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15 April, 2018 - 18:25 By Tony Quested

£200m air park expansion to create more than 600 jobs

Major expansion at Cranfield University’s airport has received lift off with the backing of central Bedfordshire planners – lighting the touchpaper to a potential £200 million development creating more than 600 new jobs.

Preparation and planning work on the new Air Park is underway. Construction work will start within 12 to 18 months with the aim of completion in six years.

The blueprint will help the university realise its ambition to develop a state-of-the-art airport for private jets and help maintain the facility for its research objectives.

Under the plans, the airport will see new aircraft hangars and an associated business terminal, new office space, a hotel and various upgrade works within the airport. 

The Air Park will be developed over two separate phases with the aim of completion in 2024 and the potential to generate over 600 new jobs.

Rob Abbott, director of Aviation Operations at Cranfield University, said: “This is an exciting time for Cranfield Airport. Together with the installation of the remote control tower, the development of these new facilities will mean Cranfield Airport is one of the UK’s premier private business airports, underlined by its strategic location.”

Central Bedfordshire Council director for regeneration, Jason Longhurst, said: “This development will bring a positive enhancement to the economy of both Cranfield and the wider region, providing significant employment opportunities within Central Bedfordshire. 

“Cranfield is at the cutting edge of innovation and aerospace research & development, so these are plans that chime with both our growing high-performance technologies sector, which has demonstrated significant growth, and also the Government’s ambitions for the Oxford-to-Cambridge arc.”

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