Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Airport Ready for Take off into the Big League

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Airport Ready for Take off into the Big League

Article excerpt

A new era is taking off at the area's airport.

Teesside Airport has now officially changed its name to Durham Tees Valley Airport.

While the decision has brought with it mixed reactions, bosses say the move should now open the door to more investment and see more flights jetting off from Teesside.

Airport chiefs say the new name has been necessary as part of a pounds 20m redevelopment plan which will create hundreds of jobs.

Hugh Lang, managing director of Durham Tees Valley Airport, said: "This name change is just one part of a larger package of investment we are making to the airport.

"We are businessmen and we have listened to our customers, who told us that the Teesside name was not a strong enough brand.

"We are delivering an airport that will eventually see 3m passengers using our facilities by 2015."

The new name is part of an ambitious three year, multi-million pound redevelopment plan.

By next year passenger numbers are predicted to break through the 1m barrier - up by a third on current figures.

So far this year pounds 4m has been invested into the first phase of redevelopment, including additional car parking, terminal improvements and a new access road on to the airport site.

Manchester-based owners of the airport, Peel Holdings, says the investment will create several hundred new jobs in areas such as passenger check-in, baggage handling and airport services.

The airport currently employs 140 directly with a further 560 employed on site.

Future redevelopment includes the extension and refurbishment of the airport terminal to 280,000sq ft and increased parking to more than 4,500 spaces.

A new cargo and maintenance village for repair services, air freight and processing is also planned.

And airport bosses are now in talks with more than 30 airlines as part of plans to increase the number of destinations available to Teesside passengers.

Durham Tees Valley Airport was recently boosted by the announcement by low-cost carrier Ryanair that is it introducing a service to Rome. …

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