Hangars planned at Blackpool Airport
Proposals for five storage buildings and a new access road at the Squires Gate complex have been submitted, a project that forms the next phase of the 355-acre enterprise zone.
Blackpool Council, which owns the airport, wants to improve and consolidate aviation operations and free up land for future development as part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone masterplan.
This involves creating an access road connecting Amy Johnson Way to the B5261, which runs along the eastern boundary of the airport.
The road would serve the five proposed hangars – the first new buildings at the airport in 15 years – which would be built to provide storage space for businesses that use the airport.
Outline planning consent is being sought for three 20,000 sq ft hangars suitable for light general aviation and small planes, including small corporate turboprops and warbird aircraft.
The application also includes two hangars capable of housing larger planes such as a Boeing 737 or Airbus A321 for maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities.
The creation of the new storage space on the airport side of the enterprise zone would free up 24 acres to the north of the airport, which currently house older stock, for redevelopment into a Knowledge Quarter.
The Knowledge Quarter is the area of the EZ earmarked to accommodate new businesses in the data, digital, technology, and energy sectors.
This area has been dubbed Silicon Sands due to the presence of the Transatlantic Telecommunications fibre optic cable, which has brought ultra-high speed internet connection to the area.
Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for levelling up, said: “We’re working hard to make sure that we can support an airport that is commercially successful and a leading transport hub.
“To make that happen, we must invest, but we also must make sure that the airport land uses its full potential. That means new hangars closer to the runway, and using the unlocked land to create more commercial business units which in turn create new jobs that local people will benefit from for years to come.”
A corporate jet hangar, executive aircraft handling facility hangar, airport administrative facilities, and – in the longer term – a large apron and additional hangar facilities, are also planned for the areas to the west and centre of the airport.
Plans relating to other critical infrastructure at the airport, including the Air Traffic Control tower and firefighting services will also follow later this year, according to the council.
The hangar scheme, which will be supported by £7.5m of government funding, forms the next phase of the airport enterprise zone masterplan. A 35-acre sports village has already completed and plans for 377,000 sq ft of industrial space approved.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, chair of the board at Blackpool Airport Operations, said: “This is a major step forward for our historic airport. For over 100 years Blackpool Airport has been a huge part of our local area and economy. It is a mammoth task to redevelop it while also keeping it open for our customers, but we will make it work.
“Our general aviation community is vitally important, along with our flight training operators, and these new hangars will create purpose-built facilities for them close to the runway. We can then explore further potential developments over the coming years.”
Blackpool Council reacquired Blackpool Airport from Balfour Beatty in September 2017 for £4.25m via its ownership of Blackpool Airport Operations and Blackpool Airport Property.
Cassidy + Ashton is leading on planning and design and engineering consultant WSP is also advising the council on its plans.