History of Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport:

  • One terminal
  • One runway
  • Flys to more than 75 destinations
  • 3.3 million passengers a year

Leeds Bradford; a look at the last 85 years

1930s – 1940s

  • Leeds Bradford was initially known as Yeadon Aerodrome when it commenced club flights and training in 1931. Four years later, the first scheduled flights began to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Blackpool and the Isle of Man.
  • Work on the terminal building started in 1936, although only one wing was completed. At the same time, 609 Squadron of the RAF formed at Yeadon and seasonal flights between Yeadon, Isle of Man and Liverpool also started.
  • Significant developments were made to the aerodrome, including the construction of 2 runways, a taxiway and a hangarage which made Yeadon an important military aircraft testing site. Civil flights didn’t re-commence after WW11 until 1947.
  • Leeds Bradford was initially known as Yeadon Aerodrome when it commenced club flights and training in 1931. Four years later, the first scheduled flights began to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Blackpool and the Isle of Man.
  • Work on the terminal building started in 1936, although only one wing was completed. At the same time, 609 Squadron of the RAF formed at Yeadon and seasonal flights between Yeadon, Isle of Man and Liverpool also started.
  • Significant developments were made to the aerodrome, including the construction of 2 runways, a taxiway and a hangarage which made Yeadon an important military aircraft testing site. Civil flights didn’t re-commence after WW11 until 1947.

looking back at the history of leeds bradford airport

1950s-1990s

  • In 1953 Yeadon Aviation Ltd was formed. Two years later Belfast, Jersey, Ostend, Southend, IOW and Dusseldorf were added to Yeadon’s destination list.
  • Scheduled flights to London began in 1960, and Dublin was added shortly after.
  • A new runway was opened in 1965, and the terminal building was sadly destroyed by fire. A replacement terminal was opened by 1968.
  • In 1976 the first tour holiday flight to the Iberian Peninsula flew out of Leeds Bradford.
  • Two years later, it was decided that with runway extensions the airport’s status could be upgraded to a regional airport. Work was begun in 1982 and construction was complete within two years. The airport also underwent significant terminal extensions and redevelopments. The first phase of these developments was opened in 1985.
  • The airport became a limited company in 1987, and was shared between the five surrounding boroughs. Although initially the airport had restrictions on its operating hours, these were removed in 1994, meaning that flights could depart from and fly into Leeds Bradford at any time of day or night.
  • Work on the airport terminal has been ongoing since 1996, and the result of this has been significant growths in the terminal size and passenger facilities.

2000 – 2016

  • For 13 years, the airport was home to Yorkshire Air Ambulance until it moved to Nostell in November 2013.
  • The original runway was closed in 2003 to make way for an additional taxiway due to the ever increasing passenger numbers.
  • In 2014, the airport was crowned Best UK Airport by the Travel Weekly Globe Awards
  • Leeds Bradford Airport have released details of their Strategic Development Plan: Route to 2030. They predict over the next 14 years that the airport will have a number of additional features, including a two storey extension to the terminal building, improved road and rail access and an onsite hotel – watch this space!

Airport Noise

The 2013-2018 Noise Action Plan is currently being implemented at Leeds Bradford Airport, after updating the 2011 version following a consultation period with local residents. Noise Preferential Routes are in operation and only the quietest jets are permitted to fly between 11pm and 7am daily.