Have your say on vision for airport

Newcastle International Airport
Newcastle International Airport

Time is running out for people to have their say on plans for the future of Newcastle International Airport.

The airport began a consultation period in May to get the views of the public and stakeholders on its Masterplan 2035.

Passengers, businesses and stakeholders have until September 13 to submit their views.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director, said: “The airport has grown from strength to strength in recent years and our Masterplan 2035 sets out a plan to ensure it continues to grow and continues to compete in the global economy, not just for the benefit of the airport but the region as a whole.

“Since May, we have arranged a number public meetings and drop in sessions in the local communities around the airport to allow residents to ask questions and to provide feedback on our draft Masterplan. However, with the consultation closing date drawing nearer we don’t want any members of the public or local businesses to miss out on providing their views.”

Visit www.newcastleairport.com/masterplan for the Masterplan 2035 document.

Newcastle International Airport has benefited from more than £250million in investment over the last 30 years, as well as nearly 10 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 5.4million in 2017, are expected to continue growing in the years to 2035. The Masterplan provides 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 9.4million passengers by 2035.

With 3,500 people employed on site, and 18,900 jobs supported across the region, and an annual contribution to the regional economy of £1.16billion, the airport is already one of the biggest employment and economic generators in the North East.

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 annual contribution to the regional economy could reach £2.03billion.

It is hoped that future improvements in aircraft performance will mean that future destinations can be served from the existing Newcastle International Airport runway.

It is prudent, however, for the Masterplan to safeguard for a possible runway extension in case aircraft performance improvements beyond those that are already known about do not materialise. With this in mind, a possible extension of 700m at the eastern end has been safeguarded, thereby ensuring that the North East has the opportunity to secure new long-haul air routes in the future.

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.

Following the consultation, all responses will be considered and a revised and final Masterplan 2035 will be adopted.

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