£25Million Aviation Vision To Bring Hundreds Of Jobs Recommended For Approval At Committee

Teesside International Airport | Published on: 22nd February 2023

Officials have recommended a cutting-edge aircraft maintenance facility at Teesside International Airport gets the go-ahead.

Darlington Borough Council Planning Committee will vote on plans for a state-of-the-art Jet Centre and Aviation Village led by Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Willis Aviation Services Limited (WASL).

The £25million investment has the potential to bring 250 to 300 jobs to the region. Part of the 49-acre stretch west of the main terminal building was originally earmarked for 350 homes before it was bought as part of a deal to bring the airport back into public ownership in 2019.

The Aviation Village is set to include five hangars for aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) and painting operations, as well as a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) building for Business Aviation – the Jet Centre. The FBO is anticipated to drive up to 20 aircraft movements per day at the Airport – and access to the new centre would be via St George Way near the airport car park entrance.

Council Planning Officials have recommended the application is approved at a meeting on Wednesday, 1 March.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I know just how much summer holiday flights and routes mean to the success of our airport – but for any airport to truly flourish, it must be about more than just jetting off for sun.

“Willis has been a hugely supportive force in driving forward our efforts at Teesside Airport since 2020. They are making a great commitment to Teesside – and it’s huge private sector investments like theirs which will cement our airport’s future and the drive towards profit.

“Our airport’s Freeport status has helped drive progress on this new investment – and with the benefits this will bring, and our wider freight capabilities going from strength to strength, more exciting developments will follow.

“Because of all our efforts to save Teesside Airport, we will have high-quality, well-paid jobs for local people close to home – where our budding engineers, aviation professionals and wider supply chains can thrive.

“This will be a facility which will serve our growth ambitions for decades to come and I hope the committee back the plans.”

The airport’s Jet Centre by Willis provides a full range of ground handling services for business, private aviation, military, and cargo flights. WASL currently leases Hangar 2 at the airport as its base for aircraft maintenance, storage, and disassembly.

Darlington Borough Council Planning Applications Committee will meet at 1.30pm at Darlington Town Hall on March 1.

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