In 1936 Royal Air Force Finningley was established near Doncaster during the pre-Second World War re-armament program. As part of RAF Bomber Command the airmen of Finningley flew Lancasters and Wellingtons over Nazi Germany and trained some 10,000 aircrew for combat roles. After extensive work to the main runway the Station moved on to be at the forefront of the UK's Cold War offensive capability with the introduction of the Vulcan nuclear bomber. RAF Finningley remained synonymous with aircrew training until the 31st of March 1996 when the Station's flag was lowered for the last time.
Plans for the development of the old Finningley RAF base into a major Domestic ( and Freight) Airport have been proposed by PEEL Holding's PLC. The impact of the change will be felt over a wide part of South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The region has a number of existing airports within 1 - 2 hours traveling time. The conversion of the former RAF base at Finningley is one of half a dozen the Ministry of Defence is hoping to sell-off or lease to the private sector. In a depressed region suffering the effects of whole-sale pit closures, the scheme is enthusiastically supported by Doncaster borough council and most local MPs. The developer is promising an extra 7,300 jobs over a decade.
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