PLANS to transform Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) have now officially been submitted, marking the next major step in its mission to place Yorkshire firmly on the global map.

The ambitious vision for the airport, including a £12m extension to its terminal building, new, larger departure gates, new retail and food and drink outlets and a re-modelling of the existing terminal building, was revealed back in September.

The application reveals: “The primary objectives of the proposed development are to: enhance levels of service and passenger experience, particularly for arriving passengers; to accommodate anticipated growth in passenger numbers. The proposal for the terminal development is to provide a high profile gateway to and from the Yorkshire region of which the travelling public, both leisure and business passengers, can be justifiably proud and which contributes significantly to the regional economy and facilitates growth in passengers per annum in line with the Airport Masterplan.”

LBA had around four million passengers in 2017, but has an ambition to grow to five million passengers by 2023 and seven million by 2030.

Details in the application confirm plans for the extension, with the ground floor forming new immigration, baggage collection and customs areas.

The first floor will house a new departure lounge with food, drink and retail outlets. The next phase will see the existing terminal building reconfigured to provide a larger security area to meet future passenger numbers and “provide an improved passenger experience through departures”.

The initial phase of the airport’s development plan and investment strategy has already taken place, resulting in an increase of the size of the departure lounge and security zone, a wider food and drink offer, improvements to car parking, a shuttle bus and more.

But the application says: “However, the terminal building suffers from operational inefficiencies and congestion, particularly at peak times.

“Additional improvements are now required to the terminal building to expand on the investment which has already taken place, and improve the passenger experience.”

It's hoped construction would start on site in in spring next year, with the new facilities being operational in the late autumn.

David Laws, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “The proposed extension is part of the strategic development of the airport and will deliver a vibrant new focus for LBA, improving the overall passenger experience. It will also provide the necessary infrastructure to increase peak-time capacity, alleviating current congestion, but also create the right environment to attract a greater range of airlines and support route development, which in turn will deliver additional international destinations that our business and leisure passengers’ desire.”

Nolan Tucker, director at Deloitte Real Estate, which is acting as the planning consultant on the project, added: “This is a hugely significant development for Leeds Bradford Airport, but also the region. It will deliver new terminal facilities that will provide a high-quality gateway to the Leeds City Region and wider Yorkshire.

“Transport infrastructure schemes such as this deliver tangible economic benefits and fuel future growth by helping to better connect Yorkshire. They are a fundamental part of the City Region’s development strategy and crucial to its future success.”