Protesters slam Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans as 'unsustainable' and 'unnecessary'

If the plans are approved, flights would start at 6am and finish at 11.30pm

Campaigners have criticised Leeds Bradford Airport’s expansion plans, set out in a planning application published by Leeds City Council on 13th May.

The airport’s Australian owners, AMP Capital, want to increase passenger numbers from 4 million per year now to 7 million in 2030. To do that, they need permission from the Council to extend flying times - flights would start at 6am and finish at 11.30pm. And AMP Capital wants to build a new terminal.

The planning application contains 200 documents of technical information. Yet Leeds City Council’s Planning Department has only allowed 3 weeks for the public to respond. The deadline is 3 June.

Chris Foren, Chair of the airport campaign group GALBA, said: “It’s ridiculous to expect local people to read, understand and respond to such a lot of technical detail in just 21 days. This decision is extremely important for the future of the region - that timescale is completely unfair and unrealistic.

Chris warned: “Expansion would bring more noise for local communities, increased air pollution, more traffic congestion and pump much more CO2 into the atmosphere - making the climate emergency worse. We need to rebuild a healthy economy in Leeds. We don’t need an unsustainable development like this.”

He added: “Every aviation industry expert has said that demand for air travel will remain low for several years. Naturally, people won’t want to risk being in an enclosed space - breathing other people’s air - until Coronavirus is long gone. There’s simply no need to expand the airport.”

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has vowed to fight the airport’s plans, taking legal action if necessary. Similar campaigns against expansion of Bristol, Heathrow and Stansted airports have been successful recently. GALBA members are confident they will stop expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport too.

More from Local