The Yorkshire Post can exclusively reveal that the airport wishes to demolish its existing terminal building and replace it with a brand new state-of-the-art facility that will cost as much as £150m and be based on the airport’s current boundary.
Plans for the new terminal are due to be submitted in the next few weeks with airport chiefs hopeful of commencing construction this year and having the new facility open by 2023.
If approved the new terminal will span three floors and cover 34,000 sq m.
During the construction phase the existing terminal will operate as normal and be demolished once the new facility is up-and-running.
The new terminal will be privately funded by Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA)’s owners AMP Capital and be located closer to the proposed Parkway station that would connect the airport to Leeds by rail.
Hywel Rees, chief executive of LBA, told The Yorkshire Post: “It will be a transformation for Leeds Bradford Airport.
“If you look at the Leeds City Region and its position within the UK economy it is the fourth biggest city region but it has the 15th biggest airport.
“And the reason for that is the infrastructure of the airport.”
“The current terminal building was built in 1968 and has, according to Mr Rees, “come to the end of its natural life”.
LBA currently supports 7,200 jobs. It has an objective of growing its current passenger numbers from four million currently to seven million.
If this is successful then the jobs supported by the airport is expected to swell to 12,000, although LBA bosses now believe that the current infrastructure will be insufficient to meet this ambition.
Mr Rees said that the key to growing passenger numbers lay in improving the number of routes it operates and that this would be impossible without an improved terminal.
“It all comes down to operational efficiency,” he said.
“If customers do not want to use it because they get delayed on arrival because they have to get the bus [to the terminal], or if airlines do not want to use it because they can only arrive at a certain time of day, then that’s a problem.”
The plan is subject to planning approval but has already received the backing of Aviation Minister Paul Maynard.
He said: “Leeds Bradford Airport is the global gateway to one of the most beautiful parts of the world, so it is vital passengers get the world class service this new terminal will provide.
“The new building will be more sustainable and efficient, helping the airport meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2023, while boosting the local economy and securing thousands of jobs.”
Bosses claim that the new facility will enable the airport to meet its target of having net zero carbon emissions by 2023 and would be rated as excellent by the “BREEAM” rating of environmentally sustainable buildings internationally.
The new terminal proposal will replace pre-existing plans to revamp the current terminal building.
However Mr Rees said management’s view was now that this will not meet its objectives.
“I don’t feel like the existing plans move the game forward sufficiently, particularly from an environmental perspective, but as importantly from a customer's perspective and also from meeting the council leaders and other local stakeholders’s economic ambitions for the region.
“The impact would be enormous.”