BOSSES at the region’s biggest airport have unveiled plans for a massive new development to cut down the time passengers spend in security checks.
Work will begin next month on a £3.2million, three-storey extension to the terminal at Newcastle International to create an additional 5,242 sqft of security search accommodation.
The extra space will eventually provide up to 10 lanes to screen hand luggage, double the existing number.
Due for completion by next spring, the building is being developed in phases to minimise disruption to passengers.
The enhanced area will be equipped with the latest in security screening technology to ensure that the customers pass though this stage of their journey as swiftly and comfortably as possible.
Airport chief executive Dave Laws said: “Despite these challenging times, we are investing in the business and, in turn, the wider region.
“The extension will create an excellent platform for future growth and development. We hope these improvements to our security process will make a positive difference to our customers travelling through the airport, for them to experience an enjoyable journey is a priority for us.”
Builder Bam Construction has appointed North East-based Space Architecture to design the new extension.
Architectural director David Coundon said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this project at Newcastle Airport, the first major building extension since 2004.
“The new build accommodates a complex mix of uses within a relatively modest area. Our design must satisfy strict functional requirements whilst being energy efficient and aesthetically appealing.”
Airport bosses are also working with the UK Border Agency on changes which will see the airport’s immigration arrivals area redeveloped to make the process easier for passengers landing at Newcastle, increasing the number of presentation desks from four to six by December.
Mr Laws added: “We are keen to ensure that the passage through Newcastle Airport is efficient, meets high standards of customer service, and is carried out in line with regulatory requirements.
“As a business, we must be competitive. By delivering an efficient range of facilities, and a fantastic service, we hope customers should never need to travel from any other airport.”