Recent History and Current Developments

Main Terminal Building

shopping facilities_Liverpool Airport
Some of the shopping facilities available on the Level 3 landside area (MM)

The original building on the present site was opened in 1986 with a design capacity of 650,000 passengers per annum. The facilities provided, with some minor alterations, proved adequate until 1995 when Direct Holidays commenced a summer charter operation. Since then, other charter companies (see Airline Information - Schedule and Charter page) have introduced holiday flights which, together with the decision by easyJet to locate its northern base at Liverpool, resulted in further alterations and enlargement of this building. The passenger figures for the last few years clearly demonstrate the continuing need for improving facilities (see passenger figures table at the end of this page or click here )

A major expansion to the terminal building was constructed during 2001/2. This new building has completely enveloped the old terminal which has been modernised to the same standard. The result has been a trebling of the previous floor area. The total cost was in excess of 30 million.

At a Press Conference held on 2 July 2001 it was announced that, to coincide with the opening of the new facilities, the airport would be renamed the "Liverpool John Lennon Airport". A new logo (see photo below) featuring John Lennon's scribbled self-portrait with the words "above us only sky" taken from his song "Imagine" has been adopted. The Press Conference was attended by his widow, Yoko Ono.

The new airport logo
The Airport's new name and logo

On 15 March 2002 Yoko Ono returned to the airport to officially rename it and also to unveil a 7 foot high bronze statue of John Lennon (see photograph below). She was accompanied by Cherie Booth QC, a distinguished barrister and the wife of Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Tony Blair MP.

John Lennon statue_Liverpool Airport
A seven foot high statue of John Lennon by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy is situated on Level 2 walkway overlooking the check-in area (MM)

On 25 July 2002, the new expanded terminal building was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen who unveiled a commemorative plaque on the Level 2 walkway, close to the John Lennon statue (see photograph below).

HM Queen unveils plaque_Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Her Majesty the Queen unveils the plaque commemorating her opening the new expanded terminal building. Looking on is airport chairman, Robert Hough. (LJLA)

HM Queen & Yoko Ono_John Lennon Airport
John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, is presented to the Queen accompanied by the John Lennon statue sculptor, Tom Murphy, left and airport chairman, Robert Hough, right. (LJLA)

New terminal checkin_Liverpool Airport
The new check-in area has a total of 45 desks (MM)

A new control tower has been constructed and came into use in January 2002.

Readers who would like to see a photographic record of the construction of the new expanded terminal are recommended to look at the North West Air News website which can be accessed from our "Links to Related Internet Web Sites" page.

The terminal building has been further expanded westwards. Although not intended to be permanent, the alterations have been made to provide a quick solution to increase the departure gate areas and speed up the flow of passengers. New overbridges now serve some of the departure gates and these will take passengers straight down to the aircraft.

An extension to the shopping area has been constructed on Level 3 landside. This has been achieved by building out over the Check-In Desks and this new area is on the left of the second escalator. Most units are already occupied. Space has also been created for more general seating.

A new car park has been constructed to the west, i.e. on the right hand side of the dual carriageway as you approach the airport, and is now in use. It will accommodate over 2000 cars. A noise attenuation bund has been built to help suppress aircraft and vehicle noise from the nearby National Trust's Speke Hall. More bus bays have been built in front of the terminal.

These improvements will allow the passenger throughput to increase to the current permitted maximum 6 million passengers.

The main car park has been extended to accommodate approximately 4000 cars. This car park also has a Drop-off zone and a multi-storey short stay car park which are nearest the terminal building. There is also 2000 space long stay car park, on the opposite side of the dual carriageway (Long Stay 2) . See the Airport Terminal Information page for full details.

In July 2005, the airport became the new home for the "Yellow Submarine", made famous by the Beatles song. This 25 ton structure is located outside the Arrivals area of the terminal building. It was built for the 1984 International Garden Festival in Liverpool by apprentices from the Cammell Laird shipbuilding yard in Birkenhead, now sadly closed.

The Yellow Submarine on display_Liverpool John lennon Airport
The Yellow Submarine on display outside the main terminal (GW)

The "Hampton by Hilton" is directly opposite the Terminal building. - see photograph below.

_Hampton by Hilton_ hotel
The "Hampton by Hilton" hotel (GW)

A new landside freight centre, located off the Hale Road towards the General Aviation area, has been completed and is occupied by TNT.

Aprons and Hangars
The apron in front of the terminal building has been considerably extended in a westerly direction to provide several remote aircraft parking stands. These are used, in the main, by the air freight operators at the airport. Four new hangars have been completed (two Boeing 737 size and two smaller). Behind these, more aircraft parking stands have been constructed and are served by a dedicated passenger departure area connected to the main terminal by a covered walkway with lifts at either end.

A new apron for light aircraft has been constructed at the eastern end of the airfield. Liverpool Flying School and Ravenair have built their own hangars adjacent to this apron.

Old Terminal Building and Hangars
Crowne Plaza Liverpool - John Lennon Airport:
This grade 2 listed building, on the old northern airfield, was formerly the old terminal and had been unused since 1986. However, it was converted and extended into this magnificent four star hotel, retaining its 1930's art deco style. It opened for business on 14 May 2001 as the Liverpool Marriott Hotel South and officially opened by HRH The Duke of York on 29 June 2001. It provides much needed hotel accommodation for visitors to the adjoining Estuary Business Park as well as existing and new businesses in the locality and, of course, airline crew and passengers requiring stop-overs. A Park and Fly facility is also available. The aircraft standing in front of the hotel entrance (see photo below) is a replica of the DH Dragon Rapide used on the first passenger services. This replica was built by the North West Aviation Heritage Museum Group (NAHM) locally on the Wirral but now maintained by the Jetstream Club (see below)

The old terminal building, 
now restored as the Liverpool Crowne Plaza
The facade of the hotel taken on 19 March 2008 (GW)

Compare this with the photograph below taken some 43 years earlier on 23 February 1965. The original wings on either side of the front entrance are now obscured by two new wings, built in the same style, to provide additional bedroom accommodation when converted into the hotel. The original terminal was constructed between 1937 and 1939 and was never officially opened due to the impending war.

The terminal building, 23 February 1965
Photo is the copyright of the Civil Aviation Authority/National Air Traffic Services and reproduced with permission

Two hangars remain on site and have been brought back into use by expert and sympathetic conversion because they are also Grade 2 listed buildings. The former No 1 hangar on the right, as viewed from the front of the hotel, is a David Lloyd Sports Centre and its facilities are available for use by hotel guests. The one on the left (now called "Skyways House") is the original No 2 Hangar and is the Head Office of the Littlewoods Home Shopping Organisation.

Static Aircraft:
At the rear of the hotel, on the old apron, stand some interesting old aircraft , maintained by The Jetstream Club, a branch of the Wirral Aviation Society. The first to arrive was a British Aerospace J41 which has been fitted with a simulator in the cockpit which allows users to "fly" the aircraft from Liverpool and many other airports around the world. The simulator also allows the "pilot" to use his imagination and substitute the aircraft for many other types.

The old terminal building, 
now restored as the Liverpool Crowne Plaza
The simulator-fitted Jetstream 41 stands on the apron at the rear of the hotel. (Kev P)

Also on the apron is a Bristol Britannia which was brought to this site from Kemble in Gloucestershire during 2007. The aircraft was at one time operated by British Eagle, who had a base in Liverpool until they went out of business in 1968, is registered G-ANCF, or "Charlie Fox" for short. The Jetstream Club are currently working on it with the long term aim to restore it as a static exhibit in full British Eagle colours.

Bristol Britannia G-ANCF under restoration_outside Liverpool Crowne Plaza
Bristol Britannia G-ANCF during the first stages of restoration on 13 October 2007 (MM)

More exhibits are expected on the site, space permitting and subject to permission from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, of course.

European Objective One Funding
The improvements to the existing terminal, car park, aprons and hangars have all secured substantial grant aid from the European Union.

Liverpool Airport Statistics

Passenger Figures back to 1932...

Year Total Passengers Year/Year % Increase
2011 5,305,691 4.53%
2010 5,027,539 1.61%
2009 4,948,046 -8.11%
2008 5,384,753 -2.46%
2007 5,520,283 11.04
2006 4,971,452 12.56
2005 4,416,751 31.46
2004 3,359,839 5.63
2003 3,180,801 12.01
2002 2,839,636 25.74
2001 2,258,341 13.68
2000 1,986,589 51.94
1999 1,307,515 49.39
1998 875,222 26.63
1997 691,157 10.39
1996 626,101 23.56
1995 506,723 13.99
1994 444,534 -5.5
1993 470,399 0.83
1992 466,534 -4.44
1991 488,208 -5.45
1990 516,373 12.68
1989 458,266 27.27
1988 360,078 5.41
1987 341,591 28.91
1986 264,975 1.83
1985 260,214 12.25
1984 231,813 -3.29
1983 239,708 -5.68
1982 254,151 -10.32
1981 283,396 -26.82
1980 387,250 -37.33
1979 617,947 103.9
1978 303,066 9.57
1977 276,603 -23.07
1976 359,560 -20.12
1975 450,101 -13.31
1974 519,233 -11.5
1973 586,723 7.83
1972 544,106 4.69
1971 519,745 17.76
1970 441,341 7.32
1969 411,228 -9.44
1968 454,088 -4.83
1967 477,125 -0.57
1966 479,844 7.91
1965 444,682 18.43
1964 375,495 20.74
1963 311,007 6.04
1962 293,293 16.66
1961 251,415 41.9
1960 177,177 30.56
1959 135,701 -0.72
1958 136,681 -8.94
1957 150,100 6.04
1956 141,552 14.36
1955 123,776 20.71
1954 102,544 16.95
1953 87,682 4.69
1952 83,755 -0.22
1951 83,942 8.73
1950 77,204 -7.38
1949 83,352 11.44
1948 74,795 13.23
1947 66,058 11.64
1946 59,173 16.15
1945 50,944 not av.
1944 not av. not av.
1943 not av. not av.
1942 19,075 not av.
1941 not av. not av.
1940 14,189 67.52
1939 8470 -32.65
1938 12,577 -6.89
1937 13,508 -15.78
1936 16,038 -6.29
1935 17,114 232.63
1934 5145 41.27
1933 3642 1533.18
1932 223

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