The North East Chamber of Commerce has given its backing to an ambitious master plan aimed at the securing the long-term future of Durham Tees Valley Airport while creating thousands of jobs.
The 180-page blueprint focuses on maximising the potential of the whole DTVA site and on repositioning the airport to focus on business routes, servicing the needs of the region and broadening the base of aviation-related activity on the site.
This would be enabled by new developments on the north and south side of the airport runway to position DTVA as a leader in aviation related business.
NECC chief executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “The Durham Tees Valley Airport Master Plan is a bold and ambitious document that will hopefully secure the airport’s long-term future by maximising its freight potential and considerable land assets.
“DTVA can play an important role in ensuring the North East remains connected to key business destinations and, while it is disappointing that further investment, will not be sought to increase the passenger offer, we are supportive of the master plan.”
The proposals build on existing activity at the airport in, for example, aircraft engineering, dismantling and recycling, and will lead to the creation of a multi-modal logistics centre to maximise the employment potential of its landholding.
Leisure destinations accessible via scheduled services to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport will be promoted alongside business services through marketing activity and the airport terminal will be remodelled.
Northside development proposals include a mix of offices and homes, with associated community facilities and an extension to the on-site St George’s Hotel. Development to the southside, which would be accessed via a new link, will comprise a logistics and business park, engine testing facility and additional aviation support facilities.
Delivery of the master plan, which would be phased to 2020 and beyond, would create up to 3,800 new jobs, plus a further 450 during construction phases.
The move, with would add over £348m to the regional economy, will help secure existing routes to other UK and European destinations.
Passenger numbers are forecast to grow to 200,000 by 2020 in line with Government forecasts from the figure of 165,000 passengers handled in 2012.
DTVA strategic planning director, Peter Nears, said: “The Master Plan sets out the path to reposition the airport to establish a viable business model and investment strategy for the long-term.”
The masterplan can be viewed at www.DTVA-Master-Plan.co.uk , with consultation running until midday on January 10.