June 7, 2019 @ 13:46 by Richard Dawson
Following a 16-week consultation process with members of the public, local business and stakeholders; Newcastle International Airport has published its Masterplan 2035.
The document sets out the airport’s goals for its centenary year in 2035 and looks at how it can compete in global marketplace whilst continuing to deliver economic benefits to the North East and the rest of the UK.
It also incorporates the airport’s new inbound tourism strategy, which aims to promote the region as a genuine destination for tourists from across Europe and beyond.
Last year, 5.4 million passengers passed through the doors of the North East’s largest airport. The Masterplan provides a framework to accommodate up to 9.4 million passengers by 2035.
With 3,500 people employed on site, and 18,900 jobs supported across the region, and a contribution to GVA of £1.16 billion, the airport is seen as one of the biggest jobs and economic generators in the North East.
The aim of the Masterplan is to enable the creation of even more jobs and further reinforce the role of the airport in driving forward the regional economy.
It is hoped that by 2035, the number of jobs supported across the North East could grow to 27,800, and the contribution to GVA could reach up to £2.03 billion.
The Masterplan also aims to further enhance the customer experience, including through the introduction of new technology to provide a seamless passenger journey.
Nick Jones, chief executive officer at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Newcastle Airport is a strong asset to the region. It is important that we have undertaken in the consultation process before completing our final Masterplan for 2035.
“The airport is a global and regional gateway, therefore the connectivity that we provide is absolutely vital.
“This is why the Masterplan is so important, and I hope that it will enhance the experience of the millions of passengers who will continue to use the North East’s largest airport for many years to come.”
David Rees, co-head of asset management at AMP Capital, said: “We welcome the publication of the Masterplan, which demonstrates Newcastle Airport’s ambitious plans for continued growth and improvement, taking into account the views of the community it serves.
“We are confident that the airport’s Masterplan will benefit the North East region in terms of jobs and economic contribution, as well expanding and improving the services offered to customers at the airport.”
Cllr Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council and of the LA7 local authority shareholders, added: “Newcastle Airport provides a key gateway to the North East and generates millions of pounds for the regional economy.
“By putting travellers at the heart of the business and investing in passenger services, the airport has continued to go from strength to strength.
“The masterplan sets out the airport’s ambitious strategy going forward, including how it seeks to further enhance the customer experience and reinforce its importance, both as a regional and global asset.”
James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “We fully support this ambitious Masterplan and its proposals to support the growth of the North East economy.
“With over 5 million passengers in 2018, Newcastle International Airport is key in ensuring our region is well connected which is so fundamental to both domestic and international businesses success.”