Dundee Airport (IATA: DND, ICAO: EGPN) is a publicly licensed airfield open for scheduled, private and charter operators. It consists of a single east - west runway, aligned 09-27 on land reclaimed from the Firth of Tay, and is positioned less than 2 miles from Dundee city centre and with views over the nearby Tay Rail Bridge.
As it enters its 50th year of operations, the original grass strip airfield having opened back in 1963, the airport is facing some of the most difficult challenges in its history, with commercial services being lost, passenger numbers in decline and a growing operational subsidy
The focus of this study has been to evaluate the commercial outlook for Dundee Airport and identify, in the context of a range of short-medium term strategic approaches (or scenarios), potential problems and development opportunities that may undermine, or conversely help to improve its prospects.
Our analysis points to the following initial, but by no means final, generic conclusions:
- Retaining a passenger airport at Dundee could be a better option than closing it altogether as long as there are commercial services using it, it is affordable and represents value for money in terms of economic benefits retained or secured;
- The costs of mothballing commercial operations should be examined so that if these services are lost the comparative costs of temporary closure or maintaining a fully functioning facility are understood;
- The airport is well placed in the catchment area, has existing passenger facilities that can be expanded at more modest cost than is likely to be possible at Perth to achieve the same service standards and is capable of generating material economic benefits;
- It would, therefore, be prudent to delay closing the airport to commercial services until the extent of the market for air services from Dundee is more definitively understood and all avenues to attract carriers have been exhausted;
- Further work should be done on exploring options D1 and D2 alongside the "Do Minimum" baseline to allow the next stage of the STAG assessment to be undertaken if required;
- In parallel, we consider it would be pragmatic for alternative uses for the site to be evaluated so that in the event that the airport does need to close, the value and benefits it might generate in non-airport use are also clearly understood.