At a recent meeting of Councillors in the North West of the city, we were given a presentation on the plans for Leeds Bradford Airport’s Terminal extension. At present the airport handles around 4 million passengers each year. It’s ambition is to increase this to 5 million within the next 5 years. In order to do this they have to make a number of changes both to the buildings and infrastructure and to the offer such as new franchises and parking arrangements. Leeds is the third largest city in the UK but it has the 15th biggest airport, an anomaly which is acknowledged.
The improvements will focus on the passenger experience so that the distances to the baggage reclaim and passport control is shorter once you get off the plane and there will be more departure gates. There is also a need to be able to expand even further should the need arise and therefore whatever is put in place needs to remain flexible to increasing demand.
As it is now the airport cannot accommodate wider long haul flight aircraft and the new reconfiguration with an additional departure lounge for larger numbers of passengers (300-400) will enable this to happen.
A planning application will be submitted in November 2018, and construction, if approved, will commence early 2019. Enhanced immigration and baggage reclaim facilities will be operational by autumn 2019 and the main terminal refurbishment will start late 2019/early 2020.