Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Set to Take off for Its 100th Birthday

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Set to Take off for Its 100th Birthday

Article excerpt

Byline: SEAN SEDDON Reporter

AN ambitious plan to expand and improve Newcastle International Airport in time for its 100th birthday has been unveiled.

By 2035, passenger numbers could balloon from 5.35 million to 9.4 million thanks to better transport links and, potentially, an extended runway.

More parking, new destinations and even a main line rail link are all on the cards as the airport eyes a period of rapid growth.

While no major extension to the terminal is planned, airport bosses want to improve shopping and leisure outlets and use technology to make getting through the airport faster.

The plan forecasts the expansion will create more jobs, eventually supporting more than 4,700 on site, 27,800 indirectly across the region, and that it will add over PS2bn to the North East's economy annually.

A new multi-storey car park could be built and, with road improvements, new Metros and the potential for main line rail links from Central Station, getting to the airport in 2035 might be a whole lot easier.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director, said: "Newcastle Airport is one of the North East's great success stories.

"The airport has enjoyed ten years of sustained growth, including in the last two years strong passenger growth, providing air services to over 80 destinations, amongst them a number of major global hubs.

"Passenger numbers are expected to continue to grow and the masterplan will provide a framework to allow the delivery of improved connectivity to ensure passengers don't need to travel to airports outside of the region.

"It also sets out aims to support an increase in inbound tourism.

"In order to ensure that all possible impacts are considered, the masterplan is based upon a high forecast growth scenario of up to 9.4 million passengers by 2035."

Transport for the North has identified the airport as being the "international gateway for the North East" and it will need to play a crucial role in the post-Brexit economy. …

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