A £100 MILLION transformation of Leeds Bradford Airport is to begin imminently.

The airport has announced that the investment will be used to regenerate its terminal facilities and dramatically improve passenger experience, with work set to start this autumn.

The project – approved by Leeds City Council – is expected to be completed in 2026.

Phase 1 will see the construction of the airport’s terminal extension – this will be a three-storey, 9,500-square-foot building that will be added to the existing terminal.

The regeneration also includes a significant refurbishment of the current airport building, with the creation of additional aircraft stands, more seating, faster security and new shops and eateries.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: CGI of inside the new terminal at Leeds Bradford AirportCGI of inside the new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport (Image: Leeds Bradford Airport)

There will also be a larger baggage reclaim area and immigration hall, as well as improved access for passengers with restricted mobility.

Data from York Aviation analysis shows the regeneration has the potential to create 1,500 new direct jobs at LBA and 4,000 indirect jobs, as well as contribute a total of £950 million to the local economy, by 2030.

The regeneration will also help LBA to further decarbonise its operations, as outlined in the airport’s 2030 Net Zero Carbon Roadmap.

This will be achieved through the installation of new heating, lighting and machinery, including new baggage belts.

It is expected that airlines attracted by the regeneration will accelerate the deployment of their newest, quietest and most efficient aircrafts at the airport.

Vincent Hodder, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “This announcement marks the beginning of a new era for Leeds Bradford Airport.

“This investment will give us the infrastructure needed to deliver an outstanding customer experience, support the growth of our airline partners, enhance connectivity for business, investment and trade and provide the airport that Leeds, Bradford and Yorkshire have been waiting for.

“LBA is a key asset for our region and our community, our investment enhances and supports broader investments underway in Leeds and Bradford creating new jobs, new opportunities and shared benefits for our community.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: CGI of Leeds Bradford Airport's regenerationCGI of Leeds Bradford Airport's regeneration (Image: Leeds Bradford Airport)

Farrans Construction, which opened a new office in Leeds city centre last year and is in the final stages of delivering a 20-storey student accommodation in Belgrave Street, has been appointed as the contractor to deliver Phase 1 of the transformation.

Cathal Montague, Regional Director at Farrans Construction, said: “Leeds Bradford Airport has played an integral role in the ambitious growth of the city of Leeds and the wider Yorkshire region, supporting connectivity to some of the world’s best destinations for business and tourism.

“We are looking forward to bringing the vision for its next stage to life through the extension and modernisation of the terminal.

“This project will be a major boost to the construction industry with jobs created through apprenticeships, direct labour and supply chain.

“We have had a strong connection to Leeds for many years, having delivered a number of important transport and infrastructure projects in the area.”

This year, LBA is expected to contribute a total of £460 million to the local economy, directly employing 2,100 people and indirectly supporting 4,500 jobs.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has released a statement following the news. 

The group's Chris Foren said: "GALBA has no objection to upgrading the terminal in a way that reduces its current carbon footprint, though the terminal only accounts for around two per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with the airport."

Mr Foren said flights cause the "overwhelming majority" of LBA's greenhouse gas emissions. 

He added: "There are two important points to note about the 2019 planning permission:

"It does not permit an increase in passenger numbers above five million per year. LBA signed an agreement with Leeds City Council that requires LBA to submit a new planning application in order to exceed five million passengers per year.

"It does not change the rules that limit the number of flights allowed at night. GALBA vigorously opposes LBA’s current CLEUD proposals to reinterpret those rules to allow more nighttime flying.

"GALBA will continue to oppose any plans to increase the number of flights from LBA because of the extremely negative impact this would have on the climate, noise levels and air pollution."