SCHOOLS are out for the summer marking the start of the great escape.

Roads to the coast and other popular destinations will be congested with holidaymakers as they head for a change of scene, taking time out with family and friends, over the next six weeks or more.

While many will be relying on their own transport to get them to their destinations, flying is probably one of the most popular ways to travel at this time of year, particularly for those seeking a far flung break abroad.

Leeds Bradford airport is already enjoying significant footfall at the start of the summer getaway and, interestingly, this month marks the 50th anniversary since talks of its proposed expansion plans hit the T&A headlines on July 27 1967.

The article talks of the development of the Yeadon-based airport to permit jet operations within two years being ‘essential’ to continue growth of air transport to and from the West Riding.

Extension of the airport runway to between 7,000 and 7,350 feet in 1969-70 so that short and medium haul jet aircraft could cater for air traffic up to 1980 was proposed in a report of Alan Stratford & Associates, consultants in aviation.

Of course, the airport’s development over the years is evident in the services the airport and its tour operator partners provide to the millions of passengers who have passed through in the past 12 months.

Today, Leeds Bradford Airport works with 16 major airline and tour operator partners; has more than 70 direct destinations across 26 countries as well as hundreds more through the hubs of Heathrow T5, Amsterdam and Dublin.

The airport has already seen significant footfall during the start of the summer getaway with 51,000 travelling through the airport during the weekend July 21 to 23 when most schools broke up.

Similarly, passengers also returned to the region after enjoying an early summer getaway resulting in another record-breaking week with more than 113,000 people travelling through over seven days.

David Laws, CEO at Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “Our teams are fully prepared and looking forward to a busy summer ahead; their job is to start and end every passenger’s journey in a fantastic way and we are certainly focused on doing this. Having undergone various terminal upgrades over the winter period and with more planned for the future, it’s great to see that people are increasingly choosing LBA to for their travels.”

The airport launched its Masterplan: Route to 2030 in April 2017. This sets the scene for the growth and development of LBA in the coming years, which predicts that the number of passengers travelling through will be around 7.1m a year by 2030.

Plans for a parkway station on the Harrogate-Leeds railway line are progressing to improve surface access to LBA.

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