The airport's GVA contribution could rise to £2.03bn by 2035
The airport's GVA contribution could rise to £2.03bn by 2035
Richard Bell

Newcastle International Airport unveils growth blueprint with Masterplan 2035

Newcastle International has today (May 10) launched a new vision for growth as it looks ahead to its 100th year in operation.

The North East’s largest airport is seeking public views on its Masterplan 2035 – a blueprint for competing in the global economy while delivering economic benefits for the region.

Newcastle International has seen over £250m invested during the last three decades, but the new Masterplan is expected to help stimulate continued growth in the run up to the airport’s centenary year.

Passenger numbers, which hit 5.35 million in 2017, are forecast to continue growing during that time. It is hoped the Masterplan will help deliver a framework to allow for improved connectivity, ensuring people don’t have to use airports outside the North East.

The plan is based on a high forecast growth scenario of up to 9.4 million passengers by 2035.

Remaining in draft form until the public consultation is complete, the blueprint also outlines aims of supporting an increase in inbound tourism.

Newcastle International is currently one of the biggest job providers and economic generators in the North East, employing 3,500 on site and supporting an estimated 18,900 roles throughout the region. The airport currently makes a GVA contribution of £1.16bn for the economy.

By 2035, the number of jobs supported could reach 27,800 and GVA contribution rise to £2.03bn.

Elsewhere, the plan leaves room for a possible extension of Newcastle International’s runway. While it is hoped improvements to aircraft performance will allow future destinations to be served from the existing runway, the Masterplan will safeguard for the possibility of a 700m extension at the eastern end of the runway – in the event that these aircraft performance improvements do not materialise.

Such an extension would give Newcastle International a better chance of securing new long-haul routes.

Other points raised in the Masterplan include ways of minimising the airport’s impact on surrounding communities and the environment, and a Surface Access Strategy for continued improvement of the region’s road and public transport infrastructure.

The consultation period, which will include drop-in sessions and meetings hosted at the airport, is set to run today until September 13.

Nick Jones, CEO at Newcastle International, 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.”

He continued: “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.”

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