Larger jets will soon be able to land at Blackpool Airport following investment of £1m by the council into new infrastructure.
The Squires Gate terminal is due begin operating as a category four airport from April 1 which will allow jets carrying up to 50 passengers to land.
Additional resources for fire and rescue services has enabled the upgrade which will help the hub attract more corporate air traffic.
But it also means the airport could operate at times up to category six capacity enabling it to accept by special arrangement even bigger jets, such as 737 airliners which can carry between 85 and 215 passengers.
Airport bosses say this does not signal the possible return of commercial passsenger flights, but will boost growth at the airport which has been owned by Blackpool Council since 2017.
Clive Coleman, director of Regional and City Airports Ltd, which operates Blackpool Airport on behalf of the council, said: “As of April 1 we will increase the declared category of the airport so it can take larger aircraft throughout the day.
“These will be corporate and chartered jets.
“It’s providing the airport with revenue and supporting the council’s growth plan towards it becoming self sustaining.”
The upgrade has been made possible thanks to investment in air traffic control and the fire and rescue service at the terminal.
The council’s executive is being asked to authorise a £1m loan to Blackpool Airport Operations Limited (BAOL) when it meets on March 23, from the council’s business loans fund to be repaid over 25 years.
A report to the committee says: “Essential investment in capital infrastructure has been necessary to keep the airport functioning in the last year, and other investment will be necessary in future years.
“Early investment has been necessary to invest in basic infrastructure as well as compliance with air traffic regulations.”