Airport History

In the inter-war years, the City of Manchester, in its quest to establish a municipal airport, chose the location of Fox Hill Farm, alongside the present A57 in 1928.  This choice was strongly influenced by the City’s Cleansing Department’s ownership of 2600 acres and additional persuasion by John Leeming, who went on to lead the Lancashire Aero Club into existence at the airfield.

Building of the Airport commenced in March 1929 and to initially reduce costs, the area was limited to 80 acres east of Fox Hill Glen.

The Airport officially opened on 29th January 1930 with completion of the Control Tower (the first in the UK) and a large Hangar, which was designed to house the most advanced passenger aircraft of the day, the Imperial Airways Argosy. The airport became the first municipal airfield in the UK to be licensed by the Air Ministry.

The first landing was by an Avro Avian, with the first large aircraft to use the airfield being Imperial Airway’s three-engine Argosy on 23rd May 1930.