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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Airport reveals expansion plans
Teesside Airport
The airport expects to have three million passengers a year by 2015
Massive expansion plans have been unveiled for Teesside Airport.

The terminal complex will double in size, enabling the site near Darlington to handle an expected three million passengers a year by 2015.

New aircraft stands, taxi apron, car park and hotel are also among the proposals going out to consultation.

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.

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

Airport managing director Hugh Lang described the plans as "a massive step forward".

He said: "The expansion of the airport will provide much improved facilities and services for the rapid growth in passengers predicted in the years ahead.

Planning applications

"In addition to the positive growth in passenger numbers, we are anticipating an increase in air freight business."

Peter Nears, strategic planning director with Peel Holdings, added: "We have included the proposal for a new hotel in direct response to expressions of interest we have received and because we believe that, with the prospect of three million passengers a year by 2015, there will be a real need for expanded accommodation in the area."

Consultants are drawing up planning applications, which it is hoped will be submitted in August.

Experts are also being asked to prepare a plan to address inevitable environmental issues.

A number of improvements are already under way including a 2m road to improve access to the airport.




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