Construction work on a key expansion of Teesside International Airport is to start after plans for a major new hangar were approved.
The 27,000sq ft structure is the first of two new hangars which will provide a key development to attract further investment and return the airport to profit.
Darlington Borough Council has now granted planning approval for both hangars, subject to conditions.
Barnard Castle-based S&A Fabrications will begin work on the giant hangar on the northside of the airport after securing the contract for the project earlier this year. Work is expected to take around six to eight months.
The hangar will be 44 metres wide and 57 metres long and reach up to 16.5 metres at its highest point. When completed it will provide additional space for aircraft storage and maintenance.
More than 230 tonnes of steel will be used in its construction and the development will also include car parking and a concrete apron to access the hangar from the taxiway.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It fantastic to be moving this project forward at such speed and delivering on our aim of providing a great new location for firms to grow.
“New hangar space at Teesside Airport is critical to landing new investment that’ll bring our airport back to profit and create good quality well-paid jobs for local people.
“Alongside Teesside being named UK and Irish Airport of the Year and achieving the best passenger numbers in a decade, projects such as this and our £200m southside business park mean our airport is also delivering fantastic new opportunities for our great businesses and driving forward the local economy.”
The construction contract has already seen County Durham-based S&A take on additional staff, with an expected increase in workforce of around five to 10 staff members. Around 30-40 subcontractors will support the company in delivering the facility on site.
It is the first aircraft hangar which S&A Fabrications will develop, building on its extensive experience delivering major structures for commercial and agricultural use.
The huge 600sq m doors will be provided by a UK company and the hangar will be large enough to fit planes such as a Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo.
The progress follows recent significant investments from the private sector at Teesside Airport, including a £25million investment from Willis Aviation to create a new engineering base, which will create over 200 jobs in the region.
Work on the first 22,658sq ft unit of the £200m Business Park South is set to be completed in coming weeks alongside the 2km link road connecting the development to the A67. The southside business park will ultimately create 4,400 jobs when fully operational.
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