Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airport
, formerly Halfpenny Green Airport
and Wolverhampton Business Airport
, locally Bobbington Airport
, is a small, 400 acres (1.6 km²) airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...
situated near the village of Bobbington
Bobbington is a village and civil parish in the South Staffordshire district of Staffordshire, England, about five miles west of Wombourne. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 506....
, South Staffordshire
South Staffordshire is a local government district in Staffordshire, England. The district lies to the north and west of Wolverhampton and the West Midlands, bordering Shropshire to the west and Worcestershire to the south...
. The airport is situated 8 mi (12.9 km) south-west of Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region...
, the city which it serves.
Wolverhampton Airport has a CAA
The Civil Aviation Authority is the public corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of aviation in the United Kingdom. The CAA head office is located in the CAA House on Kingsway in Holborn, London Borough of Camden...
Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P872) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
The airfield was constructed between mid-1940 and early 1941 for use by the Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...
, being initially named RAF Bobbington
. The name was changed on 1 September 1943 to RAF Halfpenny Green, to avoid confusion with RAF Bovingdon
RAF Bovingdon was a Royal Air Force station, located to the west of Bovingdon, two and a half miles south of Hemel Hempstead and two and a half miles south east of Berkhamsted, in Hertfordshire, UK....
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...
. The first RAF unit to be based was No.3 Air Observer & Navigator School which flew Blackburn Botha
-See also:-External links:*...
s and later Avro Anson
The Avro Anson is a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and numerous other air forces prior to, during, and after the Second World War. Named for British Admiral George Anson, it was originally designed for maritime reconnaissance, but was...
s. The unit disbanded on 13 November 1945. After a lengthy gap, RAF flying resumed on 5 May 1952 by No.2 Air Signallers School, again equipped with Avro Ansons, the unit disbanding on 13 September 1953. A ground-based equipment sub-unit of No.25 Maintenance Unit occupied much of the airfield from 1 March 1946 until 15 November 1956. Following closure of this unit, the airfield lay disused for several years before civil aviation use commenced.
Wolverhampton Airport is located 5 mi (8 km) from the edge of the West Midlands conurbation
The West Midlands conurbation is the name given to the large conurbation that includes the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the large towns of Dudley, Walsall, West Bromwich, Solihull, Stourbridge, Halesowen in the English West Midlands....
and operates a number of general aviation services including facilities for private aircraft, business jets, helicopters, flying schools and training and maintenance facilities.
The majority of aircraft operating from the airport are small planes, such as the single engine Cessna 182
The Cessna 182 Skylane is an American four-seat, single-engine, light airplane, built by Cessna of Wichita, Kansas. It has the option of adding two child seats, installed in the baggage area....
and twin engine Piper PA-34 Seneca
The Piper PA-34 Seneca is an American twin-engined light aircraft, produced by Piper Aircraft since 1971 and still in production in 2011.The Seneca is primarily used for personal and business flying.-Development:...
The small airfield image the airport has retained was under threat until late 2006 as previous owners - CityHopper Ltd - had ambitious plans to expand the airport for passenger usage, initially by up to 500,000 passengers a year, which would necessitate construction of a new longer runway, plus intended open-air facilities to test jet engines for Boeing 737s. The Wolverhampton Airport Action Group is a local group which was set up in late 2002 to fight against the expansion.
New owners MAR Properties Ltd announced on 24 November 2006 that such plans have now been officially dropped and it is not their intention to expand into passenger services, their intention being to expand on the current General Aviation and flying school activity which has been in steady decline at the airport since the late 1990s. MAR confirm that the previously mooted increased runway will no longer be necessary and has also been dropped from the plans.
Recent newer aircraft that fly into Wolverhampton range from Diamond DA42
The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a four seat, twin engine, propeller-driven airplane manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries. Its airframe is molded largely of composite materials.-Development:...
s to Cessna Citation Sovereign
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The airfield is also becoming more popular with flex-wing and three-axis microlight pilots, and a microlight flight school has been on-site for some time. In support of short field operations, an unlicensed grass runway, measuring approx 355 metre has been provided which runs parallel to and to the left of Runway 28.
As of January 2009, Runway 16/34 has High Intensity bi-directional edge lighting along its length (with low intensity omni-directional components) and high intensity threshold and stop end lighting. Full PAPI lights are installed for both ends. Pilots are advised to check the AIP for obstacles on the glidepath.
Incidents and accidents
- Prince William of Gloucester
Prince William of Gloucester was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of George V.-Early life:...
, a cousin of the Queen died at the airport on August 28, 1972 when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into a hedge just beyond the airfield's boundary.
- G-BOWO, a Cessna 182 RG also crashed on the airfield in 2007. Its undercarriage did not lock down properly, but due to careful preparation of the landing area there was no fire. The fire crew laid down a layer of foam on the grass runway. The cause of the incident was found to be metal fatigue in one of the undercarriage support legs. As of April 2009, the aircraft is out of maintenance, and is awaiting its test flight.