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We purchased and continue to support Cardiff Airport to benefit Wales, tourism and economic development.

First published:
26 July 2018
Last updated:

Our priorities for Cardiff Airport

Our key priorities for the airport are to:

  • support Cardiff Airport to recover from the impact of COVID-19 on the business and wider industry
  • work with the UK Government and the Jet Zero initiative, as well as with Cardiff Airport, to reduce the environmental impacts of aviation
  • develop Cardiff Airport to enable Welsh-based passengers to fly from closer to home
  • operate to a high standard providing the best experience for passengers and airlines
  • create an environment to encourage growth of airlines and commercial partners
  • maximise the opportunity for the benefit of Wales’ economy and businesses
  • achieve financial stability and operation of the airport
  • continue to explore opportunities to better connect Cardiff and Wales with the rest of the UK and Europe
  • support the St Athan-Cardiff Enterprise Zone

Potential investors in Wales want to see a thriving international airport for Wales. This will help us attract more business, inward investment and tourism.

For information about services and to give feedback contact Cardiff Airport.

Our investment in Cardiff Airport

Since 2013, the Welsh Government has invested a total of £179.6 million in Cardiff Airport, made up of:

  • acquisition and equity investments of £67.9 million
  • loans of £69.8 million
  • grants of £41.9 million

Acquisition and equity investments

The airport was purchased for £52 million in 2013. 

The Welsh Government has made equity investments:

  • 2013 - £3.3 million at the time of purchase
  • 2018 - £6 million
  • 2023 - £6.6 million


Welsh Government has provided 5 commercial loans to Cardiff Airport since 2013:

  • 2014 - £10 million 
  • 2015 - £13 million 
  • 2017 - £15.2 million 
  • 2019 - £21.2 million 
  • 2020 - £4.8 million COVID-19 emergency loan 

On 24 March 2021, the total loans spent was £59.4 million, made up of:

  • £54.6 million of the commercial loan facility
  • £4.8 million of the COVID-19 emergency loan

In March 2021, the Welsh Government wrote off £42.6 million of Cardiff Airport’s £69.8 million total commercial loan debt (including £10.4m accrued interest). At the same time, we awarded a £42.6 million rescue and recovery grant package.

On 6 May 2021, the remaining outstanding debt after the write off of debt was £27.2 million.

On 30 September 2023, the outstanding debt was £31.4 million. This includes interest, which is added to the balance each month.


In 2016, the Welsh Government provided grant funding of £169,000 to support the airport’s safety and security. 

In 2019, the Welsh Government gave a grant of £523,000 to fund the replacement of e-Passport Gates. 

In March 2021, the Welsh Government agreed a Rescue and Restructuring Plan grant of £42.6 million. The airport has used £41.6 million of this funding and has until the end of December 2024 to use the balance of the grant. 

The Development Bank of Wales monitors the business against the remaining loans to be repaid and the grant drawdown requests for the Rescue and Restructuring Plan.