Wednesday, January 24, 2007

City flogs off its airport

First of all an explanation.
Yes I know that is not a picture of Leeds/Bradford Airport
But Google Images think that its a picture of Leeds Bradford Airport
So thats good enough for me.
Its Scarborough actually.

Leeds Bradford Airport is up for sale at the moment and current estimates are that it will fetch up to £150 million, which is good news for the citizens of both Leeds and Bradford as we each own 40% of the shareholding - the remaining 20% is owned jointly by the councils of Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees.

Of course being as very old as I am, I remember it when it was Yeadon Aerodrome and anything that flew out of it had propellors and not jet engines, as a young boy it was always our big adventure day to pack up some chocolate and a bottle of pop and ride your bike across the farmers fields to the airport (its about one mile away as the crow fly's) where you could stand at a viewing area and watch, well, watch aeroplanes fly to exotic places that weren't very far away as Yeadon Aerodrome wasn't very big in those days.

If you were very brave you would ride your bike around to the main road which ran across the end of the runway where you could sit on a low stone wall all of ten feet away from the runway and wave at pilots as they screeched to a halt just yards from your seat - the runway wasn't very long in those days either.

When the first jets started to land at Yeadon it was even more exciting to sit on the wall at the end of the runway, the jets needed every last inch of runway to land on and depending on which way the wind was blowing you could often see the whites of the pilots knuckles filling your field of vision as the nose of the BAC 1-11's stopped inches from your nose - if they were taking off from your end of the runway you'd often get a pilot to open his little window as they were positioning ready for take off just in front of you and he'd shout at you to bugger off or get fried in his jet exhaust - often was the time that we'd sit there holding up the flight until a security land rover would hurry across to clear us away.

Its all changed now, the runway bridges the main road and security fencing stops kids from sitting just yards away from where the big jets land, its a busy local airport and we in Leeds look to have a windfall of around £60million coming our way, some of which will be used (we've been promised) to build a concert and indoor sports arena for the city - unbelieveably the fourth largest city in the UK does not have an indoor arena (we've got an impressive outdoor one though) and so we regularly miss out on the top touring acts such as Kylie, WestLife and , erm scrap that plan for an arena will you ?

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