ONE of Shoreham Airport's leaseholders has gone into administration and the restoration of the terminal and hangar has stalled.

Adur Council leader Neil Parkin insisted the airport's future was far brighter with the end of under-fire operators Albemarle Shoreham Airport Ltd (ASAL) while his Worthing counterpart Daniel Humphreys said the airport could now flourish into an international business hub.

Menzies LLP were appointed administrators of ASAL, which was granted the 120-year head lease on the airport in 2008, on Wednesday.

Brighton City Airport Ltd said the airport was unaffected by ASAL's demise though some airfield companies said they were concerned about what the news meant for the ownership of buildings at the site.

The airport site, including the operational airport as well as commercial offices and industrial buildings, is owned by Brighton and Hove and Worthing councils who leased the airport for £8.1 million in 2006.

The lease involved an agreement for ASAL to pay £4 million towards improvements which they failed to uphold and so were liable to pay the two councils £1 million.

In 2014 it was agreed that the lease for the airport would transfer to BCAL while ASAL would retain the lease for commercial units and surplus land.

As part of the agreement, ASAL was to restore the listed terminal and hanger while the £1 million payment to councils was postponed.

Council leaders said yesterday they were "optimistic" on finding a solution to outstanding payments from the firm.

Cllr Parkin said Albemarle had failed to uphold agreements on the maintenance and refurbishment of the buildings during their time at the airport.

He said: “Albemarle were supposed to refurbish the municipal hanger as part of their agreement by March but I don’t think its seen a lick of paint even now.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Brighton and Hove City Council leader, said: “Our sincere hope is that this action begins to reposition the airport as a sustainable centre for aviation business, and we are pleased to hear of significant improvement plans already in place to improve the whole airport estate.

“We are keen to see the administrator work to secure the long term future of the airport and make the most of its offer to aviation businesses and investors alike.

“We are optimistic we will find a solution to the outstanding payments related to the airport.”

BCAL director Jonathan Candelon said: "We managed to secure a management contract and then a 30 year lease for the airport in 2014 so this doesn't affect the airport in anyway.

"We are just glad that we did what we did and transferred over the staff."

Joint Administrator Simon Underwood said: “We are assessing the situation currently but, as is usual in these cases, our aim will be to maximise as much value as possible for the benefit of creditors."