September 2020 Leeds East Airport update
September 2020 Leeds East Airport update

September 2020 Leeds East Airport update

On 12th September 2020, Leeds East Airport held a small socially-distanced ceremony to unveil a new memorial to all who have served at CF over the years. The memorial is built on the site where the gate guardian Spitfire lived for many years, just inside the main gate to the left in front of SHQ. The memorial was unveiled by Flight Sergeant John Weetman who was amongst the first personnel to be posted to  RAF Church Fenton in 1979 to oversee its reopening as 7FTS.

The impetus for the memorial came from local resident and fellow Church Fenton ‘nut’ Mark Whittaker, and was made possible by the support of Chris Makin and the Leeds East Airport team. Among those involved in the construction of the memorial was ex-Church Fenton veteran Al Kench. The bricks on the inner surface of the memorial have been covered in small brass plaques each bearing the names of ex-servicemen/women who were based at Church Fenton over the years. A specially commissioned sundial has also been installed behind the memorial.

During the unveiling ceremony there was a flypast by a Tiger Moth aircraft from nearby Sherburn airfield.

In the time since the last update on these pages the airfield has gone from strength to strength, with a number of local businesses now calling it home. 1 Hangar was the filming location for the ITV drama “Victoria” and remains part of the “Yorkshire Studios”. 3 Hangar continues to be the home to a number of aircraft, from small home built aircraft, through helicopters to business jets. Makin Air is now offering flights to the continent in their Pilatus PC12, with a fabulous new FBO building now in full use offering VIP facilities. GNSS approaches remain in development. The northern part of Runway 16/34 is still used for vehicle storage; the rest of the runway is still in use but this does not have a great impact on the airport operations as the majority of days runway 06/24 always was the favoured runway due to the prevailing winds in the area.