I visited Robin Hood yesterday (and thats what it was called for the whole tour), the last time I was there was for the Finningley Airshow - a while ago!
At the moment it appears they are relying on one operator for its existence, an operator with no track record in providing scheduled services, but the airport will also handle freight - anticipated to be as much as 60,000 tonnes p.a. and one of the existing hangers is being converted to a freight warehouse. Someone asked about nearby competition and the general consensus was the main loser in the long run could be Humberside, LBA
will see little effect as only 3% of its passengers travel from South Yorkshire and the travel time to MAN
or Robin Hood for the majority of LBA
's customers is about the same (it took me 70 minutes from Bradford, I can do MAN
in about 60). I doubt it will ever compete for long haul over Manchester - people flying long haul are less concerned about travel times to the airport. Peel see the airport as a carbon copy of Liverpool (the terminal at Robin Hood is the same design, but smaller for now) providing low cost scheduled and charter services. One advantage the airport does have is the runway length which at just over 9,000 ft is capable of handling fully loaded 747s bound for the east coast of the USA - a 150m extension is possible to allow flights to the west coast of the USA to operate.
Useless fact - the runway is one of only a few in the UK which could take an Airbus A380 today (if one existed). No modifications would be required as the runway has a width of 60m all of which is 3m thick concrete.
First flights from the airport are scheduled for Easter 2005.