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Former RAF Church Fenton

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Former RAF Church Fenton

Old 7th Jan 2015, 21:13
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Former RAF Church Fenton

This former RAF base East of Leeds is to become an airfield again. What is the possibility/probability of growing in future years, possibly long term, to become a major civil airport for the North and East of England and one that better placed to serve the Yorkshire region possibly replacing LBA?

Church Fenton advantages:
Runway direction
Ease of runway extension
Flat land capable of airport growth
Runway climb out and approach not over urban area
Railway connected to Leeds (Trans pennine express)
Railway connected to East coast mainline
HS2 termination point in very near vicinity
Motorway network serving all of Yorkshire is in close vicinity (junction of A1M and the M1/A1 link road)
Not highly elevated prone to low cloud and strong wind

I would appreciate people's thoughts on Church Fenton knowing LBA's much documented constraints.
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 22:18
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What is the possibility/probability of growing in future years, possibly long term, to become a major civil airport for the North and East of England and one that better placed to serve the Yorkshire region possibly replacing LBA?
None whatsoever.
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 22:25
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Captain Mainwaring

"I think we are in the realms of fantasy here Jones".
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 22:26
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The new owner seems to be only interested in general aviation up to executive jets.
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 23:14
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Former RAF Church Fenton

Who is the new owner ?
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 23:31
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I googled it,and it is Chris Makin who owns a soft fruit business whatever that is!
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 00:15
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Grrr

Maybe solid fruit will be air freighted in and after a hard landing he will have something to sell!

If that is the airfield near Sherburn, I once saw a Halifax bashing the circuit in the mid 1970s!
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 01:55
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Nope, not Sherburn, its SSE of Tadcaster.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 04:38
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No Halifax.

Church Fenton is very near Sherburn, look at your charts Buster, but you never saw a Halifax bashing any circuits, anywhere in the country in the 1970's, and you will only see one on the ground now, and that is at Elvington, Nr York, where we used to detach Vulcans on exercise and Flight Test Buccaneers with max bomb loads, due nice long runway.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 09:29
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....and the Elvington Halifax is a re-creation using Hastings wings. A real Halifax can be seen at Hendon but it's displayed in the state it was recovered from a Norwegian lake in 1973. A full restoration of a transport Halifax is on display in Canada. No Halifaxes flew after the 1950s.

Church Fenton is undoubtedly a better site for an airport serving Leeds than is Yeadon, but it would be hopeless for Bradford, of course. Common sense says that LBA will continue because of economic inertia - it simply isn't worth building a new airport to serve Leeds and York. But, common sense is not as common as some think it is..........
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 11:12
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Leeds Approach: I agree with all the advantages you point out, and in my mind given a straight choice, Fenton has much more potential than LBIA, particually with the potential transport links and better weather conditions. Sadly it is probably too late now and too much money has been invested at LBIA to go to waste.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 11:34
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I don't think anyone would see LBA being closed, the opportunity to move has long past.

I also think anyone wanting to develop another airport in the region should take note of the investment in Finningley which as yet still has to pay dividends.

Far better spend money on Yeadon than try develop Church Fenton as a commercial venture.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 11:50
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Most aviation analysts would tell you there are already too many commercial airports in the north of England and I would tend to agree with that.
The lessons of Finningley should be well heeded.

The idea of forcing Yeadon to close to make an alternative work is a non starter.
It's privately owned. The amount of compensation that the owners would reasonably expect would blow the economics of such a venture out of the water.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 13:36
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If a dual carriageway / motorway could be built from the vicininity of the northern end of the M1/A1 link road to church fenton on flat ground (and I know it's a big if) then the difference in time for people from Bradford getting to church fenton on the motorway as opposed to LBA on heavily built up snarled roads would be negligible. I suggest people have a good study of the motorway network before commenting.

What I am suggesting is gradual change for the greater good of all. Doncaster is not at the centre of the Yorkshire catchment and is too far away from LBA to compete with it. Church fenton is at the centre of the catchment and would serve Sheffield Leeds Hull Middlesbrough Bradford Doncaster Scunthorpe all very easily. Market forces would push this more suitable airport to the head of the queue for the reasons mentioned.

We simply must think a bit further ahead than 5, 10 or 30 years. That is the reason LBA was not built in the ideal position in the first place. Why is it too late when the runway is already there and capable of handling commuter flights already?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 14:36
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Never say never. Look what happened at Bristol. A perfectly good airfield at Filton with some of the best road rail connections in the UK. Then look what happened, closed in favour of a cow field on a hill in Lusgate with the worst road rail connections in the UK.

Will logic play a role here?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 15:03
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Look what happened at Bristol. A perfectly good airfield at Filton
That's where the analogy breaks down - there isn't a "perfectly good airfield" at Yeadon - its a shit airfield and we all know it!
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 15:08
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LEEDS / YORK- Yorkshire International Airport

Originally Posted by crewmeal View Post
Never say never. Look what happened at Bristol. A perfectly good airfield at Filton with some of the best road rail connections in the UK. Then look what happened, closed in favour of a cow field on a hill in Lusgate with the worst road rail connections in the UK.

Will logic play a role here?
Except in the LBA / Church Fenton case it would be the other way round.

Put in some random places such as Sheffield Bradford and Huddersfield and compare the times and distances to LBA MAN and Tadcaster. Then think about the huge cost to do a little good at LBA against the comparatively low cost of beginning to transform church fenton that would gain huge benefit and potential. The place is ideal. People from West Yorkshire might actually be able to fly to DXB because they never will from this region otherwise.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 16:07
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I think first of all you have to realistically calculate the cost of building an airport the size of LBA, then add on all the extra costs, eg the road link from the A1, perhaps also the cost to upgrade the nearby rail station, etc etc.
Now how much to upgrade LBA? New road link, rail connection etc, extend the terminal, apron etc.
What will the difference be? Is it worth it? Would it benefit Bradford- after all it is Leeds BRADFORD airport - so how many would be lost to Manchester.
Then when Church Fenton is big enough to compete LBA may well be handling 787 aircraft to Dubai, etc.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 16:07
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All the arguments you make were trotted out to justify the waste of money that is Sheffield / Doncaster / Finningley. Sheffield has a bigger population in its catchment than Leeds anyway and look what happened. It's not much further than LGW is from London. The answer is better and more efficient surface links, not lots of small inefficient airports all over the place.

I think your proposition is more to do with injured civic pride or the painful realization that LBA is only ever going to be a bit part player in the UK air travel business.
I'm waiting for someone to be the first to say the universal 'People from here DESERVE a better airport' - often said - but it's meaningless I'm afraid.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 16:36
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Originally Posted by rpmac View Post
I think first of all you have to realistically calculate the cost of building an airport the size of LBA, then add on all the extra costs, eg the road link from the A1, perhaps also the cost to upgrade the nearby rail station, etc etc.
Now how much to upgrade LBA? New road link, rail connection etc, extend the terminal, apron etc.
What will the difference be? Is it worth it? Would it benefit Bradford- after all it is Leeds BRADFORD airport - so how many would be lost to Manchester.
Then when Church Fenton is big enough to compete LBA may well be handling 787 aircraft to Dubai, etc.
LBA will have extreme very expensive difficulty in even growing because of the issues that everyone in aviation knows about. The runway is not long enough end of story. Of course it wont be Leeds BRADFORD airport but it will be in a position better than the current position for serving Yorkshire's catchment. Your logic I'm afraid is all to pot - Huddersfield to Tadcaster is quicker than Huddersfield to MAN. Sheffield to Tadcaster is quicker than Sheffield to LBA.

Yes Bradford loses out a little in time but Wakefield York Hull Sheffield Doncaster Rotherham Grimsby and the whole of Eastern Leeds would be quicker to Church Fenton. Then think about the ease of the journey on motorways not being stopped at traffic lights every two minutes.

Right from the beginning I could have told you that Doncaster would struggle. The M1 takes Sheffield people straight to EMA or with a bit more work LBA. Its catchment is much smaller than LBA but the main issue is finningley is too far away from West Yorkshire - it will never end the need for an airport at Yeadon whereas an established airport at Church Fenton could very easily because of the ease of getting there. An airport at Church Fenton would easily grow geographically to well serve the whole of the Yorkshire Humber and North Lincs. region.

Last edited by LEEDS APPROACH; 8th Jan 2015 at 16:39. Reason: missed word
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