The authority currently owns 100 per cent of the airport operating company Exeter and Devon Airport Ltd or EDAL but Devon’s Executive Committee has decided to sell 75 per cent or more of its share.
It will impose legal constraints on any new buyer to ensure that the airport continues to operate and grow as a vital transport link for Devon.
Councillors confirmed this was the best way of securing the long-term investment that Exeter Airport requires to continue its phenomenal growth of the past few years.
The airport requires significant investment – estimated at £30 million or more – in a new terminal building and passenger facilities as well as improved taxiway and apron areas.
Passenger numbers are expected nearly to double from almost 400,000 last year to around 700,000 this year.
Expressions of interest are sought from principles who, on an individual basis or consortium, can demonstrate that they have the skills and resources to commit to the future growth of the airport (and the adjacent 40 hectares of “Skypark” development land). All enquiries should be forwarded to Robert Haycock, KPMG Corporate Finance, Dukes Keep, Marsh Lane, Southampton, SO14 3 EX, no later than 17 September 2004.