CARLISLE'S Lake District Airport has lost its licence to run commercial passenger flights and it will not be reinstated due to it not being 'economically viable' at this time. 

The voluntary revocation, which comes into effect on November 16, follows after the aviation and renewables group, Esken, revealed in June, on its yearly report, financial concerns with a plan to exit from 'non-core assets' to help support remaining operations - resulting in the Carlisle space being put up for sale. 

Sources speculate that the estimated cost of the airport is around the £15m mark, similar to a previous deal that fell through with company Ettyl Limited back in 2021. 

A spokesperson from  Esken, formerly known as Stobart Group Limited, said: "COVID sadly resulted in the cessation of passenger travel from Carlisle Lake District Airport in March 2020.

"Since that time, the aviation industry has continued to navigate challenges.

"The requirements to maintain a CAA licence in order to keep the optionality open to revisit commercial passenger flying at Carlisle Lake District Airport is not economically viable at present.

"As such, Carlisle Lake District Airport took the decision to self-revoke the CAA licence in June 2023," they said. 

In Cumbria: The Loganair flight LM635 took off for Dublin at July 4, 2019. The Loganair flight LM635 took off for Dublin at July 4, 2019. (Image: Stuart Walker)

The first commercial flight to take off from the runway was in 2019 - a Loganair service to Dublin, with around 30 passengers. 

Since then however, the airport has been closed since 2020, despite Esken's 'short to medium term strategy' to get planes back up in the air following the pandemic back in 2022. 

Despite the revocation of its licence for commercial flights, the airport remains open for other operations.

It continues to function seven days a week as a non-licensed aerodrome.

The airport is available for general aviation and military manoeuvres, such as the recent operation Cobra Warrior,  as well as continues to run as an airport flying school. 

The licence revocation may not be permanent, however. 

"The licence can be reapplied for at any time when the landscape changes to make commercial passenger flying viable," they said. 

"Meanwhile, Carlisle Lake District Airport operations continue seven days a week as a non-licensed aerodrome for General Aviation and Military manoeuvres.

"The flying school also continue to enjoy the use of Carlisle Lake District Airport as part of the general aviation operations."