An online petition calls on the Government to invest in RAF Mildenhall as a commercial airport instead of expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.
The petition was the idea of Dave Rush, from Beck Row, who works at the base’s existing passenger terminal and feels it could be in use soon after the USAF leaves in 2022.
Mr Rush says the terminal is ‘on a par with Norwich’ but he feels the politicians are unaware it is there.
“To me it seems like an obvious solution,” he said. “They’re looking at increasing capacity at Heathrow and Gatwick where there’s limited space and environmental issues and it’s been going o n for years. Mildenhall could be used immediately the Americans leave.”
It would also mean the airfield was providing jobs .
Mr Rush accepts Mildenhall does not have the transport links a large commercial airport requires. But he added: “Initially, it could be run just as it is with a starter service but you would have to have a long term view of putting in these links as services increase.”
After 12 days, the petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/157104 only had nine signatures and it needs 10,000 to get a Government response.
A Forest Heath Council spokesman said: “We are committed to getting the best possible economic, social and environmental outcomes from the site, and thanks to the Government funding have commissioned advisors to develop a vision and prospectus for the future of RAF Mildenhall.
“The consultants will provide external challenge, commercial insight, market expertise and will provide an independent assessment of some of the ideas that have been suggested, including different types of aviation use.”