Story of how Leeds Bradford Airport took off is published

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The history of Yorkshire’s largest airport comes under the spotlight in a newly-released book.

Leeds-Bradford Airport Through Time traces the story from its early days as Yeadon Aerodrome in the 1930s, through the war years and to the present day.

Regular flights began from the airport in 1935, with a service to Newcastle, Edinburgh and London.

The airfield was used as a shadow factory during the war, and constructed almost 700 Lancaster bombers as well as almost 4,500 Avro Ansons.

Civil flights began again in 1974, and by 1978, regional airport status was granted on condition the runways were extended. The work on this began in 1982 and the new airport opened in 1984, with Wardair flying transatlantic to Canada.

Now in its ninth decade, the airport has continued to grow, with new terminal buildings and hangars.

Leeds-Bradford Airport Through Time is written by Alan Phillips, who was formerly in the RAF and was involved in acquiring exhibits for the RAF Museum in Hendon.

He is a member of the Airfield Research Group and has written several books on aviation.

In his latest tome, Mr Phillips said Yeadon aerodrome was planned from the outset for commercial flying with space for expansion, with 35 acres being acquired for an all-round landing strip and associated buildings.

“Even then some councillors doubted their decisions, as the area needed considerable work done to level the ground and install proper drainage. Being situated on a hill, the area was also prone to bad weather, which continued to plague the airport,” he said.

“Therefore, during the past 80 years or so, the airport has grown from a grassy uneven landing ground to an ultra-modern international airport. With proper investment and support from its owners, the councillors and local inhabitants, the airport will have a beneficial future.”

Leeds-Bradford Airport Though Time is published by Amberley and costs £14.99.

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