WORK is due to begin on a huge renovation project at a UK international airport, despite plans being scrapped last year.
A three-storey extension to the side of the terminal will be built, at an expense of £100million, while the existing building will also be refurbished.
The owners of Leeds Bradford airport had wanted to build a brand new £150m terminal, but had to abandon the idea due to planning delays.
However, permission had previously been given for the extension project in 2019, which has now been given the go-ahead.
The travel hub's bosses hope that the extension will create more than 5,000 new jobs both directly and indirectly, while putting almost a £1bn into the local economy.
Vincent Hodder, LBA's chief executive, has said it will be the start of a "new era" for the airport.
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He told the BBC: "This investment will give us the infrastructure needed to deliver an outstanding customer experience, support the growth of our airline partners, enhance connectivity for business, investment and trade and provide the airport that Leeds, Bradford and Yorkshire have been waiting for."
Although the project is an extension rather than a new terminal, the airport has said it will offer many of the same benefits.
Included in that are more seats for passengers and quicker security checks, as well as new shops and restaurants.
There are also plans for a bigger baggage reclaim area and immigration hall.
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Meanwhile, access for people with restricted mobility will be improved too.
The work is expected to take just over two years and will be completed by early 2026.
However, the airport will not be able to serve more than five million people per year, two million short of its target of seven million passengers, which it hopes to achieve by 2030.
Airport bosses are holding discussions with Leeds City Council about increasing the number of night flights they can operate to try and serve more people.
Leeds Bradford isn't the only UK airport with plans for a big rebuild, with Manston Airport in Kent expected to be given the green light to reopen within weeks.
After first opening in 1916, Manston was used during both World War I and II.
However, it was abandoned in 2014 after reporting huge financial losses.
Since it closed it has mainly been used as a lorry park for drivers moving between the UK and France, although it's also had a brush with Hollywood.
Before it closed, it was used as a filming site for James Bond film Die Another Day.
More recently it was also used to film Empire of Light last year.
In 2022, the UK government granted approval for Manston Airport to be redeveloped.
The airport's owners, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), then confirmed plans to invest £500million into the travel hub for both freight and passenger flights.
Once it's reopened, it could take just 15 minutes to fly from the UK to France.
It is hoped that flights will return to Manston by 2028.
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Meanwhile, this closed UK airport also has plans to reopen, with flights possibly even returning within two years.
And this tiny UK airport is closer to France than London and was once one of the country's busiest transport hubs.
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