Brive’s new airport is one of the key-elements for the upholding of the region’s economic growth and in the years to come, its role will be decisive in the fields of regional air transport, economy and tourism.
This project was born in 1988, on the mayors of Brive and Souillac’s initiative, respectively Mr Jean Charbonnel and Mr Alain Chastagnol. It took more than 20 years and 20 building procedures for that project to be put into practice. Building works started on the 15th October 2005 and led to 691-acre excavation works, for a ground-coverage of 494 acres. The construction of the airport building itself started in spring 2009. This initiative was supported by 13 financial partners, with an overall investment of £39,316,000.
Studies and works are coming to an end, and the airport is scheduled to be fully operational on the 15th of June 2010. The Brive – Souillac Airport, with a current capacity of 400 passengers, will have 3 flights to Paris (to Orly Sud Airport) and 3 flights to London (to London City Airport) per week. The flights to London will be provided by the airline company CityJet – which is owned by Air France and has 720 employees – every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with one-way ticket from £51 (59€).
If these lines are successful, the airport’s activity may expand to Lyon, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, or even Amsterdam or Antwerp. However, the 2300 square-meter air terminal will not have any freight or night activity, for its installation has been quite controversial, and a part of the population still fears it might be a disturbance.
This new airport is taking over the old Brive Laroche airport, and will have without any doubt a tremendous impact on the region, from economic, demographic and touristic points of view. From an economic point of view, studies forecast that the airport will yield an income £51,282,000 per year, after a 5-year development period. Restaurants, hotels and car-renting companies are expected to settle in the region.
With an easier and cheaper access, migration flows will develop and change the region’s population trends, as British, German and Belgian tourists will be able to visit the departments of Correze, Haute-Vienne and Dordogne very easily. Indeed, tourism will definitely be boosted in Correze and its surrounding touristic sites, such as Rocamadour, Sarlat, or Padirac. This region, steeped in history, will be accessible to all of Europe thanks to this new platform, supported by major motorways A20 and A89. The new airport is a real asset and will become a key point for tourism in this area.