A council chief has welcomed an ambitious masterplan for the development of Newcastle International Airport.
South Tyneside Council leader Coun Iain Malcolm is the chairman of LA7, the local authority stakeholders in the airport.
Its bosses have launched a consultation on its Masterplan 2035, which sets out the award-winning airport’s goals for its centenary year.
It aims to enable it to compete in the global economy while delivering significant economic benefits to the North East and beyond.
Passenger numbers, which reached 5.35 million in 2017, are expected to continue grow, to 9.4 million by 2035.
Improved connectivity is planned so passengers don’t need to travel to other airports, and it plans for more inbound tourism.
A 700m runway extension is included, for bigger aircraft, along with measures to minimise the community and environmental impact, and boost public transport.
Coun Malcolm said: “There’s a clear vision for the future of not only the airport, but the role it plays for the North East too, and that’s crucial to ensuring a successful regional economy.
“It is imperative that we have the connectivity that Newcastle Airport provides, and that this can increase in the future with a wider route network.
“It is encouraging to see high importance placed on safeguarding this in order to build a successful future for our region.”
The airport already emplys 3,500 people on site, with 18,900 more jobs supported across the region, and it is anticipated that could grow to 27,800 by 2035.
The full Masterplan 2035 document, details of all public consultation meetings and contact information can be found at www.newcastleairport.com/masterplan.