By Daniel Hunter

Cardiff Airport has become a place of interest for the Welsh government according to First Minister, Carwyn Jones.

Mr Jones announced the Welsh government had reached an agreement with owners TBI, and would be working towards a purchase over the next few months.

The airport would be run on a commercial basis by an independent operator on behalf of the government.

"Over the past 12 months, I have repeatedly emphasised the importance to Wales of a dynamic international gateway airport in Cardiff," Jones said.

"During the course of the year we have developed a very constructive and positive relationship with TBI.

"Together we have been discussing how best to develop the airport to position it for the challenges ahead.

"I can today announce the Welsh Government has agreed with TBI to progress towards the purchase of Cardiff Airport.

"Such an arrangement would enable us to develop a more coherent approach to our national infrastructure planning, and integrate the airport into our wider economic development strategy."

Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "The message from business leaders and tourism operators across Wales is clear; strong, international transport links are vital to our prosperity, and key to future economic growth.

"Subject to satisfactory due diligence, our investment in Cardiff Airport has the potential to create many exciting possibilities for the Welsh economy - boosting opportunities for international trade, and helping to increase visitor numbers to Wales."

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