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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 12:05 GMT
New airport terminal opens its doors
Liverpool Airport from the air
The airport hopes to carry 4.5m passengers a year
Passengers at Liverpool Airport are now able to use a new 20m limestone-floored check-in hall, which opened on Friday.

The new area which has 36 check-in desks is three times bigger than the previous area, and can handle three million passengers a year.

It is the first phase of work on a 32.5m terminal, due to be completed in time for the summer holiday surge.

Managers said the new terminal was needed to handle an increasing number of passengers using the airport.

The new building will enable us to handle more holiday passengers

Robin Tudor, Liverpool Airport

It will be renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport in spring 2002 when the terminal is completed.

Airport business services manager Robin Tudor told BBC News Online: "There has been a tremendous response from passengers.

"It is such a contrast compared to the building we had used before.

"We are one of Europe's fastest growing airports, and needed more space to attract more passengers and airlines to Liverpool."

Bucking trend

The new-look terminal opened for business at 0430 GMT and passengers on the first flight - the 0620 GMT to Amsterdam - were given a certificate to mark the occasion.

Mr Tudor said the multi-million pound development showed the confidence parent company Peel Holdings has in the Liverpool site.

The company also owns the Trafford centre shopping mall and the Manchester ship canal.

Liverpool Airport new terminal
The new check-in hall has cost 20m to built
Mr Tudor said the airport was bucking the downwards trend following the Twin Towers atrocity of 11 September.

He told BBC News Online: "The new building will enable us to handle more holiday passengers.

"We have already submitted a planning application to expand the new terminal, so it can handle 4.5 million passengers a year."

Graham Ward, of The Friends of Liverpool Airport, said the building was as good as any seen in Europe.

Song inspiration

The airport will be renamed John Lennon Airport later this year, the first UK airport to be named after an individual.

The logo will feature the slogan "Above us only sky" taken from his classic hit Imagine. Liverpool John Lennon Airport will be the first UK airport to be named after an individual.

A 7ft 6in statue of Lennon will be a focal point at the airport.

Peel Holdings said the move was a "fitting and lasting tribute" to the murdered star.

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

02 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Ono unveils 'Lennon airport'
29 Jun 01 | Music
Airport renamed after Lennon
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