How they're turning '˜Victoria' TV location into a new airport for Leeds

AN OLD RAF base in North Yorkshire whose hangars were used to film the ITV series Victoria, looks likely to become a new international airport serving Leeds.

The RAF camp at Church Fenton

The owners of Leeds East Airport near Tadcaster, formerly Church Fenton air base, have applied for an operator’s licence to run ‘VIP’ charter flights by Cello Aviation to Cannes, Faro and Malaga from next May.

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The civil Aviation Authority said it was finalising the licensing process for the airport.

The old RAF camp at Church Fenton

But parish councillor Jo Mason said the local community had not been consulted about the proposals.

She said: “This is in very much a residential rural area. An RAF training camp is not the same thing as a commercial airport.”

The 76-year-old airfield is not planning to operate scheduled flights, and with round trips costing about £1,000 a head, will cater for a highly specialised market.

It hopes to operate as many as four flights a day - though that figure is far fewer than the 5,000 annually from Church Fenton a decade ago.

Church Fenton's air display in 1985

The airfield was closed by the Ministry of Defence in December 2013 before being taken over by businessman Chris Makin, who bought check-in desks and baggage-handling equipment from the owners of Blackpool Airport. It has since offered itself as a film and TV location.

Crowds at the Yorkshire Air Show held at Leeds East Airport, last year
The old RAF camp at Church Fenton
Church Fenton's air display in 1985
Crowds at the Yorkshire Air Show held at Leeds East Airport, last year