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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
New title for expanding airport
Teesside Airport is changing its name in a bid to boost business.

From midday on Tuesday it will be known as Durham Tees Valley Airport as part of a massive expansion plan.

As well as the new name the terminal is set to double in size, enabling the site near Darlington to handle an expected 3m passengers a year by 2015.

But the move has proved controversial. Redcar and Cleveland Council previously rejected the plan because locals wanted to keep 'Teesside' in the name.

Airport managers say the new name is essential to bring in more business.

Hugh Lang, managing director, said: "Long gone are the days when people used to use their local airport to go to London or on their holidays.

"We want to attract more tourists to the area and are confident of doubling the size of the terminal to increase its European and global appeal."

Mr Lang wants to bring the new Durham Tees Valley Airport in to the same league as Newcastle Airport which caters for 4m passengers. Currently 700,000 passengers a year pass through the Teesside terminal.

Improve transport links

The re-christened airport has also recently attracted low-cost carriers Ryanair and bmibaby.

Owners Peel Holdings promised to invest 20m in the airport when they took on the role of major shareholder from local councils in April 2003.

There are also plans to improve transport links with the rest of the region by putting on a coach service from the airport to the East Coast mainline.

Mr Lang added: "Changing the name of the airport is just a small step - the beginning of long term changes over the next five to 10 years."

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