Clearing up the misconceptions about Leeds Bradford Airport terminal plans - YEP letters

As many of your readers will be aware, Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council for the replacement of its existing terminal building, which was built way back in 1965, with a modern, £150m state-of the-art terminal building.

By Gemma Jimmison
Friday, 3rd July 2020, 6:00 am
Leeds Bradford Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport

Hywel Rees, CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport

The replacement terminal building is necessary to bring LBA into the modern era so that the airport can provide the levels of customer service and operating efficiency that modern passengers and airlines demand.

Some residents have raised concerns with the planning application on the grounds of noise and, having reviewed those concerns, there appear to be some misconceptions about the noise effects of the proposals.

Daytime noise: The airport’s noise assessment supporting LBA’s application makes it clear that daytime noise will be lower than it is today due to the continued improvement in aircraft types operating at the airport. Modern aircraft are becoming significantly quieter, especially the new generation of A320neo and 737max families, which will increase in number throughout the 2020s.

Night time noise: Although LBA is currently subject to restrictions on night flying, those restrictions do not apply to the most modern aircraft such as the A320neo and 737max families. This is because, when the restrictions were drafted in the mid-1990s, it was not anticipated that modern aircraft would be as quiet as they have become. Quieter aircraft are great news for the people who live near the airport but the current restrictions, like the terminal building, need to be modernised.

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Night Time operating hours: LBA’s current night time hours are 11pm until 7am. Most other UK airports’ night time hours are 11.30pm until 6am. This puts LBA at a serious competitive disadvantage to other UK airports. Most airlines need to depart between 6am and 7am in order to make the best use of their assets by scheduling at least three return flights per day to ensure the efficiency of their operations.

The planning application proposes to normalise LBA’s night time hours with other airports elsewhere in the UK to enable LBA to offer the people of Yorkshire the connectivity and choice that they are asking me for. The people of Yorkshire deserve a modern airport that provides them with the local connectivity they need.

As we begin to recover from the economic upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic, LBA’s proposals offer a shovel-ready opportunity to kick-start the Yorkshire economy and to provide long term, high-value, knowledge-based jobs in the future.