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Leeds City councillors vote in favour of Leeds Bradford Airport expansion

An artist’s impression of the proposed new extension

by Abbey Maclure

Leeds City councillors have voted unanimously in favour of plans to expand the terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport.

Councillors discussed the proposal at a City Plans Panel meeting at Leeds Civic Hall today and approved the two/three story extension to the existing building.

The new extension will hold an improved arrivals hall, with a larger immigration area, three new baggage reclaim carousels and additional seating and retail units.

This will allow the departures hall in the existing building to be reorganised and expanded.

Pre-applications for the expansion had already been approved by the city council and councillors from across political parties welcomed the revised plans.

Cllr Paul Wadsworth, Conservative, believed that previous recommendations to the proposal had been listened to by the airport.

He said: “I’m very supportive of it and can’t see any problems whatsoever.

“I think [the airport] has taken on board everything that we’ve said.”

The proposals are part of a £20-25million development plan published in 2017, which will see the airport expand from 4 million to 5 million passengers a year.

Cllr James McKenna, chair of the meeting, encouraged the panel to “get on to it.”

He said: “We want to see our city grow and airport transportation is vital.”

The proposal has had some opposition from Leeds Civic Trust, who felt that the design did not reflect other airport terminals.

Concerns were also raised during the meeting that expanding the airport would increase night-time flights.

However, a spokesperson from the airport said that the proposals do not include changes to restrictions on the number of flights during the night.

The work is set to begin in spring 2019, to be completed later in the year or early 2020.

David Laws, chief executive Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “This is fantastic news for the region’s passengers and the wider economy.

“We are increasing peak-time capacity to deliver a first class passenger experience and create an airport Yorkshire can be proud of.”

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