‘Leeds Bradford should be the region’s first choice airport’

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Transport bosses have called on business leaders to support Leeds Bradford Airport’s aim to become the first choice for Yorkshire jet-setters.

LBA chief executive David Laws joined Jochen Schnadt, the managing director of Flybmi, and Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, in a presentation at Bridgewater Place in Leeds yesterday.

Leeds Bradford Airport chief executive David Laws joined Jochen Schnadt, the managing director of�Flybmi, and�Henri Murison, director of the�Northern Powerhouse Partnership, in a presentation at Bridgewater Place in Leeds.

Leeds Bradford Airport chief executive David Laws joined Jochen Schnadt, the managing director of�Flybmi, and�Henri Murison, director of the�Northern Powerhouse Partnership, in a presentation at Bridgewater Place in Leeds.

The trio appealed to business leaders in the region to get behind major plans to make LBA the natural choice – instead of Manchester – for flyers in and out of Yorkshire, positioning the recent announcement of Flybmi flights to Munich from April as a gateway to global opportunities.

The call for support comes ahead of Leeds City Council opening its public consultation on three potential routes for a new LBA link road on February 18.

The authority – in conjunction with West Yorkshire Combined Authority – has also released plans for the location of the new airport parkway station on the current Leeds to Harrogate rail route. The suggestion is to build it between Scotland Lane and Cookridge. The station would include a 350-space park-and-ride car park, a bus interchange and a station building. Trains would run on the existing Leeds to Harrogate, via Horsforth, line. A pedestrian/cycle path to Cookridge has been proposed to reduce pressure on Horsforth Station.

At yesterday’s presentation, meanwhile, Mr Schnadt said there were 35 convenient connections to airports around the world from Munich, where LBA will fly to once a day from April, with many European business hubs accessible.

Mr Murison suggested that post-Brexit, it could be “much harder to get the degree of economic success that we know this area deserves”.

But links with China already developed by Leeds City Council could be “intensified”, he said after the speeches.

Future flights to the Middle East were still possible, said Mr Laws, potentially to Pakistan.

He also said that aircrafts capable of flying to Orlando could land at LBA with larger departure facilities.

Mr Laws added: “It’s not just about Leeds to Munich, it’s opening up the whole of the world in the way people think, ‘I can go to Amsterdam and I can go anywhere in the world’.”