Masterplan 2035 Summary

Current operations and recent growth

Newcastle International Airport is a North East success story and a key economic driver for the economy of our catchment, which stretches from North Yorkshire to the Scottish Borders and Cumbria in the west.

The 11th busiest airport in the UK, passenger numbers have grown 102% over the past 20 years, and in 2018, 5.5m people travelled from or visited our region using one of the over 80 routes the Airport operates. However, we don’t want to stand still. As the Airport approaches its 100th anniversary in 2035, we need to plan in the long term what the growth of the Airport looks like, what we need for this, and what the impacts of this will be.

This is a summary of our Masterplan to 2035.

Future Growth

To drive economic growth, the North East will need the Airport to provide even better global connectivity. We will strive to ensure that the demand for air travel is met, providing an exceptional range of destinations so that all air travel to and from the region starts and finishes at the Airport. However, to grow the Airport needs to embrace technology and respond to the needs of travellers to ensure a memorable passenger experience.

There are numerous opportunities for growth which could result in a step change in leisure and business destinations served, which will mean more passengers using the Airport. Like any business we produce a range of forecasts. The Masterplan is based on the high end
of the range and considers the impact of growth from 5.4 million passengers in 2017 up to 9.4 million in 2035. This helps ensure enough land is safeguarded and environmental issues are properly considered.

Economic Impact

The Airport is vital to the success of the regional economy, providing the international connectivity our business community needs. It is one of the biggest jobs generators in the North East, and delivers over a billion pounds to the regional economy every year. Forecast growth has the potential to deliver -

Development Requirements

As the Airport grows, it brings with it demand for improved and expanded facilities. This will be achieved within the same boundary as the previous masterplan and there will be no need for changes to the green belt boundary. The following developments may be needed -

  • Many aircraft and destinations can be served from our current runway. We hope that improving aircraft technology may allow our current runway to meet our needs in the future. It is prudent, however, for the Masterplan to safeguard for a possible runway extension in case these improvements do not materialise. With this in mind, we have safeguarded for a possible 700m extension at the Eastern end of the airfield, which would require the diversion of Brunton Lane.
  • We may need extra aircraft stands and apron, and possibly improvements to our terminal. New technology will allow space in the current terminal to be used more efficiently.
  • Up to 7,400 additional car parking spaces based on current patterns of travel to the Airport. This could be surface level and multi-storey parking adjacent to the terminal.
  • Development of further Airport support services such as car hire and a hotel;
  • Allocation of 63ha of land for offices and warehousing to the south of the Airport site, shown on the key diagrams as sites A, B, C and D, with the potential to create additional onsite jobs and economic value for the North East.

Surface Access and Car Parking

Efficiently and reliably getting to the Airport and travelling to a final destination for visitors, is essential to grow the Airport. We want to provide for forecast needs for all types of transport and also actively support more sustainable travel choices, as well as adapting to technological changes.

Surface Access Strategy

  • Support investment in the strategic road network, especially the A696/A1 corridor. There could be about a 35% increase in traffic to and from the Airport on a peak summer day. This increase will, however, spread across the day, and may be lower if more passengers and staff travel by public transport;
  • Deliver a link road between the A696 and Newcastle Great Park, connecting our southside employment sites;
  • Upgrade our main access roundabout and a second entrance at Prestwick Road Ends;
  • Support the expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro and the timely delivery of a new fleet of trains;
  • Support investment in local and national rail routes and explore a direct heavy rail link to the Airport;
  • Through a range of interventions, increase sustainable transport use to 30% of all passenger journeys by 2035.


We are committed to the Airport growing sustainably, with the least possible impact on our neighbours and the environment. Where there is an impact, we will mitigate this to greatest extent practicable.

The key issues to 2035 are -

  • A greater number of flights will mean there will an increase in aircraft noise across a given day, affecting a greater number of people. Our noise contours will likely grow over the Masterplan period, based on current technology, future technology and airline fleets. Ground noise from increased road traffic will be negligible;
  • Air quality is expected to be well below regulatory thresholds, despite an expected increase in emissions;
  • Energy demand will grow, but we will maximise efficiencies and target CO2 reductions of 28% against 2010 levels;
  • Water run-off may increase, creating more demand to deal with clean and polluted water.

Mitigation measures could include -

  • Encouraging airlines to operate the newest, quietest aircraft types;
  • Operating preferential flying routes and procedures to minimise noise output, and exploring the possibility of alternative ‘respite’ flight paths;
  • Working with local planning authorities to ensure that sensitive developments are not built in future noise contours;
  • Upgrading vehicle fleets from diesel to electric power;
  • Maximising the energy efficiency of buildings and exploring the development of onsite low carbon energy generation;
  • Provide additional drainage holding lagoons, possibly in the Greenbelt north of the Airport;
  • Creation of significant areas of new or replacement habitats.