This will be my last post of the week. My wife and I are off to navigate the midwest snow and ice. Hopefully we don’t get stuck on the “tarmac” for too long . . . . See you all back here on Monday.
Ever wonder if an airport can go out of business? Well, now we know the answer. It can. Coventry Airport lies about an hour northwest of London by train (just east of Birmingham) and now, the group that runs it has decided to shut Coventry down. Sheesh.
Coventry Airport was built back in 1936 and, like much of the country’s resources, turned into a Royal Air Force base during World War II. It sputtered along through the years with a smattering of air service here and there. Eventually, ThomsonFly began serving the airport and even based a few airplanes there to carry those pasty white Brits down to sun destinations.
The airport handled this new surge of traffic in a way that seems similar to Long Beach. They built a temporary facility and tried to get approval for a permanent one. While Long Beach is now moving ahead, Coventry’s permanent facility was denied thanks to the meddling of environmentalists and the anti-noise crowd. Things went downhill fast. ThomsonFly eventually pulled out last year. The only other airline in town, Wizz Air, had already suspended flights. So the airport was left without a terminal and without any passenger service.
The group that runs the airport simply gave up after many years of futility and tried to sell its operation earlier this year. It didn’t happen. Frustrated, they decided to just board up the windows and walk away. Here’s the official Notice to Airmen:
B) FROM: 09/12/14 17:00C) TO: 10/06/14 09:00 EST
E) FOR THE PURPOSE OF RULE 45 OF THE RULES OF THE AIR REGULATIONS 2007
THE COVENTRY ATZ IS INDEFINITELY SUSPENDED WITH EFFECT FROM 1700 ON
14 DECEMBER 2009.
The city still owns the land, so they can do something with it if they so choose. My guess is that it will reopen one of these days, but I have yet to hear of any definite plans.
My biggest concern about this whole thing is the fate of Air Atlantique. These guys operate a bunch of classic airliners out of Coventry including some Dragon Rapides, a couple DC-3s and DC-6s, and more. I tried to get in touch with them, but they haven’t responded. It looks like despite some hiccups right around the closing, they’re powering ahead elsewhere.
So, let’s all hope that this doesn’t just become another empty piece of pavement, and that it does in fact come back to life one of these days.