Leeds Bradford International Airport Connects Yorkshire with the World

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Photo credit: Thomas Mathie
Photo credit: Thomas Mathie

The Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA) has been passionate about providing a top-notch airport experience since 1931.  It’s located at Yeadon in West Yorkshire, England, and is the largest airport in Yorkshire. LBA is a quality regional airport with the purpose of connecting Leeds, Bradford and the Yorkshire region with the rest of the world.

LBA has expanded leaps and bounds since its opening in October, 1931, as the Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome, also known as the Yeadon Aerodome. The airport began offering scheduled flights from London to Newcastle in 1935. Following years brought expansions to Edinburgh, the Isle of Man, Liverpool and beyond.

The Yeadon Aerodome halted its civil flights with the outbreak of World War II. The aerodome took on significant improvements during this time as more than 5,500 aircraft were produced and shipped from Yeadon. Two runways, taxiways and additional hangars were added to make the Yeadon Aerodome an integral part of military aircraft test flying.

Photo credit: Vaidotas Mišeikis
Photo credit: Vaidotas Mišeikis

Civil flights began departing from the Yeadon Aerodome again in 1947. In 1955, flights to Jersey, Ostend, Isle of Wight, Belfast, Dusseldorf and Southend were added to the airport’s list of destinations. London and Dublin flights were added soon after. The Yeadon Aerodome was taken over by the Leeds Bradford Joint Airport Committee in 1959. New runways and passenger terminals followed in the mid to late ’60s.

The 1970s brought even more expansion with package holidays becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom. Leeds Bradford International Airport advanced to regional airport status with a number of improvements in 1984. On Nov. 4, 1984, Wardair began transatlantic flights from Yeadon to Toronto. The first Air France Concorde flight from Paris to LBA landed in August of 1986.

Initially the airport had restricted operating hours, and this deterred many charter airlines, whose cheap fares depended on “round-the-clock” use of their aircraft. In 1994, these restrictions were removed and flights could use the airport 24 hours a day, so more airlines were attracted to Leeds Bradford.

Photo credit: Tim Green
Photo credit: Tim Green

LBA began a massive expansion in 1996 to improve and grow passenger facilities and terminal size.  In fact, the airport experienced an 88-percent growth in seven years with nearly 3 million passengers passing through in 2007. The airport remained in public ownership until May 2007, when it was sold for £145.5 million to Bridgepoint Capital. In the following year, Bridgepoint Capital announced a massive £28 million plan for airport expansion.

The expansion has long been underway, and Leeds Bradford now offers a more modern layout with arrivals positioned on the ground floor and departures positioned on the first floor above. A convenient dining and shopping area has also been added to the first floor.

The airport continues to offer a convenient and desirable flying experience for travelers seeking short and medium haul services throughout the United Kingdom. Not only does the Leeds Bradford International Airport help millions of travelers get from Point A to Point B, it plays an important economic role in the Leeds City Region, providing jobs and income for the regional economy.

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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