MORE than 2,500 people have signed a petition calling on the Government to safeguard Durham Tees Valley Airport.

The petition, named Keep open Teesside Airport, was launched by Middlesbrough councillor Chris Hobson, as she believes the airport is being lost for no reason.

She also believes that rather than investing in London airports, more flights should be diverted to Teesside and that the airport should be offering more destinations to be seen as a real alternative to Newcastle Airport.

“My husband and I were on the last flight from Majorca back to Middlesbrough and it was full, there were no seats left at all,” she said.

“If more flights were put on, people would use them. We should be encouraging people to come to Teesside.”

The petition, which has so far attracted more than 2,600 signatures, was launched in response to a masterplan unveiled by the airport’s owners, Peel Holdings, who want to move the facility from a traditional transport hub to a more commercially-focused operation.

They have also revealed plans for up to 400 new homes on the site, which officials say could generate millions of pounds of investment for the airport.

Coun Hobson said: “To build on the airport, to me, is sacrilege. It is the beginning of the end.”

She hopes to deliver the petition to Downing Street, together with her husband John, who is also a councillor.

To sign the petition visit and search Keep open Teesside Airport.