UK-based Newcastle International Airport has unveiled a £14m investment plan to develop its departure lounge as part of its strategy to reshape the airside experience for passengers.
As per the outline plan of the project, which is expected to be finished by 2015, the departure lounge will offer new shops, restaurants, cafes and bar areas and its design will be changed to offer a more straightforward journey for air travellers.
Following the successful completion of the first phase of development, which included the opening of the Beer House and Flying Hippo diner, the Aspire Lounge recently opened for passengers in April 2014.
The airport plans to initiate the second phase in autumn 2014, with most work expected to be completed by May 2015.
Upon completion of the development project, travellers will benefit from an improved sense of flow as they pass through the curved walkways, seating areas and streamlined shop fronts of the new departure lounge.
Newcastle International Airport chief executive Dave Laws said: "The departure lounge development will completely transform the airside experience for our customers. Alongside our business partners, we're investing a total of £14m to ensure customers have the best possible journey through the airport."
"We are confident that the new layout will be more intuitive and will help passengers to make a more informed choice on where they shop, eat, drink or simply relax before their flight."
South Tyneside Council and the LA7 shareholders leader Cllr Iain Malcolm said: "The new development will reinforce Newcastle International's role as a major regional airport, and a key economic generator for our region."
Managed by a partnership between seven local authorities (51%) and AMP Capital (49%), Newcastle International Airport serves a catchment area of the north-east, south Scotland, Cumbria and North Yorkshire and contributes £646m into the regional economy every year.
Image: Airport terminal entrance at Newcastle International Airport. Photo: courtesy of Newcastle International Airport.