October 2, 2022
Leeds Bradford Airport Shelves Expansion Plans

Leeds Bradford Airport Shelves Expansion Plans

DALLAS – Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) announced the cancellation of its expansion projects, which included the creation of a new terminal. LBA Airport’s Chief Executive, Vincent Hodder, explained that the decision was reached due to “excessive delays” and following a public inquiry into the development project.

The expansion plan included the creation of a new terminal, which cost around £150m. The plan has caused some controversy since its launch in 2020. Indeed, some locals and environmentalists were against the approval of the new plans put forward by the Leeds Council. The UK government then decided to hold off on the approval and to launch a public inquiry.

The opponents to the projects said the expansion plans did not respect the government’s climate goals. The airport contested that new, modern buildings would be more efficient and sustainable than the ones they would replace.

However, the inquiry and ensuing debate caused delays, which led to today’s announcement. The airport will now focus on extending the existing terminal, plans for which the Leeds City Council had already given its approval in 2019.

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The canceled expansion plans included the creation of a brand new terminal. Photo: LBA Airport

Executives, Officials’ Comments

Vincent Hodder said, “I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in the planning process, from the general public to the business community and councils across Yorkshire.”

He continued, “Whilst this is a setback for our airport and region, we remain committed to investing in LBA to be an outstanding, decarbonised, modern airport for the future. […] My team and I are optimistic about the recovery from the pandemic and about the future of Leeds Bradford Airport”

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin also explained, “It’s important that people don’t have to travel to Manchester to do business. International students don’t have to come from Manchester then drive or get on the train to come here. International businesses know that we have an airport. I was really excited by their plans for the terminal expansion because it was going to be zero carbon.”

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Photo: LBA Airport

LBA Airport

Leeds Bradford is a local airport situated northeast of Manchester. According to airlinedata.com, it is the fourteenth biggest airport in the UK, ranked by seat offer in 2022. With over 1,700,000 seats, the offer is more than twice that of 2021, showing the airport is recovering from COVID. However, this number is still less than a third of LBA’s pre-pandemic offer.

The major airline at LBA is Jet 2 (LS), with over 58% of the 2022 offer. The airport is the airline’s base, and it is where LS operated its maiden flight. However, British Airways (BA) only offers less than half of the total number of flights at LBA. The airline announced it was suspending its route to LBA due to COVID. BA is back at the airport again, but with reduced frequencies and passenger volume.

With the cancellation of the airport’s expansion projects, LBA will now focus on expanding its existing terminal to have more passengers travel through its gates.

Featured image: LBA Airport has direct flights to about 70 destinations. Photo: LBA Airport

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