Definitions

esential

Sheffield City Airport & Heliport

Sheffield City Airport was a small airport located in Sheffield thats is now closed. It was located in the Tinsley Park area of the city, near the M1 motorway and Sheffield Parkway, and opened in 1997. The airport had its CAA licence withdrawn on 21 April 2008 and offficaly closed on 30 April 2008, as Sheffield City Council had approved plans to turn the airport into a business park.

History

Before it opened, Sheffield was the largest city in Europe without its own airport, having decided not to develop an airport in the 1960s due to the relative speed and reliability of its rail link with London at that time.

The airport was built on a short-runway STOLPORT model similar to London City Airport. It offered flights to Belfast, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Jersey and London with the airlines KLM, Sabena, British Airways and Aer Arann. It was this choice of the city airport model, coming immediately before the meteoric rise of the low cost airline in the UK, that condemned the airport from the start: Sheffield arguably did not have enough commerce to support the sort of high-fare short-hop business flight that could use the airport, while aircraft types used by the new low-cost airlines, for which there is much demand in the Sheffield area, could not use the airport due to the length of its runway. It also suffered from the intractable problem of not having enough traffic to justify investing in a radar, while many airlines were refusing to operate into the airport due to its lack of radar.

In the end the last scheduled airline pulled out in 2002, after the airport had passed into the hands of Peel Airports, who were shortly to be opening the nearby Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield airport. By the time the last scheduled service was flown, the terminal interior had been converted to office accommodation. Fire and Rescue cover and Air Traffic Control staffing levels were both reduced and published procedures for instrument approaches were withdrawn, rendering the airport unattractive to the current generation of airlines which offer low-cost services with turboprop aircraft.

There has been a degree of controversy over whether there was any incentive for Peel to promote the airport. It was reported that Peel had been offered the site for one pound if they could show that the airport was not viable by 2007. The estimated worth of a business park, which is now planned, being £1,000,000.

Current status

A report commissioned by the City Council revealed it was losing £400,000 a year and was not sustainable. On 21 April 2008, the airport's CAA licence was withdrawn. The airport closed completely on 30 April 2008.

The runway has been sold and will be developed into the Blue Skies Business Park. A heliport at the east end of the site will stay open for use by the South Yorkshire Police helicopter and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter, both of which are based at Sheffield, but will not be available for use by other aircraft.

The Site

The Airport was built as part of a plan to reclaim the land which had been previuosly mined and the site of dereclict steel works and waste tips. The opencast coal works was undertaken by R J Budge who were then once the site was reclaimed planned to build the buisness park. The project was delayed part way through when Budge whent bust. The site being owned in part (all ?) by the council. As part of the scheme the link road was built initialy to take the Coal lorries straight to the Sheffield Parkway and out to the M1. Following the completion of coal extraction and reinstaement the link road was completed through to Tinsley. This allowed work to commence on the busines park that was part of the scheme and esential to the original plan to reclaim the land. The site is between Tinsley Golf course, the parkway, Tinsley marshalling yards (former), and British Steel Tinsley rolling mill. Following the colapse of the orignal development the site was sold to Peel holdings.

References

External links

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