MODERN, robust, fit-for-the-job road, rail and air links are vital if our region is to achieve its growth potential in the 21st Century.

In a globalised world, where just-in-time delivery methods are vital to maintaining competitiveness and international trade is the key to success, an ageing infrastructure is a major problem.

Last year, more than four million passengers travelled via Leeds Bradford Airport – a record which capped three consecutive years of positive year-on-year growth. That those figures were achieved despite a number of setbacks, including the collapse of Monarch Airlines and a reduction in British Airways services, is all the more impressive.

The airport serves more than 70 direct travel destinations and handles more than 33,000 scheduled flights a year.

But Leeds Bradford risks becoming a victim of its own success. The main building is in need of an upgrade and more aircraft handling capacity is required.

The terminal building is the first thing visitors see when they arrive and first impressions count.

A masterplan for airport expansion has been on the cards since 2004 and now the first phase, a new three-storey extension to the terminal building, is poised to begin. Once the terminal building is complete work will begin on revamping existing facilities.

Excited officials say these improvements will transform Leeds Bradford into a thoroughly modern airport that’s fit to serve Yorkshire.

Leeds Bradford’s success is closely aligned with regional prosperity. We hope that it continues to thrive for many years to come.