New details on Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans

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More detail has emerged on early plans to replace Leeds Bradford Airport’s existing terminal with a brand new £150m facility on a nearby site.

Previous plans to revamp the airport’s capacity, approved by Leeds City Council in early 2019, had included blueprints to extend its existing terminal.

But an announcement was made earlier this month that updated plans would instead see the terminal move but remain within the airport’s boundary.

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According to “pre-application” plans, set to be discussed by councillors this week, the new terminal would include three main floors and improved vehicle access. It was also confirmed that the new site would be closer to a proposed parkway rail station, announced by Leeds City Council last year.

An artist's impression of the new terminal building.An artist's impression of the new terminal building.
An artist's impression of the new terminal building.

It is hoped that work would be able to start on construction of the site by the end of this year, and for the new terminal to be up and running by 2023.

The new scheme follows concerns that existing plans would not fit with Leeds City Council’s recent climate emergency declaration.

According the a report by Leeds City Council officers, the new scheme will feature four floors and a walkway alongside aircraft.

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The lower ground floor would “provide surface access to the forecourt and access to the main terminal by lifts and escalators”, while the ground floor ‘will provide the check in hall and the arrivals halls along with baggage reclaim, customs and baggage make up’.

A first floor mezzanine would house ‘immigration and associated facilities linked to the walkway’, while the second floor would include a central search and departure lounge, retail, food and drink, duty free and premium lounges.

A western walkway would sit alongside the new terminal building and provide contact stands for around 12 aircraft.

It is also hoped the new terminal building would be targeted as an ‘excellent’ rating under environmental sustainability standards, and be designed to maximise energy efficiency and ‘incorporate energy generation on site’.

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The report adds the proposal will also involve a new and modified vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access

from Whitehouse Lane. The site of the existing car park would be used provide new internal service roads, bus parking and pick up and drop off points.

The existing terminal building’s offices, air traffic control and fire station will continue to be in use with the existing Jet2 offices also remaining in place.

A report on the new scheme by Leeds City Council officers stated: “The existing passenger terminal has been subject to piecemeal development for several decades and has not kept pace with customer requirements and expectations of a modern airport.

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“The present terminal suffers from congestion, space is constrained and there are insufficient security lanes both for outbound and inbound passengers. In addition, the terminal is poorly designed for segregating arriving and departing passengers.”

The airport’s CEO Hywel Rees gave an interview to the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this month, in which it was confirmed the proposed site would be closer to the so-called Leeds Bradford Airport parkway rail station, announced by Leeds City Council last year.

The pre-application will be discussed by members of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel on Thursday, January 30.

As the plans are only at a “pre-application” stage, a full planning application is yet to be submitted, and no decision will be made on the scheme.

A more detailed application is expected in the coming months.