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The famous and popular seaside town of Blackpool is not well known for its airport, yet Blackpool Airport – formerly known as Squires Gate – is widely regarded as the very first aviation site in the UK. Situated on the North West coast in the county of Lancashire, Blackpool International Airport offers a variety of services including holiday charter flights to Tenerife, Malaga and a handful of other European destinations, as well as providing regular flights to Belfast and the Isle of Man. It is also a major centre for helicopter services used by the likes of British Gas to service platforms out at sea.
Recent investment has seen considerable improvement to the airport facilities and there is further planned, although this is very much a provincial small scale airport that is not designed for servicing a wide range of international destinations. It is the sites place in history, as the location of the very first flying meeting in the country in October 1909 – an annual pageant repeated in the next couple of years – that has secured its reputation and inclusion in the record books. It is worth mentioning, however, that the location has been used by domestic airlines since the 1930’s on an almost continuous basis.
Although not competing with the major players Blackpool Airport has a big part to play in connecting the area by air with other destinations, both in the UK and elsewhere, and has seen as many as quarter of a million passengers use its historic facilities in a given year.