TEESSIDE Airport has officially confirmed plans which will see a brand new aircraft facility built on the site and around 30 new jobs created.

The airport today (April 8) confirmed that Draken Europe, which currently maintains a number of aircraft at the site, would be doubling in size with a huge new aircraft hangar.

Formerly known as Cobham Aviation Services UK, the firm works in advanced aviation and surveillance technology with a role in supporting the RAF and Royal Navy.

Read more: 30 new jobs and an aircraft hangar could be coming to Teesside Airport

It comes as The D&S Times last month revealed a planning application for the new facility had been submitted with space to house up to eight aircraft.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Picture: NORTHERN ECHOPicture: NORTHERN ECHO

But today, Draken said it felt "proud" as it was confirmed the new facility will allow the introduction of an advanced combat jet to the airport.

Paul Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer at Draken Europe, said: “Draken Europe has been trusted by the UK Government to deliver the world’s most technologically advanced operational readiness training to the RAF and the Royal Navy for many years.

Read more: New plans revealed for Teesside Airport business park

"Our team at Teesside takes very seriously the nationally significant role that they have training military personnel from the UK and its strategic allies, providing a range of multi-platform effects using next-generation technologies.

"With the introduction of the L-159E, we’re proud to be bringing an entirely new capability to the UK defence sector and to Teesside – especially so at a time when geo-political events have brought into sharp relief the need for our armed forces personnel to be trained effectively to defend themselves from attack.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Picture: NORTHERN ECHOPicture: NORTHERN ECHO

It is understood the investment from the firm will support the delivery of aviation training contracts with organisations such as the UK’s Ministry of Defence, while creating a further 25 to 30 direct jobs, with positions now live.

If plans are approved, the almost 5,000sq ft new facility will be situated next to the firm’s existing Hangar 360, and the new aircraft are expected to be in the air several times a day on exercise over the North Sea.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Draken has been a long-standing and valued partner of Teesside Airport for decades.

"In that time the company has just grown and grown, securing more prestigious and nationally significant contracts, helping it to create well-paid, good-quality jobs for people within aviation and engineering.

“That’s exactly what it’s doing here as it brings more aircraft to Teesside to expand its expert training services to customers right across the globe. This is yet another vote of confidence in Teesside Airport from a company that has recognised its importance for years.

“This news couldn’t have come at a better time, as we drive forward our 2022 year of construction, kick-starting work on our new business park and capitalising on our property and assets. This new park will attract even more firms to the site which, like Draken, will help put it on the map even more while securing its future.”