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As has previously been mentioned on the LBA thread, a new airport venture has opened utilising the former RAF Church Fenton site, and has now been branded as 'Leeds East Airport'. I thought perhaps it now deserved its own thread.

As well as targeting the business jet and flying school markets, Look North are reporting that its owners are hoping to introduce daily flights to and from London City. Certainly an ambitious target and will be quite an achievement should they succeed. Although it's frequently said that a significant new airport for Leeds belongs firmly in the realms of fantasy, LEA is endlessly better positioned physically for expansion and I'm sure LBA will be watching closely.

Website: http://www.leedseastairport.co.uk
RAF Church Fenton: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Church_Fenton
 

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If the flights are competitively priced with the train, I'd certainly consider it.

I think the key to further growth and success here, however, would be to either secure a low cost airline or a short-haul hub airline (Brussels Airlines, Air Berlin, Flybe...).

London flights bid for ex-RAF base Church Fenton

The new owner of a former RAF base in North Yorkshire is aiming to operate daily commercial flights to London within a year.

Pilot Chris Makin bought the Church Fenton base last Christmas after the Ministry of Defence closed it in 2013.

Mr Makin has renamed it Leeds East Airport and wants it to become a rival to Leeds Bradford Airport.

"London City airport would be an hour from here, we're looking at a 25-seater maybe up to a 70-seater jet," he said.

"We're looking at business customers mainly, so we can do a scheduled service on a daily frequency during the week.

"We're very close to the A1 and very accessible and I think that's a major attraction."
The airport hopes to be granted a civil licence by August.
 

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Great news to see a second airport for Leeds.....I hope it is a successful venture and grows...definitely 2 of these.......:banana::banana:
 

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Once the facilities are up to scratch, all it will take is one budget airline to latch on and it'll snowball...

Well chuffed about this.
 

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That's a key point, that if (in a few years time, I don't expect it to happen overnight) Leeds East Airport looks like it could be of competition to Leeds Bradford Airport, it could give Bridgepoint a kick to up their game. I imagine that if it grows it could also have quite an impact on Doncaster Airport, as well as Humberside and Durham Tees Valley to lesser extents.
 

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Definitely a good thing if it provides competition and encourages Leeds Bradford to up their game. Not being an expert on the subject, is this a viable long term alternative to LBA? Certainly more accessible by rail so if it does manage to attract custom, could it snowball and attract the investment to build it up since there seems to be more scope to expand than at LBA?
 

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Potential to rock up to a rich hub airport and say exclusive rights if you pay for a runway extension.

May also make northern rail think about where their 'east leeds hub' (proposed for either micklefield or barbow) may go.

Really, really great news this.
 

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Sorry to put a dampener on things, but it won't happen. My understanding is the owner wants to create a top class GA facility for Yorkshire, think more Oxford Kidlington than a replacement for LBA. No airline would look at serving an airfield so close to the ECML on London City flights. The truth is that many property owners now know that any news is good news, and suggesting such schemes makes the media listen.. No matter how dubious the claims are.

There is very little chance, even if the will was there, that a new 'Proper'airport would be approved at CF..
 

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London might not work, but who's to say other destinations wouldn't? Stobart Air have set a good example with their airports for example - Southend has been hugely successful.
 

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Would agree with pug to think that this proposal for flights from Leeds East to London City Airport would be a bit pie in the sky imo as I can't see how a once a day service would work in competition against at least two trains per hour from York, Doncaster, Leeds and Wakefield Westgate railway stations to London Kings Cross. Surely the British Airways flights from Leeds Bradford to London Heathrow only work because of connections possible through British Airways and the One World alliance. As for Leeds East Airport surely an awful lot of money as well as political support would be required if it was ever to become a viable new commercial airport for Yorkshire which would only ever be viable if Leeds Bradford, Doncaster and Humberside Airports were to close down.

I also wonder what the long term future for London City Airport might be in particular after the completion of Crossrail in 2019 which will see direct service from Heathrow Airport to the City and Canary Wharf as well as future long term development constraints in particular available flight paths for flights to / from London City Airport as oppoosed to any other London airports and also if more skyscrapers are built to the east of London as well as the unlikely possibility of a new Airport to the east of London.

On another note it would be nice if Leeds East could gain a KLM service to Amsterdam using their DC-3. ;)
 

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Leeds No1, Stobart operate Southend (large catchment within reach), Carlisle may get the odd flight, but there's no other airport around there. Besides that, Southend already had the relevant category to handle passenger flights.

I fully believe CF will become a major airfield for training and General Aviation, Yorkshire needs one of those. Passenger flights are pie in the sky and the owners would certainly not get the support to develop in such a way that it could handle viable passenger services. Another operator tried and failed with Elvington.
 

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The HS2 spur to York passes this site and ECML is close too as well as the roads. Could this bring forward investment to upgrade the runway and a possible HS2/3 station too?
 

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It does indeed (although I'm not sure why the line through Church Fenton itself is marked as being part of the East Coast Main Line on this map - surely the current ECML is further to the East?).

Perhaps the little blue 'at grade' bit near 'Mill Ho' would be the most suitable spot for a station (however, that only looks to be about 100 metres in length - I think the trains will be about double that).

 

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To make it viable as a passenger airport, you need several miles of suitable roads from one or more of the A1(M), A64, A63 and A19. Not happening in the near future (or far).
 
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