Blackpool Airport Blackpool International Airport
Blackpool Airport has seen many changes since flying began there in 1909. That was the year that the great French aviator Louis Bleriot made the first historic crossing of the English Channel!
Airport Code: BLK
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And it was in the very same year that Britain's first major air show was held at Squires Gate, Blackpool. Breathtaking displays were given by pilots of the most primitive flying machines and the crowds came out in their thousands.
But a year later the Squires Gate land was leased to a syndicate of businessmen and turned into a horse racing course. The venture collapsed in 1914.
Then, at the outbreak of World War One, the site was turned into a military convalescent home with wooded huts erected on the racecourse itself. The army installation closed down in 1924 and 3 years later the corporation announced that a municipal aerodrome was to be built near to the town's Stanley Park. You can still see some of the buildings, now part of the Blackpool Zoo.
At the time you could fly to the Isle of Man from Blackpool. A return flight cost £1.80.
But when rival companies began flying from Squires Gate in 1932 it became clear that one airfield would have to close. The decision was made by the Ministry of Transport in 1936. They reported that Squires Gate would make a better airport.
In 1939 the airfield was taken over by the Air Ministry and developed for the Royal Air Force. Three runways were built, along with hangars and ammunitions stores.
At the same time came the construction of a large aircraft factory which was occupied by Vickers. Between 1941 and the end of World War Two in 1945 this company produced a total of 3,841 Wellington bombers, all of which were test flown from Blackpool Airport's existing runways. Also during the war Spitfire fighters were based here, largely to protect the city of Liverpool from raiding German bombers.
At the end of hostilities Squires Gate was designated a Civil Airport and by 1949 substantial alterations and improvements had been carried out in order to attract a new breed of air traveller. Blackpool Corporation assumed control of the airport from the ministry of Aviation in April 1962. In 1987 Blackpool Airport was turned into a Private Limited Company with the Council holding 100% of the shares.
Ever since no effort has been spared to provide an airport which meets all the high standards required by the international aviation organisations and expected by today's sophisticated passengers.
On 11 October 1995 a new £2 million terminal building was declared open and exactly a year later the old wooden terminal was demolished.
Now the venture launched so many years ago by the pioneer pilots and aviation's men of vision has resulted in a modern airport offering fast, efficient commuter services for the business community, attractive schedules for travellers crossing the Irish Sea and big-Jet flights to the sun for the region's holidaymakers.