Robert Goodwill, minister of state at the Department for Transport for the UK, today (December 14) hailed the £14m (US$21.2m) redevelopment of Newcastle International Airport’s departure lounge as the latest success story for regional airports in the country.
Goodwill 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 Northeast and the Northern Powerhouse. We are committed to supporting regional airports in their ambitions, with £20m (US$30.3m) 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 Northeast’s biggest airport, which handled over 4.5 million passengers in 2014 and contributes an estimated £646m (US$978m) 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 £7m (US$10.6m) investment through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The flights will begin in 2016.
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.”