Airport bosses welcome positive news of G7 summit for Cornwall

Credit: ITV News

Bosses at Newquay Airport say welcoming world leaders to Cornwall this summer gives them hope after a "dark and difficult" year.

St Ives, Falmouth, Carbis Bay and other parts of Cornwall have been revealed as just some locations which will host the international summit in June.

Cornwall Airport Newquay cannot at this stage confirm if the presidential plane, Air Force One, will land on the Duchy's runway but the airport will be will be responsible for the arrivals, departures and logistics of how the president and prime ministers will attend the conference.

Managing Director Pete Downes says it is "fantastic" news not only for putting Cornwall on the map but also brings in investment to leave the airport stronger as a result.

Mr Downes said: "[It's been] such a challenging year for our team and all the sacrifices that have been made to ensure the airport survives."

The G7 event in Cornwall will be the first for US President Elect Joe Biden. Credit: PA

The news comes alongside a successful rocket test launch by Spaceport Cornwall partner, Virgin Orbit.

Virgin Orbit set off its first commercial flight on Sunday 17 January. One of its old 747 planes, Cosmic Girl, took off from California and launched the rocket into space from under its wing. There are plans to bring the 747 to Newquay.

Pete Downes says this is also a real boost for the future of the airport.

"I think it means everybody connected with the airport and Spaceport Cornwall can suddenly see a very positive future ahead after what has been a pretty dark and difficult last 12 months."

Spaceport Cornwall will be the first place in the UK to send horizontal satellites into space when it becomes operational from early 2022.

The flight was conducted from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Kern County, California. Credit: Virgin Orbit

Interim head of Spaceport Cornwall, Melissa Thorpe, says this successful launch is a "massive milestone", which proves the technology works and gives the team in Cornwall the momentum to go forward.

She continues to say it is unlikely we will see a test launch at the Cornwall site during the G7 summit.

"We're currently waiting for the regulations and legislation to go through Parliament to allow space flight to happen in the UK, and that's not due to happen until this summer. So at the minute we're not actually even allowed to launch here in the UK."

She went on to say there might be something to look forward to as they are working with Virgin to see "if there is any way we can get some kind of presence during the G7".

The news of the summit has also meant a boom for Cornwall's hotel industry.Ian Londesborough, founder of booking site Cornwall Direct, said bookings were up by 20 per cent compared to this time last year.

Carbis Bay Hotel is hosting world leaders when the summit comes to Cornwall in June. Credit: CornwallLive/BPM

Carbis Bay Hotel, the base for the summit in Cornwall, has rooms for two adults on June 4 to 6 at £640. After the summit weekend of June 11 to 13, when it is sold out, the cheapest rooms are upwards of £700.Other hotels and inns in the Carbis Bay, St Ives, and Hayle area are experiencing a similar surge. Many have completely sold out for the weekends in June in the month when world leaders descend on the South West.


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