Ipswich Transport Museum
Preserving the transport heritage of Ipswich since 1965, and now supported by the Friends of the Ipswich Transport Museum. The Ipswich Transport Museum is a Registered Charity No. 276626 and an Accredited Museum, number RD890.
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Ipswich Airport

Ipswich Airport

The following is a summary from the Ipswich Transport Museumís booklet "A Brief History of Ipswich Airport"

The Suffolk and Eastern Counties Aero Club was formed by Mr Courtney Prentice, an ex-Royal Flying Corps bomber pilot, in 1925 and had operated from Hadleigh before moving to Ipswich.

The aerodrome at Ipswich was officially opened on 26th June 1930 by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales when he visited the town to attend the Wolsey Pageant.

In February 1936 the management of the aerodrome was taken over by the Straight Corporation who prepared ambitious plans for the site including squash and tennis courts, a swimming pool and other recreational amenities. Phase 1 of the scheme was the construction of a new terminal building and this was officially opened by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Air, Captain Harold Balfour, at the Suffolk Air Day held on 9th July 1938.

Earlier in 1938, on 20th June, a passenger service operated by the Straight Corporation was started to Clacton.

1939 saw No.45 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School established.

Ipswich was used by Wattisham as an outstation for both Nos.107 and 110 Squadrons through 1940 and 1941.

On 1st March 1943 Ipswich was upgraded to full RAF station status.

On 1st August, Ipswich was placed under Care and Maintenance remaining as such until April 1946 when the RAF left the site and civil flying resumed.

Early in 1953 a long term lease was taken out on Ipswich Airport by East Anglian Flying Services.By Easter 1953 the airport was back in operation and scheduled services began under the name of East Anglian Airways.Soon after the airport became usable the East Anglian Flying Club was formed, Initially with one Auster Autocrat.This was soon joined by another Auster Autocrat and a De Havilland Tiger Moth.

On 29th October 1962 East Anglian Flying Services became Channel Airways.In 1966 Channel Always was granted a 21 year lease of the airport site.

Channel Airways went out of Business in 1973 and the airport lease was taken over by Lonmet (Aviation) Limited.

On 1st November 1976 the Suffolk Aero Club was founded by Peter Collier.

In 1980 the Horizon Flying Club, which was formed by Bill Stitt and his wife.

The popular pastime of parachuting came to Ipswich in the 1980s.

In April 1986 Suckling Airways commenced scheduled services between Ipswich Airport, Manchester Airport and Schipol Airport.

Ipswich Airport suffered a set back on 25th September 1987 when the two people who were masterminding the redevelopment of the site were tragically killed

1988 started wet and by February the grass runways were reportedly being damaged by the Dornier owned by Suckling Airways.Suckling Airways temporary moved to RAF Wattisham during the second week of February

Late In 1988 the Ipswich Helicopter School was formed at Ipswich Airport.

In both 1988 and 1989 Ipswich Airport handled 43,000 aircraft movements proving that it was still a very popular airfield especially for training flights. During June 1989 control of the airport changed again when Ipswich Borough Council revealed plans for housing on the site.

On 31st December 1996 Ipswich Airport was delicensed, and ceased to be registered by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Airport site is now the Ravenswood Estate