Blackpool International Airport


Blackpool International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Blackpool International Airport
nativename =
nativename-a =
nativename-r =


image-width =
caption =
IATA = BLK
ICAO = EGNH
type = Public
owner =
operator = Blackpool Airport Ltd
city-served = Blackpool
location =
elevation-f = 34
elevation-m = 10
coordinates = Coord|53|46|17|N|003|01|42|W|type:airport|display=inline
website = [http://www.blackpoolinternational.com/ www.blackpoolinternational.com]
metric-rwy = Y
r1-number = 07/25
r1-length-f = 2,621
r1-length-m = 799
r1-surface = Asphalt
r2-number = 10/28
r2-length-f = 6,132
r2-length-m = 1,869
r2-surface = Asphalt
r3-number = 13/31
r3-length-f = 3,533
r3-length-m = 1,077
r3-surface = Asphalt
stat-year =
stat1-header =
stat1-data =
stat2-header =
stat2-data =
footnotes = Source: UK AIP at NATS

Blackpool International Airport Airport codes|BLK|EGNH is a small international airport, on the outskirts of Blackpool on the Fylde coast, Lancashire in North West England. It was formerly known as Squires Gate airport.

The airport was owned and operated by City Hopper Airports Limited, which also owns Wolverhampton Airport and Biella Airport in Italy, before, in January 2007, being placed under new management after one of its two major shareholders bought out its partner. MAR Properties Ltd agreed terms to take over full control of Blackpool and Wolverhampton Airports. [ [http://airlinerworld.com/ Airliner World January 2007] ] In May 2008, it was announced that Balfour Beatty had purchased MAR Property's 95% stake in the airport. [ [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/business/Publicsector-work-lifts-Balfour-Beatty.4388461.jp Public Sector Works lift Balfour Beatty 14/08/08] ] The remaining 5% stake is held by Blackpool Council. [ [http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/blackpoolnews/Profit-rise-for-Blackpool-airport.4393758.jp Profit rise for Blackpool Airport 15/08/08] ]

Blackpool Airport Limited has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P724) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

Several scheduled airlines operate from the airport, as well as charter holiday flights in summer months. Helicopter operations serve north west England’s Irish Sea offshore gas facilities.

Passenger numbers increased from 377,035 during 2005 to 558,278 in 2007. [ [http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=80&pagetype=88&sglid=3&fld=2007Annual CAA Airport Statistics 2007] ] Much of the rise was due to low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Jet2.com attracting increasing passenger numbers at the airport. Passenger activity during the twelve months to July 2008 reflected a 20% reduction to 458,000.

History

The airport site's first aviation use was in October 1909, when the UK's first official public Flying Meeting was held on a specially laid out site at Squires Gate, followed by another in 1910. Small UK airlines used the airfield during the 1930s. During World War II, Vickers operated an aircraft production facility, producing several thousand Wellington bombers.

By 1949, the airfield was controlled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and renamed Blackpool Airport. In the mid 1950s, Hawker Hunter jet fighters were produced in the WW2 factory at the north-east edge of the airfield.

Current operations

In recent years the airport has been steadily expanding, accommodating helicopter operations for British Gas, and attracting scheduled flights from budget airlines, Jet2.com and Ryanair and also scheduled services by smaller operators to the Isle of Man. Since WW2, Squires Gate has also been a thriving centre for private, club and general aviation.

In 2005, Jet2.com became the first major low cost airline to base an aircraft at Blackpool Airport. This created around 50 new jobs and boosted passenger numbers. It now serves seven destinations from the airport - six in Spain and the Canaries (Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Murcia, Tenerife, Málaga) (Faro). Jet2 also offers a domestic service to Belfast

Also in 2005, Monarch Airlines set up a new route to Malaga, three times a week. After a year though the airline ceased services, blaming low passenger numbers as the reason. However Jet2.com had earlier announced that it would be operating flights to Malaga.

In February 2006, the airport completed an investment of £2 million in refurbishing the airport terminal and car parks. The improvements included more check-in desks, new eating facilities, a new information desk, an open-plan departure lounge, more gates, new shopping facilities, an executive lounge, a new flight information system, an additional baggage reclaim belt and a new interior colour scheme and logo.

A new long stay car park was created while the existing area was extended. Later in 2006 the aircraft parking area was extended and in the next 5 years it is rumoured that the other small stands that are currently leased to other companies at the airport, will not be re-leased to them and that a new terminal will be built instead.

British North West Airlines, the smallest airline based at Blackpool has now, according to its website, stopped trading for both charter and scheduled flights. The website links all viewers to the fast growing airline, Manx2, which is now flying the route up to four times a day. Manx2 has brought low fares to the Isle of Man route, and passenger numbers on this route doubled in January 2007.

With the growth of the airport a new carrier, the ACMI company, "Jetstream Executive", operating under the name, Jetstream Express, introduced flights in 2007 from the airport to Belfast City Airport from (May), Aberdeen Airport (from June) and Southampton Airport (from July). The Belfast route was in competition with Jet2, who operate twice daily between Blackpool and Belfast International Airport. Two Jetstream 31s were based at the airport. However, in June 2007 a notice appeared on the Jetsteam Express website stating - "With immediate effect, Jetstream Express have ceased operating the routes to Blackpool, Aberdeen, Southampton and Belfast", adding that all flights were withdrawn as the routes have not proved viable.

In 2007 Jet2 cancelled its Prague and Amsterdam services. Ryanair also cancelled its twice daily flights to London Stansted stating that it fell into the bottom three routes across its network.

On 6 May 2008, Balfour Beatty bought a 95% stake in the airport for a £14million. The construction company also owns Exeter Airport, which it bought in 2007, and where passenger numbers have risen rapidly. The company have stated one of their top priorities is to re-establish a link to London, [ [http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/blackpoolnews/Blackpool39s-London-flight-call.4069979.jp Blackpool's London flight call - Blackpool Gazette] ] which Blackpool lost in 2007 when Ryanair discontinued its Stansted route.

On Friday 18th July 2008, through the Blackpool Gazette (Local Newspaper) it was announced that Jet2.com is to suspend it daily service from Blackpool to Belfast International for the winter. A dip in passenger numbers and the rising price of oil has taken its toll on the service. But the airport has escaped the cutbacks by irish carrier, Ryanair who recently announced that it was to cut 14% of flights (Over 200 flights)from London Stansted for the winter period. According to the paper, Jet2.com will restart the daily Belfast service from March 2009.

Airlines and destinations

*Jet2.com (Alicante, Belfast-International [ends 26 October] , Faro, Geneva [begins 13 December; seasonal] , Ibiza [seasonal] , Málaga, Menorca [begins 15 June] , Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South [seasonal] )
*Manx2 (Belfast-City, Belfast International, Isle of Man)
*Ryanair (Dublin, Girona)
*Thomsonfly (Alicante) [seasonal]

London plans

The airport is working to negotiate with various airlines to replace Ryanair's abandoned Stansted route. A preferred option is a Jet2 flight to Gatwick as was successfully introduced at Newcastle Airport. The general feeling is that a flight to a better linked and more central London airport such as Gatwick (or possibily Heathrow or City) would be more popular. This is mainly because - check in times included - a flight from Blackpool to Stansted then a bus and a train to central London took longer that using the trains via Preston; it is thought that a practical remedy to this is to use one of the more central London airports. [cite web
url=http://www.uk-airport-news.info/blackpool-airport-news-031207.htm
title=Blackpool Airport working on return of London route
publisher=TMC Ltd
]

Transport

* Rail - Squires Gate railway station. Direct Northern Rail Pacer and Sprinter trains to Blackpool South, Preston and Colne (East Lancashire).
* Bus - Blackpool Transport bus services 1 (summer only), 7, 11, 16 and Stagecoach services 68 and X61 stop near the airport with routes to Blackpool and as far as Fleetwood (northbound) and Lytham St Annes, Preston and Manchester (southbound).
* Tram Blackpool transport tram services are available from Starr Gate tram stop on the Blackpool tramway, running along the promenade, along the Golden Mile northward to Bispham, Cleveleys and Fleetwood.
* Taxis - free telephone located inside the terminal building.

ee also

* United Kingdom Aeronautical Information Publication

External links

* [http://www.blackpoolinternational.com/ Blackpool International Airport]

References


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