PLANS to create 'one of the most environmentally efficient terminals in the UK' have been unveiled by Leeds Bradford Airport.

The airport (LBA) says the proposals, to be submitted this Spring, will replace its previously approved terminal-expansion scheme and deliver a 'more efficient and sustainable development'.

The project would see a new three floor, state-of-the-art terminal built within the airport's boundary - and closer to a proposed rail-link - for a cost of up to £150 million.

The new terminal would cover 34,000 sq m and replace the existing building which dates back to 1965. It would also be built to specifications that meet an Excellent BREEAM sustainability standard.

LBA is hoping construction can begin before the end of this year with the new terminal set to open in 2023.

Chief Executive Hywel Rees, in a briefing to councillors, said: "The new terminal will dramatically improve our service for the millions who visit Yorkshire every year and the people of Yorkshire who travel to see friends, family, colleagues and customers around the world. It will also give the Leeds City Region a world-class airport.

"This upgrade will create a modern, sleek and efficient airport terminal for our passengers. Our aim is to increase the quality of passenger service, rather than significantly increasing passenger quantity. Indeed, our projected passenger demand of seven million by 2030 remains the same as set out in our Route to 2030 master plan.

"We take our environmental commitments seriously and by 2023 this redevelopment will be integral to helping us be net zero carbon for the emissions we control. It will be one of the most environmentally efficient terminals in the UK."

The project will be privately funded by the airport's owners, AMP Capital.

Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said: "Councillors were given a thorough presentation and I don't think anybody expected we were going to be told that they wanted to build a brand new, environmentally friendly terminal and then knock the current one down.

"Clearly I'm pleased AMP is investing £150 million into the local economy in support of local jobs - but I'm also really pleased they are committed to doing so in an environmentally sustainable way.

"As one of only two BREEAM projects in UK aviation they will be an environmental leader in regional airports."

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) added: "The airport has put forward some very interesting proposals which will have to be evaluated in line with the current climate emergency.

"The proposals must, as far as it is within the airport's control, be carbon neutral and minimise the impact on local residents. It is vital that, as part of the redevelopment, public transport to the airport is expanded: not just via a new rail link but also with a wider network of bus routes to enable passengers and employees to access the terminal."

He added that he had concerns that the proposal included plans to expand daytime flying hours 'without a corresponding reduction in the night time quota'.

LBA’s existing terminal is 15th busiest in the UK for passenger numbers and the airport contributed £475 million to the local economy in 2018.

Aviation Minister Paul Maynard said: "Leeds Bradford Airport is the global gateway to one of the most beautiful parts of the world, so it is vital passengers get the world class service this new terminal will provide. The new building will be more sustainable and efficient, helping the airport meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2023, while boosting the local economy and securing thousands of jobs."