Leeds Bradford International Airport has been undergoing significant improvements aimed at improving the passenger experience.

The expansion and refurbishment plans of the airport were unveiled in July 2015. The Route to 2030 strategic development plan document was published in March 2017 and replaces the old 2005 masterplan.

The developments are being performed in a phased approach, with approximately £30m ($39.5m) already invested over the five years between 2013 and 2018.

The first phase of the redevelopment was completed in July 2018 and a new departure lounge in the first floor of the terminal building was opened in August 2018.

AMP Capital agreed to acquire full ownership of Leeds Bradford International Airport from Bridgepoint Advisers Limited in October 2017.

The airport handled 4.07 million passengers and 33,024 aircraft movements in 2017. The annual passenger number is expected to increase to 7.1 million by 2030.

Leeds Bradford international airport terminal expansion details

The two-storey passenger terminal building at the airport was expanded by 6,450ft² to add landside facilities. It features a glass frontage, new food and beverage shops, and larger space in walkway and check-in areas.

The ground floor has new domestic and international arrivals facilities, as well as two check-in halls, A and B. Hall A is used by all airline operators, while the Hall B is dedicated for Jet2.com. The ground level also houses check-in kiosks, ticket desk, security body scanners, boarding card readers, and baggage claim and automated bag drop systems.

Expansion of the first floor of the passenger terminal building created additional space in the departure lounge. A new passenger walkway was built to connect the departure lounge to more aircraft.

A large non-commercial seating area was incorporated into the departure lounge, as well as a range of new shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. The improved retail outlets in the departure lounge include Cabin Bar, Beer House, Saltaire restaurant, and new Starbucks coffee shop.

“A ‘one-hour free parking zone’ was built to allow passengers to park their cars for short visits to the airport.”

Three new purpose-built premier lounges with runway views have been built in the departure lounge. Named Yorkshire Lounge, The White Rose Suite, and 1432 Club, the lounges offer improved comfort for both business and leisure travellers.

The upgraded terminal has a total of ten airline gates with air bridges. The departure and arrival gates have also been enhanced to provide better passenger experience.

Parking facilities at Leeds Bradford International Airport

The Terminal Front Express Car Park at the Leeds Bradford International Airport provides quick and convenient access to the passenger terminal. A new meet and greet car park facility was also built in front of the terminal.

The first off-site car park called Viking Airport Parking was opened in March 2018. The shuttle buses at the Viking Airport Parking transport passengers from the parking area to the terminal within five minutes.

A ‘one-hour free parking zone’ was built to allow passengers to park their cars for short visits to the airport.

Other car parking facilities at the airport include short stay, premium short stay, mid stay, and long stay.

Other upgrades at the airport

The Leeds Bradford International Airport expansion and redevelopment project also involved installation of new air quality and noise management software, and aircraft tracking system.

The new Changing Places facility in the departure lounge was introduced in June 2015 to meet the needs of passengers with disabilities.

Advanced air traffic control systems, including radar data processor, as well as radar and voice recorders, have been installed to increase safety.

Future developments will include enhancement of the existing runway, taxiway and aprons.

Contractors involved

Watson Batty Architects (WBA) provided architecture services to a series of airside and landside projects at the airport during 2011 and 2017.

LMB Group supplied and installed DX cooled ventilation and air conditioning systems in the waiting area and bar. It also supplied a fully controlled building management system.

Benefits of the expansions at Leeds Bradford International Airport

The development and expansion of Leeds Bradford International Airport will enhance the region’s growth and economy by creating approximately 5,500 new jobs, including 2,350 direct jobs.

The airport currently contributes approximately £336m ($408m) in gross value added to the local economy a year.

Development and expansion of the airport are expected to contribute up to £3.3bn ($4bn) in GVA to the local economy by 2030.