Sheffield City Airport

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Sheffield City Airport
Sheffield City Airport & Heliport.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerPeel Airports and Heliports
OperatorSheffield City Heliport Services
ServesSheffield
LocationSheffield Parkway
Elevation AMSL231 ft / 70 m
Coordinates53°23′39″N 001°23′19″W / 53.39417°N 1.38861°W / 53.39417; -1.38861Coordinates: 53°23′39″N 001°23′19″W / 53.39417°N 1.38861°W / 53.39417; -1.38861
Map
EGSY is located in Sheffield
EGSY
EGSY
Location in Sheffield
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 1,211 3,972 Asphalt

Sheffield City Airport (IATA: SZD, ICAO: EGSY) was a small airport in Sheffield; it is now closed. It was in the Tinsley Park area of the city, near the M1 motorway and Sheffield Parkway, and opened in 1997. The airport's CAA licence was withdrawn on 21 April 2008 and it was officially closed on 30 April 2008,[1] and the site is now part of the Advanced Manufacturing Park with various manufacturing businesses.

The former control tower, now within Sheffield Business Park

History[edit]

An early proposal was made in 1968 to build an airport on land near Todwick in Rotherham but came to nothing. The lack of an airport in Sheffield was (is) due primarily to the fact there is only a limited area of flat land large enough for it. In fact the size of the airport which was eventually built was determined by this geographical factor.[2] It is not coincidental that Sheffield is built on hills because the resultant rivers powered the development of its most famous industries, namely steel making and engineering.

The airport was built, after a consultants' report, 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 uk, Sabena, British Airways and Aer Arann. The Amsterdam service was described by KLM uk as the best start-up they had ever experienced.[3]

Passenger figures ranged from 46,000 in 1998, 75,000 in 1999, 60,000 in 2000, 33,000 in 2001 and 13,000 in the airport's final year of operation.

It has been claimed that it was the 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: it was argued that Sheffield did not have enough commerce to support the sort of high-fare short-hop business flights that could use the airport. However, the success of flights between Sheffield City and Amsterdam, and the subsequent expansion of regional airlines such as CityJet, Eastern Airways and Flybe, makes this debatable. It was also argued that Sheffield City Airport was unsuitable because the aircraft types used by the then-new low-cost airlines could not use the airport because of the length of its runway (which had proposed building a runway starter extension) – it was claimed that there was great demand for such services in the Sheffield area. However, the veracity of this argument has been thrown into doubt by the failure of Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield to attract such services in large numbers.[4][5] It has also been asserted that the airport did not have enough traffic to justify investing in on-site radar, and that this might have been an intractable problem.[citation needed] Many airlines, it is alleged,[by whom?] were refusing to operate into the airport due to its lack of radar – however, no evidence has been offered to substantiate this claim.[citation needed]

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 Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield airport, approximately 25 miles (40 km) away. 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.[citation needed] The original lease between the SDC and Tinsley Park Ltd included a reversionary clause permitting the acquisition of 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land for £1 providing, after 10 years of opening, it could be shown that the airport was financially not viable. The development is[when?] being marketed at up to £220 per square foot. The estimated worth of a business park, which is now planned, being at least £1,000,000.[6][7]

On 22 November 2012, the South and East Yorkshire Branch of the Federation of Small Businesses launched a campaign and petition with the aim of delaying redevelopment of the airport site, and calling for the airport's potential to be reassessed.[8] Three weeks later, a mystery bidder made a bid to Sheffield City Council to reopen the airport.[9] However, nothing came of this and construction work began in 2014.[10]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 4 February 2001, Short 360-100 registration EI-BPD, carrying 25 passengers and 3 crew,[11] was damaged beyond repair following a hard landing at Sheffield City Airport after a scheduled Aer Arann Express passenger flight from Dublin.[12] There were no injuries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sheffield City Airport to close Archived 19 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ See topographical map of the Sheffield area
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  5. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Why airport failed to get off the ground
  7. ^ Sheffield Business Park
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "Mystery bidder wants to reopen Sheffield airport". Sheffield Star. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Diggers move in at old Sheffield Airport". The Star. Sheffield. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  11. ^ https://reports.aviation-safety.net/2001/20010204-0_SH36_EI-BPD.pdf
  12. ^ https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20010204-0

External links[edit]