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New hangars planned at Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Airport, bought by the council from Balfour Beatty in 2017

Outline planning consent is being sought for three 20,000 sqft 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 hangars would be developed at the east side of the airport on land owned by Blackpool Council. The sites for the new smaller hangars are south and east of the current JMAX hangar. The site for the larger hangars is to the west of JMAX. 

The application also includes a new road off Amy Johnson Way to access both sets of hangars, plus a small 6,000 sq ft commercial business unit fronting Amy Johnson Way opposite Chorley Group garages.

Blackpool council said that the development of new hangars signalled a period of regeneration for the airport and surrounding land, as part of the main Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone masterplan.

The updated masterplan for the airport involves developing a general aviation, training, maintenance and helicopter base at the east of the airport. 

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 at the west and centre of the airport.

Plans relating to other critical infrastructure at the airport including the air traffic control tower and rescue/firefighting services will also follow later this year, the council said.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, chair of the board at Blackpool Airport Operations, said: “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.” 

The development is part of the third phase of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone. Once the new hangars are occupied, 10 hectares of land around the north of Blackpool Airport could be released for a new digital and technology quarter called Silicon Sands. 

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. 

“It is a complex task to redesign a working airport while keeping it fully operational and that can’t happen overnight. I’m delighted that we are now able to make forward strides that will help protect the airport and help to make Blackpool better.” 

Detailed planning permission is being sought for the new access roads. Outline planning permission is being sought for the associated hangars. 

If approved, the hangar plots will be available for developers and occupiers to build over several years on a phased basis, with enabling work to build the new access roads starting in the next six months. 

Architectural consultants Cassidy & Ashton and consulting engineer WSP have worked with Blackpool Council on the masterplan for the airport. Support to build the new access roads to the hangars, as well as the new link road to Amy Johnson Way, has been provided through a £7.5m grant from the government’s town fund.

Blackpool Council previously owned the airport but sold it in 2004 to City Hopper Airports for £13m. It was then sold Balfour Beatty in 2008.

Blackpool Council repurchased Blackpool Airport from Balfour Beatty in September 2017 for £4.25m via its ownership of Blackpool Airport Operations Ltd and Blackpool Airport Property Ltd.

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