Newcastle Airport seeks feedback on its Masterplan 2035
The Airport began a consultation period in May to get the views of the public and stakeholders on their Masterplan 2035. With the consultation period shortly coming to a close, the Airport is encouraging passengers, businesses and stakeholders to submit their views.
The North East’s largest airport, Newcastle International, launched its ambitious vision for the future back in May with its Masterplan 2035, and is seeking the views of passengers, businesses and stakeholders as the deadline for the submission of comments draws near (13th September).
The draft plan, which sets out the award-winning airport’s goals for its centenary year, will enable the airport to continue to improve the region’s global connectivity and deliver significant economic benefits to the North East.
Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director, said: “The Airport has grown from strength to strength in recent years and our Masterplan 2035 sets out a plan to ensure it continues to grow and continues to compete in the global economy, not just for the benefit of the Airport but the region as a whole.
“Since May we have arranged a number public meetings and drop in sessions in the local communities around the Airport to allow residents to ask questions and to provide feedback on our draft Masterplan.
“We have seen high levels of engagement so far, with feedback being provided via the public meetings, social media and our website. However, with the consultation closing date drawing nearer we don’t want any members of the public or local businesses to miss out on providing their views.”
Newcastle International Airport is one of the North East’s great success stories and has benefited from more than £250 million in investment over the last 30 years, as well as nearly ten years of sustained growth. The Masterplan launched earlier this year will ensure there is a framework in place to enable the airport to grow in the years to 2035 in a way that benefits the people of the North East in a sustainable manner.
Passenger numbers, which reached 5.4 million in 2017, are expected to continue growing in the years to 2035. The Masterplan provides a framework to allow the delivery of improved connectivity to ensure passengers don’t need to travel to airports outside of the region. It also sets out aims to support an increase in inbound tourism. In order to ensure that all possible impacts are considered, the Masterplan is based upon a high forecast growth scenario of up to 9.4 million passengers by 2035.
With 3,500 people employed on site, and 18,900 jobs supported across the region, and an annual contribution to the regional economy of £1.16 billion, the Airport is already one of the biggest employment and economic generators in the North East. The Masterplan will enable the creation of even more jobs and further reinforce the role of the Airport in driving forward the regional economy. By 2035, the number of jobs supported across the North East could grow to 27,800, and the annual contribution to the regional economy could reach £2.03 billion.
It is hoped that future improvements in aircraft performance will mean that future destinations can be served from the existing Newcastle International Airport runway. It is prudent, however, for the Masterplan to safeguard for a possible runway extension in case aircraft performance improvements beyond those that are already known about do not materialise. With this in mind, a possible extension of 700m at the eastern end has been safeguarded, thereby ensuring that the North East has the opportunity to secure new long haul air routes in the future.
As part of its commitment to ensuring it remains a good neighbour, Newcastle International Airport’s Masterplan also sets out ways to ensure that growth is achieved in a way that minimises the impact on the environment and surrounding communities. Supported by a full environmental appraisal the Masterplan includes a range of proposed measures to mitigate any environmental impacts, including in respect of noise, air quality, drainage, energy and biodiversity.
The Masterplan is also supported by a Surface Access Strategy, which proposes continued working with partners across the region to improve road and public transport and encouraging passengers and staff to travel to the airport using sustainable modes of transport, including harnessing the opportunity created by new Metro trains, expansion of the Metro network and consideration of heavy rail to the Airport in the longer term. It also includes details of potential enhancements to the main access roundabout, a second access for the long-term car park, additional on-site parking facilities and a link road from Great Park to the A696.
The consultation period is on-ongoing but time is running out to submit representations, which need to submitted to the Airport by 13th September, 2018. Following the consultation, all responses will be considered, and a revised and final Masterplan 2035 will be adopted.
The full Masterplan 2035 document and information on how to respond can be found at www.newcastleairport.com/masterplan.