Coventry Airport has announced a new deal with a PR consultancy in a bid to boost its image in the region.
The independently-owned airport said it had appointed PR consultancy Emerald Media to handle its press and publicity with immediate effect.
Amid stiff competition from Birmingham and East Midlands airports, the move is part of efforts to help Coventry to compete as a viable departure point for travellers from the Midlands.
Emerald, based in Hampshire, is well known in the European regional airline community - one of the airport's key target markets.
Alison Chambers and Helen Stevens from Emerald will report to the airport's managing director, Chris Orphanou, and chairman, William Charnock. Their focus will be on media activity in trade media, broadcast, business, consumer, local and regional press. Emerald will also handle the airport's media calls 24/7.
Last January Coventry Airport was acquired by CAFCO-C and its technical management team, CIAO (Convergence International Airports Organisation) a British company specialising in the design, construction and operation of regional airports. The organisation had embarked on an ambitious #1.5 billion development plan for the airport, including plans to construct a new terminal.
The controversial plans - which would increase the capacity for passenger throughput from 980,000 to two million passengers per annum - have resulted in a seven- month planning inquiry wrangle with Birmingham International Airport.
Birmingham opposes the plans amid claims they would lead to a congested airspace which would hinder their own proposals to increase capacity.
But Coventry believes its proposals increase the image and profile of Coventry and Warwickshire nationally as a tourist and business destination and the offer increased choice to local commuters. A decision is expected in 2007.
Mr Orphanou said: "The current facilities at Coventry Airport are an interim arrangement. Our aim is to provide a permanent, efficient and modern airport for our airlines.
"There are detailed planning issues involved but we are committed to working together with the appropriate authorities to develop a new Coventry Airport terminal building to accommodate the anticipated increase in passengers.
"In the meantime we continue to move forward with developing other aspects of the airport.
"Thomsonfly already operates flights to 13 popular European destinations from Coventry and we are delighted that Wizz Air will be commencing services to Katowice in Poland next July. There is a lot of interest among scheduled and charter operators and we hope to make further announcements about new routes out of Coventry in the very near future."
Emerald already represents a number of clients in the aviation and lifestyle sectors including Club328, Piaggio, Grob Aerospace, Cimber Aviation Group and Denim Air.
The company previously supported Southampton Airport for PR and currently provides ad hoc PR support to Cardiff International.