Wolverhampton Airport


Wolverhampton Airport

, formerly Halfpenny Green Airport and Wolverhampton Business Airport, locally Bobbington Airport, is a small, 400 acre airport situated near the village of Bobbington, South Staffordshire. The airport is situated 8 miles SW of Wolverhampton, the city which it serves.

Wolverhampton Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P872) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

History

The airfield was constructed between mid-1940 and early 1941 for use by the Royal Air Force, being initially named RAF Bobbington. The name was changed on 1 September 1943 to RAF Halfpenny Green, to avoid confusion with RAF Bovingdon in Hertfordshire. The first RAF unit to be based was No.3 Air Observer & Navigator School which flew Blackburn Bothas and later Avro Ansons. The unit disbanded on 13 November 1945. After a lengthy gap, RAF flying resumed on 5 May 1952 by No.2 Air Signallers School, again equipped with Avro Ansons, the unit disbanding on 13 September 1953. A ground-based equipment sub-unit of No.25 Maintenance Unit occupied much of the airfield from 1 March 1946 until 15 November 1956. Following closure of this unit, the airfield lay disused for several years before civil aviation use commenced.

Current Civil Aviation Usage

Wolverhampton Airport is located 5 miles from the edge of the West Midlands conurbation and operates a number of general aviation services including facilities for private aircraft, business jets, helicopters, flying schools and training and maintenance facilities.

The majority of aircraft operating from the airport are small planes, such as the single engine Cessna 182 and twin engine Piper Seneca.

The small airfield image the airport has retained was under threat until late 2006 as previous owners - CityHopper Ltd - had grand plans to expand the airport for passenger usage, initially by up to 500,000 passengers a year, which would necessitate the creation of a massive new runway plus an intended open-air jet engine testing facilities for 737 jet engines. The " [http://www.waag.uk.com/ Wolverhampton Airport Action Group] " is a local group which was set up in late 2002 to fight against the expansion, the submitted expansion plans of which were deemed in 2005 by independent assessors (and aviation industry experts) WS Atkins as wholly unsuitable and which would ruin the local Greenbelt countryside, in which the airport is situated.

However new owners - MAR Properties Ltd - announced on 24 November 2006 that such plans have now been officially dropped and it is not their intention to expand into passenger services, their intention being to expand on the current General Aviation and flying school activity which has been in steady decline at the airport since the late 1990s. MAR confirm that the previously mooted increased runway will no longer be necessary and has also been dropped from the plans.

Incidents and accidents

Prince William of Gloucester died at the airport on August 28 1972 when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into a hedge just beyond the airfield's boundary. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/28/newsid_2536000/2536275.stm On This Day, 28 August 1972: Prince William killed in plane crash] . BBC News.]

References

* "Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units". Air-Britain, 1997. ISBN 0-85130-252-1

External links

* [http://www.wolverhamptonairport.co.uk/index.htm Wolverhampton Airport website]
* [http://www.hgfc.co.uk/ Wolverhampton Airport flight centre]
* [http://perspective-ihalfpennygreen.photos.gb.com/ Wolverhampton Airport Images]
*


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