The £14million redevelopment of Newcastle Airport’s departure lounge was hailed as the latest success story for regional airports by Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill today (Monday 14 December 2015).
The Minister of State for Transport officially opened new lounge that will offer transformed facilities for passengers before they take off on their international and domestic journeys from the airport.
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill, who also viewed the airport’s winter resilience operation plans during his visit, said: "Newcastle Airport is a shining example of how our regional airports lead the way with their service and range of destinations.
"The new departure lounge underlines Newcastle Airport’s importance as an engine of growth for the north-east and the Northern Powerhouse. We are committed to supporting regional airports in their ambitions, with £20 million funding for new domestic and international routes across the UK.
"I’ve also had the chance to meet some of the winter resilience crews here and applaud their work in ensuring this important link is fully prepared for the coming months."
The new facilities are the latest boost for the north-east’s biggest airport which handled over 4.5 million passengers last year and contributes an estimated £646 million a year to the regional economy.
In November 2015, the government announced that a new flight connecting Newcastle Airport and Norwich would be one of the new domestic and international routes receiving a portion of a £7 million investment through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The flights will begin in 2016.
Newcastle airport already serves over 70 destinations improving connectivity across the UK and offering international links for tourists and businesses including to New York and Dubai.
It has also recently benefited from the government’s rollout of plug-in car chargepoints, receiving one of 20 electric vehicle rapid chargers in the region thanks to part of a £750,000 grant from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said:
"I am delighted the minister has officially opened our new departure lounge. Our passengers’ journeys, whether business or pleasure, begin right here at the airport and it’s vital we give them the best possible experience."
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Lead for the LA7 shareholders, said:
"This new development highlights Newcastle International’s role as a major regional airport and a key economic generator for our region."
"There is plenty on offer for the modern traveller and I am sure people from across the north-east and beyond will enjoy these excellent facilities as they fly off, whether it is for business or pleasure."