The first phase of a major investment programme, set to be completed by the end of September, involves the extensive remodelling of the departure lounge.
The upgrade will allow the gateway to provide free unlimited Wi-Fi, designated work stations and charging points, and improved retail services under a new ‘Xpress’ brand.
The second phase, which could start as early as the autumn, will see further improvements, including the return of tax-free shopping and a major upgrade of the business lounge area.
Robert Hough, chair of Durham Tees Valley Airport, says: “This programme of improvements in the terminal is another stage in our continuing investment at Durham Tees Valley and the overall developments being implemented through the Masterplan.
“These improvements in the terminal, which in part have been supported through the Passenger Facility Fee, are all aimed at enhancing a low-hassle, comfortable and business friendly environment for passengers whilst they are with us.
"A key element, of course, is customer service which is why we are developing our training for staff.”
He notes that attracting more general aviation activity and providing a one-stop service for all aspects of ground handling are also key goals for the airport.
Warner Rootliep, general manager for Air France KLM in the UK & Ireland, comments: “We welcome the new investment in the terminal facilities which will greatly improve the customer experience for our loyal passengers in the Tees Valley region.
“We have a long-standing successful relationship with Durham Tees Valley Airport and look forward to the unveiling of the new facilities in the near future”
The airport says there should be minimal disruption for customers whilst the improvement work is underway.
Delivery of the Master Plan, which will be phased to 2020 and beyond, is aimed at creating up to 3,800 new jobs, plus a further 450 full time equivalent jobs during construction phases, and add over £348 million GVA (Gross Value Added) to the regional economy.
According to the gateway, the Master Plan will also help secure existing routes to international markets with the potential to develop new routes to other UK and European destinations.
Passenger numbers are forecast to grow to 200,000 per annum by 2020 in line with UK government forecasts from the figure of 165,000 passengers handled in 2012, but the Plan safeguards the potential for further growth in the future, with the possibility of handling up to 900,000.