise complaints and more opposition to any expansion
A: The vast majority of aircraft noise is concentrated at each end of an airport runway, factor in the location of planned hangars which will act as a sound barrier as well, and any impact becomes very limited. Even after these houses are built, DTVA will not by any means be the airport with the most houses surrounding it, Leeds/Bradford International, Gloucestershire and London Heathrow (who have also just announced significant housing developments) to name just three all have more than us. Even after all of that is taken into account, it will still just come back down to the fact that the airport was here first.
The land earmarked for the housing cannot be used for aviation-related purposes anyway as it’s too far away from the existing apron and taxiways, it would simply cost too much to link it up to the existing airport when there are other more appropriate areas.
Q: If flights were provided, people would use them
A: A question that always gets asked, but I think if that was the case bmibaby, FlyGlobespan, Ryanair, Wizz Air, Thomson Airways etc would never have pulled out (ok, the latter was asked to leave, but they would not have reduced their programme prior to this). The problem is, many routes are viable with the right airline / aircraft type combination, but candidate airlines are few and far between.
Q: Why did the airport stop charter flights
A: Due to the larger aircraft size operated by most charter flights, you need extra man-power, utilities, fire cover etc, and these extras need to be maintained 24/7 365. Therefore to justify the extra costs associated with this, you need at the very least a year-round charter programme. When Thomson cut their winter routes to Alicante and Sharm el-Sheikh, the airport vigorously pursued extra charter flights, but all that was forthcoming was a once-weekly summer route to Ibiza, and a month-long once weekly trial route to Bourgas. When it became clear nothing more substantial was going to be gained, the airport quite rightly decided rather than pointlessly absorbing the loss, they would axe charter flights all together.
Q: How come one-off charter flights still operate?
A: One-off charters, such as santa flights, fly-cruises, the annual Lourdes pilgrimage flights etc, remained, because it is possible to “man-up” for one-offs providing the operators can give the airport enough notice of the flights. Initially, the regular MoD charters were turned away because often, they cannot provide sufficient notice, however, the airport have now found a way to accommodate them.
Q: Thomson Airways were kicked-out
A: Not strictly-speaking true. The airport didn’t just tell them to clear off! They presented their case to Thomson who were obviously disappointed, but understanding.
The airport will still chase charter operators in the hope of gaining a year-round charter programme and/or a seasonally-based aircraft.
Q: The name is hated, why did Peel change it to Durham Tees Valley
A: The name was changed at the request of bmibaby, who wanted the airport to be better-placed geographically. Also, at the time, there was also going to be a North-East Regional Assembly in Durham which was a heavy influence, this of course never happened in the end. It is also rumoured the airport felt there would be benefits to having a similar name to the major US hub Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Q: All of the above reasons for the name change are now void, so why not change it back?
A: If someone can convince Peel that changing the name back to Teesside will lead to increased business for the airport, then they would happily go to the expense of doing so, but the sad fact is it won’t make a blind bit of difference as airlines and air operators go where the demand lies and don’t care whether an airport is named Teesside International, Durham Tees Valley or Scotland South!
We intend to expand this page with further Frequently Asked Questions in future, if you have any questions or queries you would like to appear here, feel free to contact us.