A NEW airport hub in the South-East would invigorate a loss-making North-East site and create thousands of jobs, a report has claimed.

York Aviation and Oxford Economics published says a four-runway base would restore the vital link between London and Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA).

It says a regular service between DTVA and a hub airport would create more than 2,000 new jobs and pump £220m into the region’s economy.

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Experts added DTVA would gain four flights a day to London by 2050 with a new hub airport.

The calls have received support from Darlington Business Club.

The airport lost its daily BMI service to Heathrow in 2009.

A spokesman for Darlington Business Club said: “It’s absolutely essential access directly to the heart of London is restored.

“Replacing Heathrow with a larger national hub would benefit our region, but only if it had protected slots for DTVA.”

The report comes as the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, decides on airport expansion in the South-East.

Its shortlist includes potential new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Louise Congdon, York Aviation managing partner, said: “There is no doubt a four-runway hub airport would provide the region with the best connectivity to the UK’s main international airport.”

Earlier this year, DTVA bosses published a rescue plan to ensure its survival, which includes aims to create 3,800 permanent jobs and support 450 posts during construction phases.

Between 250 and 400 homes are proposed for the site, with the sale of land for housing paying for other developments, including offices and warehousing.

The airport’s future had been called into question after a dramatic drop in passenger numbers and the loss of scheduled and charter flights.