Leeds City Council’s city plans panel has given full planning permission to the airport, with work now set to start on the site next spring.
The new three-storey extension to the main airport terminal building is expected to provide larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas and improved departure gate facilities as well as additional retail and food and drink outlets.
Members of the panel were enthusiastic about the plans.
Conservative councillor Paul Wadsworth, who represents the nearby Guiseley and Rawdon ward, said “The airport has briefed us four or five times, and we feel very well-briefed on the proposals.
“I am very supportive of it – I can’t see any problem with it whatsoever. I think they have taken on board everything we have said, including the pedestrian links going back into the terminal to improve the public transport connection.”
Committee members voted unanimously in favour of the proposals.
Following the vote, committee chair Coun James McKenna (Lab) said: “We want to see our city grow and transportation is vital – we all want to fly on our holidays from Leeds Bradford – we don’t particularly want to go to Manchester.”
Work will also include the construction of a new pier, replacing the current passenger walkway with a two-storey structure, which would house arrivals at ground level, with departures being processed at at new boarding gates on the first floor.
Following the meeting, David Laws, chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “This is fantastic news for the region’s passengers and the wider economy. With work scheduled to be complete in winter 2019/2020 we are increasing peak-time capacity to deliver a first class passenger experience and create an airport Yorkshire can be proud of.”
“This will allow us to attract a greater range of airlines and support route development, which in turn will deliver additional international destinations that our business and leisure passengers’ desire.”
A report from Leeds City Council officers stated: “The Airport’s masterplan supports further growth of LBIA and acknowledges the need for additional terminal capacity. It is considered that in principle the proposals will improve the competitiveness of the airport, will generate direct and indirect employment and will reinforce the role of the airport as a key gateway to Leeds and the wider region.”