Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans one step closer

Leeds City councillors supported plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport to accommodate an extra million passengers per year.

Artist's impression of the proposed expansion.

Early plans for a new terminal building at Leeds Bradford Airport went before the authority’s city plans panel.

It followed an announcement from the airport earlier this month that it would invest £12m into the scheme, which would increase capacity and include a new arrivals hall.

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The meeting heard how plans for the site included a bigger immigration area and extra UK Border Force desks, as well as a larger customs area and a bigger baggage reclaim facility.

A representative from Leeds Bradford Airport said: “Its a fresh new start for the airport, it’s a new beginning for the airport.

“We are looking to submit the application next month and have facilities open for autumn next year.”

He added that this would free up the airport to rennovate the rest of the terminal, and would lead to a total investment of around £20m-£25m.

Chairing the committee , Coun James Mckenna (Lab): “You can’t run a modern airport from nine to five – you have to have flights when people want to travel.

“We want to see the airport develop.”

A report had been submitted to council chiefs claiming the terminal has been “subject to piecemeal development for several decades” and has not kept pace with the “expectations of a modern airport”.

The proposal is part of the wider masterplan, which is hoped to add another million passengers per year by 2023, and increase investment into Yorkshire.

The airport currently has a capacity of approximately 4 million passengers per annum, but hopes to increase this to 5 million by 2023.

The report added: “This extension will allow this expansion as well as improving the experience of the passengers at the airport. Leeds is currently the third largest city in the UK, yet the airport is the 25th airport ranked by passenger numbers and the airport therefore consider there to be significant opportunities for growth.”