Leeds East Airport, Yorkshire

ICAO Code – Soon to be assigned EGCM, but not yet in use (still depicted as EGXG on charts, but no longer used as was assigned to RAF Church Fenton)

Elevation –  29ft amsl

A/G Radio – 126.500 – Call sign = Fenton

Runways – 2 (Asphalt)

Navigation Aids on aerodrome – None. PAPI on all runways

Fuel – AVGAS 100LL and Jet A1 (static self-serve AVTUR also)

Telephone Number (For PPR) – 01937 534194 (Mob: 07541 226316 / 07450 461045)

Operating hours, hangarage, parking, landing fees and landing cards – Please see website

hunter1957On 1 April 1937 RAF Church Fenton was declared open and on 19 April the first station commander Wing Commander W.E. Swann assumed command. Within two months No 71 Squadron RAF had arrived with their Gloster Gladiators.

The airfield saw the peak of its activity during the years of the Second World War, when it served within the defence network of fighter bases of the RAF providing protection for the Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Humberside industrial regions.

It was also home to the RAF Eagle squadron, consisting entirely of American Volunteers, who flew the Brewster Buffalo and later, the Hawker Hurricane. As if that wasn’t enough, RAF Church Fenton is written into history as being home to the first all-Canadian and first all-Polish squadrons. As technology progressed it also became the home of the first night fighter Operational Training Unit, flying the famous De Havilland Mosquito

Post War the airfield was used by both the RAF and Navy as a training facility until it closed in 2013 and was NOTAM’d as no longer being in use.

Location and amenities

Leeds East Airport is located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) south-east of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England.

Leeds East AirportLeeds East Airport supports one of the most promising futures of UK GA facilities, with an ambitious growth and development plan, sprawling location within Class G airspace, excellent runways and infrastructure and a top class team dedicated to future growth.

Airport owner and Leeds Entrepreneur Chris Makin, managing Director of Makin Enterprises has recently acquired the Airport and has been quoted as saying: “I intend to develop the site as a base for private and business aviation, as well as opening a training school for both fixed wing and helicopter flight.”

l10Other plans for Leeds East Airport include opening parts of the base for commercial film, music and large-scale events.

Hangarage, marquee rental and office space are available on site along with an excellent menu at “The Feeder”, the on site restaurant / cafe.

Pilot Information

Located within Class G airspace amongst rolling green fields, Leeds East Airport is easily identifiable from the air.

Leeds East Airport maintain a comprehensive website, that is packed full of information and photographs for the aviator and non aviator alike.

l4The asphalt runways are long and well maintained and the hangars feature some interesting and varied types. On my visit, a brand new Cirrus was parked next to a more mature DC3. Young and old in the same hangar. Both beautiful, yet different in so many ways and some pictures are located in the gallery below.

As the Airport is newly acquired and growing, there is a lot of maintenance on site and it is essential to check the NOTAM.

Runway 34/16 will be decommissioning the Approach PAPI shortly and there is a displaced threshold, however there are still over 1000m of fine runway available.

Flying in

Planning is effortless with Airbox’s RunwayHD flight planning tool and the airfield overlay feature is fantastic.

There are generally no overhead joins at Leeds East Airport, as the Airport is very close in proximity to Sherburn-in-Elmet and to descend on the deadside could encroach on their ATZ, Sherburn-in-Elmet being an established and busy GA airfield also.

Approaches to Leeds East Airport are essentially Long Final Approaches.

Runway 34 (RH) APPROACH VRP – Bishops Wood at 1500 feet, 3 mile Final

Runway 16 (LH) APPROACH VRP – Tadcaster at 1500 feet, 3 mile Final

Runway 24 (RH)APPROACH VRP – Tadcaster at 1500 feet, 3 mile Final

Runway 06 (LH) APPROACH VRP – Naburn Marina at 1500 feet, Join 5 mile Final

Going forward

Is Leeds East Airport one of the most exciting and up and coming Airports? It certainly is. All the ingredients are present to make this the UK’s finest GA airfield, and so much more also.

Leeds East Airport will soon have its own ATZ and will be fully licensed with the ICAO Code EGCM. The code has been assigned and in the near future will be available for your log book.

GNSS Approaches are also under development, along with a wide array of infrastructure, building and services maintenance that is ongoing.

Project Propeller is a wonderful event and is due to be held on Saturday 4th June 2016. Project propeller is a Veterans Day Event. 160 visiting aircraft are expected, along with 300 World War 2 veterans in person. A remarkable day, open to the public and for all to enjoy and to remember. For more details, please see the website and check back regularly for other events in the planning.

In Summary

l11A new and thriving Airport that is set to become one of the finest places to fly to in the UK. With Chris Makin at the helm, the only way is up for Leeds East Airport with both aviation and non-aviation events in the planning. Leeds East Airport has the support of both the local and GA Communities and I would urge that if you haven’t yet flown in, then you do so soon.

Active social media accounts are followed enthusiastically in respect of both airfield and club and I would ask those of you reading this, to add them to your list.

Checklist

Before visiting

  1. Check the Airport website, NOTAM’s, plate and mark the VRP’s on your chart for the approach. Full co-ordinates are provided in the Airfield Information section.
  2. Arrange PPR
  3. Enjoy your scenic flight to one of the UK’s up and coming Airports.

For videos showing arrival and departure to and from Leeds East Airport and a selection of flights, please visit the author’s YouTube channel.