Opened in 1931 as Yeadon Aerodrome, Leeds-Bradford Airport is the largest in Yorkshire. Regular flights began from the airport in 1935 with a service to Newcastle, Edinburgh and London (Heston). During the war, the airfield was used as a shadow factory and constructed almost 700 Lancaster bombers, as well as almost 4,500 Avro Ansons. Civil flights began again in 1947 and by 1978 Regional Airport status had been granted as long as runways were extended. This work began in 1982 and the new airport opened in 1984, with Wardair flying transatlantic to Canada in Boeing 747s. The airport has continued to grow, with new terminal buildings and new hangers to accommodate Boeing 737s in the midnoughties. Leeds-Bradford airport continues to grow in its ninth decade. Alan Phillips tells the story of Leeds-Bradford from its beginning in the 1930s, the war years and to the present day.
Alan Phillips was born in Pembrokeshire, on the south-west coast of Wales, the region most associated with air defence in the two World Wars. After leaving college he joined the Royal Air Force. After completing his term in the RAF he worked for the Ministry of Defence. He is a member of the Airfield Research Group and has written several articles for aviation magazines and local newspapers, as well as several books on aviation, castles and various fortifications. He lives in Colwyn Bay.