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Open letter: Why it’s important to support Leeds Bradford Airport new terminal plans

Earlier today 90 academics signed an open letter calling on Leeds City Council to block the plans for a new terminal at Leeds Bradford International Airport. Here, airport supporter Ross Bailey, of Fernbank Road, Rodley, encourages people to show their support for the scheme.

Many of you will be aware of the current planning application by Leeds Bradford Airport to invest £150m in constructing a new, efficient and carbon neutral terminal by 2023, which will secure the long term future of the airport and the jobs it supports.

This will also greatly increase the GDP contribution to the city and wider region in the post Covid 19 era, when the local economy will need to recover.

A £150m investment in the airport and the region it serves is a significant step towards this.

This is NOT an application to increase passengers. The previously approved growth to 7m passengers per year by 2030 is unaffected and not changing.

The terminal will be funded entirely by the airport owners, not through public funds.

Contrary to what certain local and national anti-aviation groups claim – like GALBA and Extinction Rebellion – there is no change in flying hours either. LBA is already a 24-hour airport.

The application includes a request to amend the defined night-time hours to those in use at other UK airports (2330 – 0600) so that daytime/night time at LBA is the same as it is elsewhere. Aircraft noise restrictions and the hours they are in force (2300 – 0700) do not change.

Until 16th June you have the opportunity to express your support with Leeds City Council.

More support is needed to demonstrate to planners that the majority support this application and wish to see the airport as one the city, and the region, can be proud of.

The core of the current terminal is 55 years old.

It has to be replaced soon to provide passengers with the space expected today and, crucially, to meet the demanding standards for emissions, disabled access, security, border force control, baggage re-claim and general facilities such as check-in, toilet provision and retail.


So please – if you value LBA and want to see it survive after Covid19 in the longer term, and offer the services to Leeds, Bradford and the whole of the region that we deserve in a new BREEAM Excellent terminal, don’t waste the chance to add your support urgently.

Please also ask all your friends, work colleges and neighbours to do the same via Leeds City Council on their planning portal. It is vital now more than ever.

It is YOUR airport, so help to secure its future and the jobs of the people who work there.

You can add your support on the Leeds.Gov website under Planning Applications. The reference is 20/02559/FU. If you don’t have an account with the council you will need to register first.

Remember you have one more week, but please, do it now. Don’t delay.
I have also attached a fact sheet which has been produced by Leeds/Bradford Airport.

#SupportLBA or on Twitter at @Forums4airports.


  1. What a weak argument. Is that all this Ross guy has got?

    I think that most people want a large airport in the Leeds area but the problem with LBA is it’s location, it’s too close to hundreds of thousands of houses.

    If we let this pass then what next? We’ll end up with a large airport that disrupts more and more lives.

  2. Agreed, The Airport is a major employer in our region both directly and indirectly. The current building is not fit for purpose.
    The anti aviation brigade are completely missing the point with this application, as is stated above, the airport already HAS permission for 7m passengers per annum and is Already a 24hr airport, that will not change.
    If this application is denied we miss out on what will be an airport that sets new standards of environmental policies and emissions (net carbon ZERO) and a terminal with more internal space necessary for the new social distancing measures but on a smaller external footprint.
    Instead the airports owners will act on the previously approved plans to extend the current terminal building still with approval for the increased passenger numbers but in a highly inefficient building first built in the 1960’s which is cramped and overcrowded.
    Please support this application, it is needed to bring leeds and the Yorkshire region a gateway it deserves and makes a huge environmental statement being the most efficient, green airport in the UK.

  3. Robert, I believe you are missing the point, LBA already holds approval for the growth to 7m passengers by 2030 and is already a 24 hour airport.
    Denying this application will only mean they press on with previously approved plans and will certainly not be a green solution. The airport should be praised for its ambition and willingness to instead invest £150m of its own money to provide a better, greener solution.
    We have to accept people will always fly, both for business and holidays, the expansion is happening anyway, this is our only chance to make sure the expansion is the best solution by being BREEM excellent and net carbon neutral

  4. Why do people persist in saying the airport will be expanding, it’s just replacing an old building with a new, efficient one, within the airport footprint. I cannot see where the ‘expansion’ is or even what it is. Due to the local geography it’s almost impossible to physically expand the airport at all. To try and compare the airport with our neighbour, Manchester is madness, they are in a completely different league. Suggesting we’re heading in that direction is scare mongering, as the objectors know full well, almost slanderous. The Airport is already 30-40 years behind in development due to a handful of nimby’s, and councillors afraid of losing thier seats by voting in favour. To the LCC just for once, do something of benefit to the city, and the county of Yorkshire, and allow this development.

  5. I completely and wholeheartedly support the plans for a new terminal at Leeds and Bradford Airport for the following reasons:

    1 – Without this upgrade L&BA will slowly decline in importance and end up as a back water airport. To ensure the viability of the airport and to ensure the continuance of both the current workforce and the envisaged increase in workforce this must go ahead.

    2 – It is important to the world that Leeds and Bradford are seen to have a first class airport that can both attract business to the cities as well as to the region as a whole.

    3 – By attracting business to the region job opportunities will increase as will further businesses that both support the airport and also the additional businesses that will ensue.

    4 – Even if flying times are increased and the number of flights are expanded with the newer types of aircraft being produced both noise and pollution will be decreased and, as the plans state, they do intend to go carbon neutral by 2023.

    5 – The existing airport is now decidedly dated and cannot give the passengers the experience they expect from a modern airport. Therefore without this new building passengers, and airlines, will look to moving to other, more modern and forward looking venues to fly to and from thus depriving the region of much income.

    6 – With the money being spent on attracting visitors and events to the region, such as the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ etc., we NEED a new, modern airport to reflect the dynamic forward looking nature of West Yorkshire and the region as a whole.

    7 – A new, invigorated airport will increase investment in the area which will, in turn, bring in much needed revenue to the local councils which have been so badly hit by the current Covid 19 pandemic.


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