As a businesswoman, Kerry Quinn, began work yesterday as the airport’s new director, a major new expansion programme was well under way at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Operators hope that this will significantly increase airport traffic over the next seven years. The expansion programme began in 2004 with a rebranding exercise, which saw the former Teesside Airport being renamed Durham Tees Valley. The renaming took place to give the airport a greater sense of place, in recognition that Durham is better known than the Teesside area because of its cathedral and historic city centre.
Kerry Quinn will work alongside the director of Peel airport group, Hugh Lang, to put in place a number of strategies which it is hoped will increase airport traffic from an annual figure of 750,000 to 3 million passengers a year by 2015. Over the next seven years, the scheme will see the redevelopment of the airport’s structure, including the installation of airfield ground lighting, the building of a new business park and hotel and 4500 new car parking spaces. The proposals have also outlined plans to develop the internal facilities through terminal refurbishment, the upgrading of check-in and baggage handling systems and the improvement of the airport’s restaurants and shops. Another major part of the scheme is a heavy marketing campaign to attract travellers from Durham, Darlington and the Tees Valley area and to encourage airlines to set up more domestic and international services at the airport.
It is estimated that the expansion plans will cost in the region of £56 million to complete, but councillors are convinced that the project will be hugely beneficial for the region’s economy.