A NEW airport to serve Leeds could be needed to make sure the city thrives in the coming years, according to council leader Keith Wakefield.
Discussions are underway over whether a new airport should be built that connects with the proposed high speed rail line into the city and major roads.
Council leaders in West Yorkshire are concerned that Leeds-Bradford Airport’s location makes it hard to reach and could limit its growth.
Talks are at a very early stage but it is likely any new airport would be on land around the M1 and A1.
Coun Wakefield said: “We want Leeds and Yorkshire to be as ambitious as any other region.
“The existing operators of Leeds-Bradford have been very good and increased passenger numbers but if we are to make sure aviation is a key part of our transport strategy we have to recognise there are limitations on the existing location.
“If we are looking 20, 30, 40 years ahead there might be a better location so it can link with HS2 and create a transport hub.”
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box has also called for a new airport to be considered as part of wider improvements to transport in the region.
Tony Hallwood, aviation development and marketing director at Leeds-Bradford Airport, said: “Leeds-Bradford can meet the long term need for air travel in Yorkshire and we can continue to grow at a fast pace.
“That would be assisted through road and rail links from across the region. We could invest in those now and we could be ready to deliver over the next four or five years. A new airport could be decades away.”