Regular passenger flights could be flying out from Carlisle Airport from next summer.
Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of the Stobart Group – owners of the airport, also said the company’s plans would see aeroplanes heading to Dublin, where they could connect to other destinations.
Mr Tinkler, one of the most recognisable names in Cumbria’s business world, made the comments after it was announced that he was stepping down from his role next month to take on a new position.
“We have had some grant funding to help do the runway and we are just about to put planning in for a new office for ourselves,” he said, adding that he hopes this will be approved by September.
“It will be summer (2018) before we are looking to launch flights.”
He added: “I think Carlisle can serve a purpose for tourists and for business people.”
Mr Tinkler pointed out that the group also owns London Southend Airport and flies almost two million people to Dublin from their under franchise agreements with Aer Lingus and Flybe.
“It should be no different for Carlisle,” he said.
Aer Lingus operates internationally from Dublin to Europe and destinations including the US.
Carlisle Airport – branded as Carlisle Lake District Airport and is at Irthington, near Brampton – was originally an RAF base.
It was sold to the then local authority in 1960 and had several owners before being bought by Stobart Group in 2009.
The firm subsequently began construction of an air freight distribution centre at the site.
Mr Tinkler will hand over control at Stobart Group to deputy chief executive Warwick Brady after the business’s annual general meeting next month.
The firm will also create a new division, Stobart Capital, which Mr Tinkler will be in charge of.
This news was published in two announcements to the stock market as the company revealed its annual results.
Mr Tinkler has been in charge of Stobart Group since 2007, when it first listed on the Stock Exchange.
Initially he helped to transform the fortunes of the Eddie Stobart logistics business, which the group owned at the time, and then helped develop its current strategy, which includes energy, aviation and rail divisions.
He will remain on the board as an executive, which will take up half of his time.