An airport is set for a huge investment to its passenger facilities and travellers could see the benefits from this Autumn.
The first phase of a major investment programme at Durham Tees Valley Airport is expected to be completed by the end of September.
It will involve extensive remodelling of the departure lounge, bosses have indicated.
It will include designated work stations and charging points, improved retail services, and free Wi-fi.
And a second phase of work could start as early as the autumn.
It will include the return of tax-free shopping and a major upgrade of the business lounge area.
This programme of improvements in the terminal is another stage in our continuing investment at Durham Tees ValleyRobert Hough, chairman of Durham Tees Valley Airport
Robert Hough, Chairman of Durham Tees Valley Airport, said it was “another stage in our continuing investment at Durham Tees Valley and the overall developments being implemented through the Masterplan, including for example the drive to attract more general aviation activity and providing a one-stop service for all aspects of ground handling.
“These improvements in the terminal, which in part have been supported through the Passenger Facility Fee, are all aimed at enhancing a low-hassle, comfortable and business friendly environment for passengers whilst they are with us. A key element, of course, is customer service which is why we are developing our training for staff.”
There should be minimal disruption for customers whilst the improvement work is underway.
Key proposals in the Airport Master Plan, published in April 2014, include offices and housing with associated community facilities and an extension to the on-site St George’s Hotel.
Delivery of the Master Plan, which will be phased to 2020 and beyond, is aimed at creating up to 3,800 new jobs, plus a further 450 full time equivalent jobs during construction phases.
It is expected to add £348 million to the regional economy as well as helping to secure existing routes to international markets with the potential to develop new routes to other UK and European destinations.
Passenger numbers are forecast to grow to 200,000 per annum by 2020 in line with Government forecasts from the figure of 165,000 passengers handled in 2012.