Blackpool Airport (BLK) – UK’s Oldest Airport
Among the oldest aviation sites in UK, the Blackpool airport is a major international airport serving Blackpool, Cumbria, Lancashire and Preston. A public airport owned Balfour Beatty and operated by Squires Gate Airport Operations Ltd., it is at an elevation of 10 meters above sea level. Earlier known as Squires Gate Airport and Blackpool International Airport, the present airport has 2 asphalt runways measuring 1,869 meters and 1,004 meters. Located on the Fylde coast of Lancashire in England, the Blackpool airport is home to the North West Air Ambulance along with many other companies that offer flying lessons and training flights. The airport suspended all commercial operations from 15th October 2014 and reopened in December 2014 for non-commercial operations... Liverpool airport around 49 km and Chester airport at a distance of 67 km is the nearest airport serving Blackpool.
The Blackpool Airport is among the oldest aviation sited in UK and was operational since 1909 when the first ever Flying Meeting was held here. In the year 1911 the airport was used for military purposes and during First World War, a small military hospital operated at the airport. Regular passenger flights resumed from the airport in 1930’s. In the year 1938, the airport was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and was used as a RAF training wings during the Second World War. Post the war, regular civil operations began in 1946 and first flight was operated by Isle of Man Air Services. The control of the airport was handed over to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1949 and it was renamed as Blackpool Airport. The Blackpool Airport has been serving as the center for private, club and general aviation since the Second World War. It was constantly expanded ever since. From 2005 till 2010, the airport served as hub for Jet2, Monarch, Citywing and Jetstream Express. Between 2011 and 2014 various expansions, items of runway, taxiway and infrastructure, was done at the airport. However, due to reducing number of passengers, the airport closed on 15th October 2014, with debts reaching £34m. In Novemebr 2014, the airport was bought by Squires Gate Airport Operations and commercial services restarted on 1st April, 2015.
At present, Bond Offshore helicopters, Citywing, North West Air Ambulance, fixed wing and helicopter flying schools, Handling agents, Executive private jets, J Max Air services and fixed wing and rotary maintenance organizations are operating to and from the airport.
Though the Blackpool Airport is among the oldest airfields in the country and has been serving the people for more than a century, it has not received any awards or accolades till now.
Routes and Destinations
The airport once operated to 12 destinations across Europe but at present Citywig is the only commercial airline operating to Belfast and Isle of Man.
If you are planning to visit Blackpool then you can take a flight to Liverpool airport, which is around 49 km from the Blackpool Airport. It is a major international airport that is currently linked to major cities across the world. Officially called as Liverpool John Lennon Airport, it presently serves North West England and has a single asphalt runway measuring 2,285 meters. Dublin, Bacău, Bucharest, Prague, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Riga, Warsaw and Parish are some of the destinations which are directly connected with this airport. Trains, taxis as well as buses are available for travel between the two airports. Trains take around 2 hours to reach Blackpool from Liverpool Lime Street and on an average, 47 trains daily ply between the two cities. Cost of the train ticket starts from £18 onwards. Buses take around 3 hours to cover the distance and the price starts from £10.
Manchester international Airport, which is just 68 km from Blackpool, is another major international airport. This is the 3rd busiest airport in UK and 22nd busiest in Europe. The airport has 2 concrete runways measuring 3,048 meters and 3,050 meters. Taking a train is the most convenient way to travel between the two cities. Trains take around 1 hour 45 minutes to reach Blackpool from Manchester and there are 38 trains daily plying between the cities and the cost of tickets starts from £20. Please note that the travel time may increase during weekends and holidays. Buses too are available from Manchester for Blackpool and the cost of tickets start from £10 onwards and take 2 hours and 15 minutes to cover the distance. Currently buses services begin from 8 am and the last train leaves Manchester at 6 pm. taking a train is the best way to travel to Blackpool from Manchester as it is the most comfortable and fastest way to travel between the two stations.
Chester airport which is around 67 km, Leeds Bradford airport around 91 km and Ronaldsway airport around 109 km from Blackpool are also good options for those planning a trip to Blackpool.