It was Sheffield’s bid to join the big time: finally, our city was to have its own airport, complete with both domestic and international flights.
Finally, they said, the city would stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Leeds and Manchester as a glorious new era of travel took flight on our doorstep.
Sheffield Airport, just off the Parkway, a stone’s throw from the city centre and Meadowhall, launched with lofty ambitions when the first aeroplane left the runway in February 1998.
It had been decades since the idea was first mooted, but in 1998 a group of city bigwigs including Richard Caborn, Master Cutler Paul Tear and MP Clive Betts were the first to use the airport.
These photos, taken that year, show the airport in its early days, when the plan was that the small development would grow from its relatively humble beginnings.
The plan was to imitate London City Airport, thanks to having nine million people within a 60-minute drive of the site.
It was also envisaged that service and manufacturing industry would be attracted to the area thanks to the links with Europe that would be forged.
But just 10 years later, in 2008, the dream was dead.
Sheffield Airport closed that year after reporting losses of more than £1 million.
Despite its lack of success, a small group of campaigners vowed to fight on for the airport, and pushed for it to be reopened.
More than 5,500 people signed a petition in 2013 for the site to be put back into use.
But it was not to be.
Today, the site is playing host to Factory 2050, a manufacturing centre.
And of course, Sheffield’s aviation aspirations have switched to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is now just a 30-minute drive away thanks to the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way link road a few weeks ago.
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