Newcastle International has launched its ambitious vision for the future with the unveiling of Masterplan 2035.
The north-east’s largest airport has also commenced a consultation aimed at getting the views of the public and stakeholders.
The draft plan, which sets out the award-winning airport’s goals for its centenary year, will enable the airport to compete in the global economy while delivering significant economic benefits to the north-east, surrounding regions and the rest of the UK.
Newcastle International Airport is one of the north-east’s great success stories and has benefited from more than £250 million in investment over the last 30 years, as well as a number of years of sustained growth.
The Masterplan will ensure there is a framework in place to enable the airport to grow in the years to 2035 in a way that benefits the people of the north-east in a sustainable manner.
Passenger numbers, which reached 5.35 million in 2017, are expected to continue grow in the years to 2035.
The Masterplan will provide a framework to allow the delivery of improved connectivity to ensure passengers don’t need to travel to airports outside of the region.
It also sets out aims to support an increase in inbound tourism.
In order to ensure that all possible impacts are considered, the Masterplan is based upon a high forecast growth scenario of up to 9.4 million passengers by 2035.
With 3,500 people employed on site, and 18,900 supported across the region, and a contribution to GVA of £1.16 billion, the airport is already one of the biggest jobs and economic generators in the region.
The Masterplan will enable the creation of even more jobs and further reinforce the role of the airport in driving forward the regional economy.
By 2035, the number of jobs supported across the north-east could grow to 27,800, and the contribution to GVA could reach £2.03 billion.
As part of its commitment to ensuring it remains a good neighbour, Newcastle International Airport’s Masterplan also sets out ways to ensure that growth is achieved in a way that minimises the impact on the environment and surrounding communities.
Supported by a full environmental appraisal the Masterplan includes a range of proposed measures to mitigate any environmental impacts, including in respect of noise, air quality, drainage, energy and biodiversity.
The Masterplan is also supported by a Surface Access Strategy, which proposes continued working with partners across the region to improve road and public transport and encouraging passengers and staff to travel to the airport using sustainable modes of transport, including harnessing the opportunity created by new metro trains, expansion of the metro network and consideration of heavy rail to the airport in the longer term.
It also includes details of potential enhancements to the main access roundabout, a second access for the long-term car park, additional on-site parking facilities and a link road from Great Park to the A696.
Nick Jones, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “I’m delighted to unveil our Masterplan 2035 today.
“Newcastle International has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we’ve set out a clear plan of action to continue to grow our airport to ensure it can compete in the global economy.
“In the years to come, the connectivity provided by the airport will be even more important, and that’s why this plan seeks to safeguard for the future of not just the Airport but the whole region.”
A full public consultation period has now commenced, with drop-in sessions and meetings to be hosted by Newcastle International Airport for local residents to learn more about the plans, have questions answered and concerns addressed.
The consultation period will run until September 13th.
Following the consultation, all responses will be considered, and a revised and final Masterplan 2035 will be adopted.