Airport seeks permission for five new hangars

By Tim Aldred

26 Sep 2023

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Planning permission is being sought for five new hangars at Blackpool Airport, the first new developments at the site in over 15 years. 

The work would underpin the third phase of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone plan, which involves developing a general aviation, training, maintenance and helicopter base at the east of the airport.  

Outline planning consent is now being sought for three 20,000 sq ft hangars which will be 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. 

The airport says that creating new, modern hangars at the east side of the airport could allow some of the airport’s current occupiers to move across to more sustainable purpose-built facilities, as well as creating space for new fixed based customers. 

Coun 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.   

“The future for Blackpool Airport is exciting and we are moving in the right direction to becoming a leading transport hub with potential to grow.”  

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 can be unlocked for a new digital and technology quarter called Silicon Sands.

Silicon Sands will include a series of data centres and commercial business units, powered using sustainable energy and benefiting from a district heat network for the surrounding units.  

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for Levelling Up (place), at Blackpool Council, 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.”  

Lead architectural consultants Cassidy + Ashton and engineering consultants WSP have supported 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 HM Government Town Fund. 

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.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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