LIVERPOOL'S famous Yellow Submarine will be the first landmark tourists see when they touch down in Merseyside.
After much speculation about its future, the 25 tonne model inspired by the Beatles hit has been given a new home outside Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Built by Cammel Laird Apprentices for the 1986 Garden Festival, the submarine was put in place over the weekend.
Airport managers have come to an agreement with Liverpool City Council to house the submarine until at least Capital of Culture year in 2008.
Leader of Liverpool City Council, Cllr Mike Storey said: "What better welcome can we give to visitors to this city then to have the yellow submarine right outside the airport?
"It fits in well with the Beatles theme which is developing at the airport."
When the Garden Festival site closed, the Yellow Submarine was put in storage but later reappeared in Chavasse Park.
When work started on the £920m Paradise Street development, the 51ft model had to be moved again.
There was talk that it might be relocated to Penny Lane Fields.
But given the Beatles rebranding at the airport, managers decided the entrance to the Speke terminal was the best place for it and paid for maintenance and transportation of the model.
In 2008, the council and the airport will decide whether it should remain there or taken to another part of the city for Capital of Culture Year.
Cllr Storey added: "It may well stay there if the idea proves to be a success. The Beatles are an integral part of Liverpool's culture and Yellow Submarine will be quite an attraction."
Airport managing director Neil Pakey has invited drummer Ringo Starr to unveil the model at an
official launch party on July 26, though it has not yet been confirmed whether the former Beatle will attend.
Mr Pakey said: "Ringo especialy is synonymous with the song Yellow Submarine, it was one of the songs he sang, and when he jokingly said on TV that he would like one of our baggage carousels named after him, we thought this would be a more fitting tribute."
On his tours, Ringo still performs the song, which was recorded at Abbey Road studios in 1966.
Paul McCartney wrote Yellow Submarine, inspired by the songs of his childhood.
A Yellow Submarine interior mock-up is at the Beatles Story museum on the Albert Dock.