A SKYDIVING company has been given permission to operate from Durham Tees Valley Airport this summer.

Skydive St George will run commercial parachuting operations, specialising in tandem skydives for beginners, from April.

The airport’s chief executive Andy Foulds said the new enterprise will not interfere with existing operations and that safety will not be affected.

George McGuinness, chief instructor at the skydive club, said: “Everyone involved is very excited about the opportunities we will be offering for both experienced and novice skydivers this summer.

“Leaving from the airport, our specially equipped aircraft will climb to 10,000 feet, giving the exhilarating experience of 30 to 40 seconds in freefall, touching speeds of 120 miles an hour before being guided back to terra firma.”

Andy Foulds, commercial director at Durham Tees Valley said: “Skydive St George’s operations will be subject to full air traffic control and operated at times carefully planned around other airport activities. “The landing zone will be well away from other activities and is approved by the safety and training committee of the British Parachute Association.

“This is a development that again underlines our determination to explore all opportunities to bring more businesses into the airport.”