- Plymouth City Airport
name = Plymouth City Airport
IATA = PLH
ICAO = EGHD
type = Public
operator = Plymouth Airport
city-served = Plymouth
elevation-f = 476
elevation-m = 145
coordinates = Coord|50|25|22|N|04|06|21|W|type:airport_region:GB
r1-number = 06/24
r1-length-f = 2,641
r1-length-m = 805
r2-number = 13/31
r2-length-f = 3,809
r2-length-m = 1,161
Plymouth City Airport Airport codes|PLH|EGHD is an
airportin Plymouth, Devon, in England. The airport opened on this site in 1925 and was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in 1931. The airport is located close to the city centre and has a modern terminal.
The airport is owned by Sutton Harbour Holdings Ltd., a Plymouth based company who also own
Air Southwest, the only airline who now fly to Plymouth City.
Plymouth City Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P687) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
Plymouth Airport can trace its roots back to 1923, when the first passengers joined a flight carrying mail to Croydon from a grass strip at Chelson Meadow. This successful flight, under the command of legendary air pioneer
Alan Cobham, inspired Plymouth City Council to look for a permanent site for the city’s airport.
In 1925, the now popular service, helping to speed transatlantic mail from the local port to the capital, was moved to
Plymouth Airport had found its home and was given the royal seal of approval with an official opening in July 1931 by the Prince of Wales.
The airport served several purposes and as well as providing commercial mail and passenger flights it has also been used by the R.A.F. as a bad weather training base. Hence the periods of heavy fog which, on occasions, result in some services being diverted to Newquay or Exeter.
The aircraft operator’s names have changed over the decades: for example Western Air Express, Olley’s Air Service and Railway Air Services.
In April 2008,
Air Southwestdoubled the number of routes from the airport and passengers can now fly to:
* London (Gatwick)
* Leeds Bradford
* Grenoble (Winter 08-09)
The Airport's days may be numbered. In September 2007 the airport management announced that the second runway might be sold for industrial and residential development, however this runway can't be used by commercial airlines. This prompted a response from the city assets manager which indicated a review of the demand for and extent of local interest in a Plymouth Airport. The end of flights to France together with the added security delays associated with internal air travel when compared with moderately fast road and rail links make Plymouth Airport less attractive than before. Efforts to reinvigorate the support of the local business community meet with polite well disposed indifference. Diversion to Newquay is not convenient. The travel on time from Gatwick to Victoria adds considerably to total travel time.
However, despite many local residents sharing the view that these developments represented the 'beginning of the end' for the Airport, in October 2007 Air Southwest announced new routes to Dublin, Cork, Chambery, Glasgow and Newcastle. Sutton Harbour who own the airport (and Air Southwest) are also investigating the possibility of extending the main runway (31/13) which would enable larger aircraft to use the airport thus leading to a further expansion in services. Extension of the runway was previously not possible due to a factory, which has recently been demolished, being located close to the threshold of Runway 31.
Further support for the continued use of the airport came in February 2008 when Air Southwest and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce announced the results of an air travel survey aimed at over 200 businesses in Plymouth [http://www.sutton-harbour.co.uk/news.asp?NewsID=69 News: Strong support for Plymouth air links] . The results found that:
* 82% of respondents believe that the air links are important for the economic prosperity of the city
* Only 1/3 of local companies believe Plymouth has good road and rail links to the destinations used for business
* More than half of the businesses questioned use Air Southwest's London Gatwick service on a regular basis
Airlines and destinations
Air Southwest(Bristol, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow-International, Grenoble, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle)
* [http://www.plymouthairport.com Plymouth Airport official website]
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