Everyone has heard of Robin Hood - you know, that handsome fellow in green tights with a bow and a quiver of arrows, surrounded by his merry men, who robbed the rich to give to the poor. But it seems that not many people have heard of the Doncaster Sheffield Airport, opened in 2005, that was named after him, so much so, that managers of the airport have organised a leaflet drop to 200,000 households in the area informing them of its existence.
The airport is the UK's newest airport, and is situated just 7 miles from Doncaster and 25 miles from Sheffield. Currently more than a million passengers pass through the Robin Hood Airport each year, heading for more than 40 destinations across the globe. However, it seems that a lot of people in the area served by the airport tend to head for Manchester Airport or Leeds Bradford Airport, forgetting that there is an airport nearby.
It is hoped that sending out the leaflets and magazines to households will raise the profile of the airport locally, and make people more aware of the option of starting their holiday or business trip from this local airport.
I have flown a couple of times from Robin Hood Airport, and love its cleanliness, friendliness, and the fact that it does not feel overcrowded. If you want to set off on your trip in a relaxed fashion, and you live in the Yorkshire area, by all means consider Robin Hood as your starting point.
Anyone interested in the history of civil aviation was provided with a real treat on BBC 4 recently. The three part series The Secret Life of the Airport documents the rise of mass air travel, starting with a look at the advent of commercial air travel which was taken up enthusiastically by the relatively well off, through to the dropping of prices and the rise of mass air tourism, with 44 public airports now in use in Britain.
The series, which includes some wonderful rare archive footage, looks at how the system of airports developed in Britain, and how they have transformed people’s attitudes towards travel and made long distance travel more widely available.
The first part in the series is Preparing for Take Off which starts with the opening of Britain’s first airport terminal designed for the paying passenger at Croydon in 1920. The footage of the early days at Croydon shows a very sedate scene with well-dressed people being weighed, and there are also interesting interviews with people who worked there at that time. The first commercial flights were from Croydon to Paris, and flying saved people a lot of valuable time.
Preparing for Take Off is followed by Joining the Jet Set which looks at the early years of jet travel, and those who had the resources to use it. The last episode in the series is The Final Approach, which takes us from the relatively relaxed airports of the 1960’s to the high security procedures that we have in place today.
When this series is shown again, be sure to catch it, either on your telly, or on the BBC iPlayer. Otherwise, you can always take a look over at YouTube.