AN airport has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its terminal opening.
Newcastle Airport held a ceremony to mark the occasion at the building, which has welcomed millions of holidaymakers.
As part of the day, Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council and leader of the LA7 local authority shareholders, helped lay a floor tile as part of re-development work in the building.
More than 360,000 passengers made their way through the terminal in 1967, with then Prime Minister Harold Wilson praising the site and saying the airport would be vital to the future of the North-East and its economic development.
Last year, more than 4.8 million people travelled through the airport, marking six years of positive year-on-year growth.
Councillor Malcolm said: “Newcastle Airport is a regional asset and the comments made by Prime Minister Wilson 50 years ago still remain significant to this day.
“The airport is the international gateway for the North-East and a key economic generator for our region.
“The team at the airport and its shareholders work tirelessly to open up new markets for both our leisure and business customers.
“It is vital that we continue to target our efforts on routes that will further enhance regional connectivity, grow our economy, attract inward investment and encourage tourism.”
Officials have refused to rule out new flights to New York and Boston, saying the enduring success of Emirates’ flagship service between the North-East and Dubai could also yield further routes with the carrier.
John Irving, the airport’s business development manager, said talks were at an early stage over new flights, adding any additions would follow the successful launch of city services with budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet.
United Airlines last year stopped non-stop New York flights between Newcastle and the US, citing weaker demand and the effects of Brexit for the decision.
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