Last week the Australian investment firm, AMP, bought Leeds Bradford airport. Our MP Alex Sobel, has been quick to seek assurances from the new owners on the airport’s future – on infrastructure investment, terms and conditions for staff and improvements for passengers.
The airport, which was once owned jointly by local authorities, was bought by the private equity firm, Bridgewater, in 2007. The new purchaser, AMP, already owns Newcastle airport and several others internationally.
Alex Sobel has written to AMP’s Simon Ellis, head of origination, Europe, welcoming the new owners to the area. But he’s also seeking assurance that the planned infrastructure improvements to the airport- namely the airport link road and the Park and Ride rail link, as well as improvements to the terminal building and an extended taxi way – are still going ahead.
He emphasised the importance of the development of an economic hub, which could create up to 5500 new jobs. There is great potential here. Leeds Bradford airport serves a local population of over 5.3 million people, with Leeds itself the third largest city in the UK and the biggest centre for financial and business services outside London.
Alex also called for improved terms and conditions for staff, particularly for those recently brought in-house, and for the reduction or scrapping of the unpopular £3 drop-off charge.
As he wrote: “I would like to welcome the new owners of Leeds Bradford Airport to our area and would like to pass on my congratulations to them for the acquisition. The airport is in the midst of a great change and it is hugely important to our local economy that we get this right. The £3 drop off charge has made getting to the airport more difficult and has added an extra cost for passengers who travel to and from our airport. It is paramount that the development of a new economic hub continues as it will be transformative, bringing many jobs and investment to our area. The airport is in dire need of new infrastructure to facilitate its continued growth and I look forward to working with the new owners to ensure that this happens.”