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Sheffield City Airport.


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Lysanderix

I recently read an article in Yorkshire Live about SCA....Whilst it was short on facts and repeated a number of falsehoods and half truths it did make me wonder how many of us actually flew from there...and to where?

I flew , by AirUK, to Schipol...Absolutely brilliant....SCA was 30 minutes from home...no problem with car parking and checking in was as easy as catching a tram....The return journey was just as easy. It was a pleasure and so much easier than , for instance, driving back home on a filthy night from Manchester or back up the M1 from East Midlands.

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Old rider

I also flew to Schipol from Sheffield to service a couple of machines in Holland. I also flew from Sheffield to Heathrow a few times to commision machinery in Malaysia and Singapore. It was a pity Sheffield Airport closed because it was so convenient for my wife to drop me off there rather than having to drive to Manchester and leave my car there.

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DaveJC

The airport was a business that needed to be run as a business, best ask our leaders why it failed, sadly my original thoughts were, great idea but not with this council. 🙄

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Lysanderix

The Labour Party had no desire to have an airport. following the collapse of the 1968 scheme to open one at Todwick. Alderman Sterland in 1970 declared..."Sheffield people didn't want one because of all the noise it would generate". And, true to form, as soon as the leasehold for the nascent Sheffield City Airport (SCA) was transferred from the Sheffield Development Corporation (SDC) to the Council they lost interest ....especially after Peel Holdings bought the airport and quickly closed down its ILS ( Instrument Landing System ) ,reduced fire and emergency cover and thus made it impossible for  commercial passenger aircraft to operate.

Many people believe the project was a Council affair.... This was true, insofar as they made a 1986 Council proposal for a" small, local feeder airport using short take off and landing aircraft ". However, it was the Conservative Government sponsored  regeneration agency, Sheffield Development Corporation ,which  actually opened the airport.  SDC's original intention was for it to be built in return for allowing AF Budge ( Mining) Ltd to open -cast the coal under the Tinsley Park site. in return for building a runway and small terminal. Budge went bust...after extracting all the coal without any. start on the airport being made...leaving the SDC with only land left to bargain with. Glenlivet Ltd agreed to build the £6 million airport in return for the freehold of 42 acres of land on which a Business Park was to be built ....the profits from which would subsidise  the probable loss making airport during its early years. Additionally, a further 80 acres of land was leased on a 999 year lease which could be bought for £1.00 should the airport fail.

Clearly, there was something of a conflict of interests...especially when property developers were involved. All of this coincided with the rapid growth of "lo-co" aviation whose aircraft of choice  needed a runway somewhat longer than at SCA. London City Airport ( on which SCA was based as to length of its runway) had the same problem but added "starter strips" and the airport is now a great success. Sheffield had similar plans but they were never progressed.

The agreement to close the airport  by the Council  as Leaseholders did not exactly receive a "clean bill of health" from the Audit Commission  who felt the Council had just accepted Peel's figures and not investigated fully. A little later, Sir Andrew Cooke offered to purchase the Airport, run it commercially and, if it didn't make a profit, to then hand it back to Peel. This offer was rejected out of hand by Peel.

The only public money involved was a grant by the EU of £3 million to build the access road, Europa Way....Of course Peel  and their associates...gained 122 acres of prime development land...close to the M1 for a £1.00....which ,I understand,  the City has never received....but I suppose it gets Business Rates from the much extended Business Park and the City, as a consequence, has gained some valuable employment!🙄

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OldHaltonian288

I flew on the very first flight out of the airport. I was working in Estonia at the time and I connected with my Estonian Airflight at Schipol Airport. I used the airport a lot whilst it was operational.

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Lysanderix

At some stage, Schipol marketed itself as our regions "local" international airport, with regular flights from East Midlands and, of course, for a few years SCA.  Incidentally, KLM  ( of which Air UK was a subsidiary)claimed that the Sheffield service  was their most successful new operation....a pity the Dutch Green Party insisted on a cut back of flights in/ out of Schipol and,  despite their success, services to Sheffield  these were ended by KLM ....on the basis that it was Schipol's newest service.

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Athy

There have been several references to "Schipol". Isn't it "Schiphol"?

It's not like Sheffielders to drop their aitches.

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DaveJC
16 minutes ago, Athy said:

There have been several references to "Schipol". Isn't it "Schiphol"?

It's not like Sheffielders to drop their aitches.

Correct, I told our Arry the same following im failing is ier national.

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Lysanderix

We Sheffielders know a  fing or two,,,,The word is pronounced...  s x i p (h) o l....so the blessed aitch aint pronounced...which is why we are economical in how we spell fings. 😏

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anthonybilton

This was a great airport and could have made a difference for Sheffield had it been run properly. I flew a couple of times to Schiphol with work and then used it on the BA London run when the trains went on strike - excellent sausage sandwich!

Better though were the flying schools. I got my private pilot's licence out of Sheffield and the landing approach from the M1 was great, the other a bit less fun with the tight turn over the car warehouse, the roof of which, interestingly was the place to land if engine failed on takeoff heading southwest. 

Very much missed.

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southside

Don't think it's been missed by the residents of Tinsley!

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Lysanderix

All of those  properties affected by possible aircraft noise had double glazing installed FOC.  The times of flying operations were strictly regulated and the Joint Liaison Committee scrupulously examined the very, very few breaches of conditions. 

I was amused to think that the once regular, loud noises of  a busy steelworks and its associated transport, working 24/7, which was BSC's Tinsley Park ,could be compared with the few regular daily flights ( Amsterdam was the busiest route with 18 movements a week) ,

The Airport has long been gone...its replacement by Robin Hood Airport at Finningley has not been a resounding success...especially for the non "bucket and spade" passenger and our City is still one of Europe's biggest city's without an airport or even airfield. Alderman Sterland's ghost must be pleased!

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rover1949

I flew a couple of times from Sheffield to Belfast City Airport. I had some business In Harland and Wolff shipyard and could make it there and back in a day.

However some of our local staff didn't make a good impression on business travellers.  One of the morning flights was over weight and the check-in girl said that all the baggage would be bumped and we could collect it it on the next flight in the evening.  Luckily I only had hand baggage  but there was a mass rebellion from the other passengers who didn't expect to hang around Belfast all day waiting for their bags.

I still think it is bizarre that the fourth (fifth?) largest city in the UK doesn't have an airport.  Or are we still happy to be a village?

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DaveJC
10 hours ago, rover1949 said:

I flew a couple of times from Sheffield to Belfast City Airport. I had some business In Harland and Wolff shipyard and could make it there and back in a day.

However some of our local staff didn't make a good impression on business travellers.  One of the morning flights was over weight and the check-in girl said that all the baggage would be bumped and we could collect it it on the next flight in the evening.  Luckily I only had hand baggage  but there was a mass rebellion from the other passengers who didn't expect to hang around Belfast all day waiting for their bags.

I still think it is bizarre that the fourth (fifth?) largest city in the UK doesn't have an airport.  Or are we still happy to be a village?

If Sheffield were to have a city sized airport it would most probably have to be located to the far north of the city. Now not wishing to be called selfish, I can get to East Midlands Airport far easier than say, to one located in North Anston or similar, as could many more.

As for this large city having it’s own airport, it hasn’t even got a decent city centre, can you imagine how those clowns in Thrush Central would run one?  🤮

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