Four cards were issued of this UK regional airport, three by a local publisher and one in the Carl McQuaide Airports series. Three are shown on the next page and record the brief life of Sheffield City Airport. Set up in 1997 it is expected to close by the end of 2007 . Scheduled services by the then Air Uk, Aer Arann BA regional KLM and SABENA operated at different times up to 2002. Thereafter it was only used by private traffic and the Police helicopter unit.

For years Sheffield had been the most populated city in the Uk without an airport, partly due the pre-war airport at nearby Doncaster and latterly by relatively easy travel to Manchester, Leeds or Nottingham -East Midlands. The opportunity was taken in 1997 to use land freed by the decline of heavy industry to establish a small airport but the size and facilities were never enough to attract other then low capacity regional operators and even these soon found that traffic volumes were minimal. The lack of radar facilities was a deterrent to operators and the lack of operators a deterrent to investment in radar so the business model for the airport was fatally flawed. During the brief period of scheduled service it was included in Chris Slimmers airport-scoring European tour. Incredibly that was in the December 2001 issue – 6 years back. He flew Sheffield-Dublin with Aer Arann and was a BIG event for the airport PR department .

History repeated itself in when the old RAF base at Finningley was declared surplus and re-opened as Doncaster Robin Hood Airport in 2005 . As a ex V-Bomber site it had the capacity to handle airliners up to 747 size and certainly well able to accept the 737s and A319/320 s of the low cost carriers. So once again, the airport for South Yorkshire was to be Doncaster , not Sheffield. Apparently some cards were issued for the opening but they seem particularly hard to get.

Shown are Carl s DHC-8 and the large size cards by local publisher Hedgerow, two showing Air UK F.50 operations. One of these is a sunset scene as is also an “artist”card of a Navajo – both ultimately proved all too prophetic.

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