LEEDS Bradford Airport (LBA) has submitted its planning application to build a new, state-of-the-art replacement terminal to Leeds City Council.

The proposal aims to dramatically improve passenger experience, deliver one of the UK’s most environmentally efficient airport buildings and support the region’s economy.

The plans propose the construction of a three floor, 34,000 sq. mt. replacement terminal on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary.

Prior to the submission, LBA held consultations with over a thousand residents and organisations across Yorkshire who gave their feedback on the proposed plans.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

If approved, it is anticipated that work could begin before the end of 2020, with the terminal completed in 2023.

LBA estimates that as a result of the development, it will support 12,650 permanent jobs across the Leeds City Region, as well as creating 850 construction related jobs over the period of the build.

The plans, first announced in January this year, replace a previously consented scheme and LBA’s existing terminal building with a more efficient and sustainable development, enabling the airport to reach its target of becoming carbon net zero by 2023 for airport operations.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Hywel Rees, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “The new terminal design allows delivery of existing consented capacity in a more efficient way, with a smaller environmental footprint. The replacement building will have a modern, flexible design whilst achieving operational excellence to give passengers the best experience and address the challenges we know our passengers face far too frequently that cannot be overcome within our current building.

“We are committed to the future of LBA and bringing our plans to fruition if approved. This significant investment in the airport will protect and create new jobs, boost international connectivity, and comes at a time when the region and sector need to turbocharge the economic recovery.”

In January former Minister for Aviation Paul Maynard gave his backing for the scheme.

LBA received consent to expand its existing terminal in January 2019 and the airport’s current roadmap signposts a target of seven million passengers by 2030.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

When complete, the new scheme would deliver significantly enhanced facilities, allowing LBA to meet this expected passenger demand with improved level of service and efficiency. Features to enhance the passenger experience include better surface access, with the site located nearer to the proposed rail link; modern and airy interiors; improved shopping, restaurants and bars; and excellent access and comfort through from arrival to boarding.

Sandy Needham, chief executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “Connectivity to markets around the world will remain a major factor in the growth of our regional economy once we are through the current crisis, and so plans to redevelop Leeds Bradford Airport are welcomed by the Chamber.

"As the economy begins to recover, investment in new infrastructure will provide jobs not only during the construction phase but after works are complete also.

"As we transition out of the single European market, hopefully with a comprehensive free trade deal, at the end of 2020 it will be more important than ever that Yorkshire businesses can access global markets conveniently. Dealing with the short-term implications of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be at the forefront of the minds of businesses but longer term market entry strategies will benefit from more efficient international connectivity from our regional airport.”

But the airport has come under fire after protesters branded the plans "unsustainable and unnecessary".

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has vowed to fight the airport’s plans, taking legal action if necessary.

Campaigners criticised the airport who have supplied the council's planning department with 200 documents containing technical information.

The deadline, due on June 3 and set by Leeds City Council, will give them three weeks to make a decision.

The company also wants to increase passenger numbers from four million per year now to seven million in 2030.

Campaigners have criticised the need for a licence to extend its flying times in order to reach that goal.

The airport has requested to operate flights between 6am and 11.30pm.

Chris Foren, chair of the airport campaign group GALBA, said: “It’s ridiculous to expect local people to read, understand and respond to such a lot of technical detail in just 21 days. This decision is extremely important for the future of the region - that timescale is completely unfair and unrealistic.

Chris warned: “Expansion would bring more noise for local communities, increased air pollution, more traffic congestion and pump much more CO2 into the atmosphere - making the climate emergency worse. We need to rebuild a healthy economy in Leeds. We don’t need an unsustainable development like this.

“Every aviation industry expert has said that demand for air travel will remain low for several years. Naturally, people won’t want to risk being in an enclosed space - breathing other people’s air - until Coronavirus is long gone. There’s simply no need to expand the airport.”