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A look back at Norwich Airport through the years

PUBLISHED: 11:23 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 06 July 2017

Generic views of Norwich Airport. The café area. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Generic views of Norwich Airport. The café area. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

The new vision for Norwich Airport up to 2045 has been unveiled, detailing ambitions to increase passenger numbers to 1.4 million a year, forge new international links and supporting companies in the aviation industry.

A picture from the air, of the aerodrome at Horsham St. Faith. Picture: Archant Library A picture from the air, of the aerodrome at Horsham St. Faith. Picture: Archant Library

It is a far cry from the humble beginnings on Mousehold Heath in 1933, when the airport was established on the site of a former First World War aerodrome.

It was used by aircraft engineering firm Boulton & Paul for testing and recreational flights until the Second World War brought about a reduction in use.

The war also saw the creation of RAF Horsham St Faith on the site, which would become Norwich Airport decades later, with both British and the US airforce stationing squadrons there.

Passengers about to fly out from Norwich Airport. Picture: Archant Library Passengers about to fly out from Norwich Airport. Picture: Archant Library

READ: The Norwich Airport masterplan revealed

After the war, aircraft had developed to such an extent that Mousehold was no longer considered a suitable site for an airport and when the RAF left Horsham in 1967 many of the facilities were sold to the city and county councils.

Three years on, the airport was granted approval by the Customs Authority to export and import freight and the first holiday charter flight flew a year later in 1971.

ROYAL FAMILY

PRINCESS MARGARET AT RAF HORSHAM ST FAITH
ROYAL CARS DRIVING PAST JETS ( HAWKER HUNTERS )

DATED  27TH JULY 1956

PLATE  P4415 ROYAL FAMILY PRINCESS MARGARET AT RAF HORSHAM ST FAITH ROYAL CARS DRIVING PAST JETS ( HAWKER HUNTERS ) DATED 27TH JULY 1956 PLATE P4415

The airport became a limited company in 1987, with the opening of the main terminal in 1988, before being rebranded as Norwich International Airport in 1999.

In 2004 a controlling stake in it was bought by Omniport, leading to it becoming a hub for budget airline Flybe.

This led to a £4.5m expansion programme which finished in 2006 and in 2007 the airport introduced its Airport Development Fee, which is currently £10, for all departing passengers.

Rigby Group, owners of airports in Coventry and Exeter among others, bought Omniport’s controlling stake in 2014 making it part of its Regional & City Airports.

ROYAL FAMILY

PRINCESS MARGARET AT RAF HORSHAM ST FAITH
TALKING TO AIRCREW BY COCKPIT OF TWIN ENGINED JET XA627
DATED  27TH JULY 1956

PLATE  P4418 ROYAL FAMILY PRINCESS MARGARET AT RAF HORSHAM ST FAITH TALKING TO AIRCREW BY COCKPIT OF TWIN ENGINED JET XA627 DATED 27TH JULY 1956 PLATE P4418

Last year saw the opening of a new £1.4m engine testing facility and earlier this year the International Aviation Academy, which teaches skills related to the aviation industry, opened its doors to students.

The airport, which currently employs around 260 people, is the second busiest heliport serving the North Sea oil and gas industry with 107,000 passengers travelling to offshore platforms from it in 2016.

Last year saw 473,484 passengers travel from the airport, which was rebranded to Norwich Airport in April.

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