Plans for a new extension to the main terminal building at Leeds Bradford Airport have been approved by Leeds City Council.

The decision means construction of the two/three storey extension to the terminal building could begin in spring 2019.

The airport says the extension will provide an improved arrival experience, including significantly larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, improved departure gate facilities, additional retail and food and beverage outlets and additional free seating.

“This is fantastic news for the region’s passengers and the wider economy,” said David Laws, chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport. “With work scheduled to be complete in winter 2019/2020 we are increasing peak-time capacity to deliver a first class passenger experience and create an airport Yorkshire can be proud of.”

“This will allow us 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,” he said.

The plans are part of the airport’s ‘Route to 2030 Strategic Development Plan’, which will see annual passenger numbers increase from four million to seven million by 2030 and is the biggest investment to date on the site by AMP Capital since it purchased the airport in October 2017.

Once the new building is complete, works will then commence on re-modelling the existing terminal building to provide a new security central search area and enhanced check-in facilities. The revamp will also involve a simplification of the customer journey through the existing departure lounge and will include new retail and F&B offers.

The final phase will include the construction of a new pier, replacing the current passenger walkway with a two-storey structure, housing arrivals and ground level, and departures being processed at additional new boarding gates on the first floor.

The planning application was made on behalf of Leeds Bradford Airport by Deloitte Real Estate. Nolan Tucker, director at Deloitte Real Estate and planning consultant on the project called it a “Significant step in the successful development of Leeds Bradford Airport.”

Tucker added: “This is the first in a series of future infrastructure projects which will improve access to the airport, helping to increase its capacity, deliver tangible return on investment and fuel future economic growth. The role of Leeds Bradford Airport in the City Region’s development strategy cannot be overstated.”

The airport contributes £336m to the local economy every year and delivers over 2,350 direct jobs. The airport said the development comes as part of the wider strategy to improve the region’s connectivity nationally and internationally.

Fort Chipewyan Airport in Alberta is gaining a $1.588 million investment from the government of Canada to rehabilitate its airfield lighting system.

Fort Chipewyan is one of the most northern communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, in Canada, and can only be accessed by plane or boat in summer and a winter road in winter.

The funding comes from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Programme (ACAP) and will help to ensure a well maintained airfield lighting system for safe airport operations. Transport Canada said this is particularly important for airports such as Fort Chipewyan, which has only six hours of daylight each day during the winter months.

“The Government of Canada recognises the important role played by Canada’s local airports in supporting jobs and access to remote communities, enabling investment and facilitating trade,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, minister of transport. “Our investments are increasing airport safety and accessibility for residents and travellers, while supporting the continued growth of local and regional economies.”

The airport is owned and managed by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and is served by McMurray Aviation and Northwestern Air Lease.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada for making this important investment in the Fort Chipewyan Airport,” said Marc Fortais, director of Public Works with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

“Public and transportation safety is our top priority at the Fort Chipewyan Airport and this new funding will help make the airport an even better asset for Fort Chipewyan and the entire region.”

“The airport is a lifeline for the Fort Chipewyan area as it also serves as an important hub for medevac services in what is Alberta’s oldest settlement. We are proud of the airport, its employees and all of the people that call Fort Chipewyan home — this is a great step in ensuring safety and fostering sustainable community and economic growth,” Fortais added.

Brian Harrold, owner of Northwestern Air Lease commented, “We are very excited about the announcement from Transport Canada about upgrading the lighting at Fort Chipewyan, as that will help us get in on IFR [Instrument Flight Rules] days.”

He explained that much of the carrier’s traffic is medical travel and the new lighting will help Northwestern Air Lease to land in IFR or low visibility conditions, meaning people won’t miss medical appointments due to the weather conditions.

In a press release, Transport Canada said: “Canadians, tourists and businesses benefit from safe and well-maintained airports. From visiting friends and family, to travelling to medical appointments, or getting goods to market, we rely on our local airports to support and sustain vibrant communities. These airports also provide essential air services including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue and forest fire response.”

The San Luis Valley Regional Airport and Alamosa County are seeking proposals for a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) to lease, manage and operate facilities at the regional airport in Colorado.

The airport is looking for proposals for a new body to take responsibility for the management of day-to-day operations of the FBO. Alamosa County has been operating the FBO since June 2018.

The contract period is anticipated to commence on or after January 2019 in an initial contract period which will run for ten years. The agreement may include an option to renew for an additional five year period or as negotiated.

Will Hickman, airport manager, said: “For the past four months, Alamosa County has been operating the FBO at the San Luis Valley Regional Airport. We are looking forward to bring in a private company to operate and manage this aspect of our airport operations in order to attain more aircraft operations, as well as provide more services to our customers, including maintenance.”

The airport sees a scheduled daily service to Denver International Airport and also has a “healthy” general aviation presence, including 38 airport-owned T-hangars which currently have a waiting list.

The FBO will be expected to provide a public presence and on-site services including fuelling services, aircraft maintenance and monitoring aircraft operations.

The airport is planning on providing fuel services on an interim basis, in order to allow for contract negotiation and to enable the selected operator time to equip and staff the FBO. The airport said it expects to negotiate a flowage fee with the next operator.

There are also a number of facilities available for lease to the operator including the main FBO building, Building A as well as three hangars also available for lease. The airport said lease agreements and subleases remain negotiable.

The airport has undergone several improvement programmes in the past few years, including the repair of the roof on Building A in 2017. Repair and replacement of the interior upstairs carpet and ceiling was well as painting and installation of drywall and new furnishings was completed in 2018. Also in 2018, minor remodelling in the front office and pilot lounge area took place.

Regarding future renovations, the airport said it is conducting an audit of the current year budget and if funds are available, recommendations will be made to the Alamosa County commissioners who will have the final approval of an FBO contract.

Proposals are due at the airport by 21 December 2018.

Image credit: Jeffrey BeallOwn work, CC BY 4.0, Link

A gateway to the UK’s South West for business and general aviation activity, Gloucestershire Airport has been given a first-class makeover by local interior design firm, Cobus.

The ground floor of the terminal building has been completely refurbished to create a more contemporary and aesthetically pleasing area for private jet users travelling to and from the airport.

“Gloucestershire Airport is well-known as being the gateway to the South West, so we wanted to make sure passengers’ first and last experiences of Gloucestershire were memorable,” said Lloyd Coldrick, managing director of Cobus.

Revealing how his team of experts started the refurbishment project back in the summer he explained how the work included an “overhaul of the arrivals area, departures lounge, security scanning area, main reception, waiting areas, washrooms, the pilots’ restroom and breakout spaces.”

He added: “Despite the challenges of keeping disruption to a minimum in the terminal, which meant encountering a few delays and changes in the specification and programming of the project, the client was very pleased with the end result and we hope it will help the airport to continue to grow and prosper.”

In a statement on twitter, Gloucestershire Airport said: “We’re very pleased with our terminal after the refurbishment.”