The region’s last attempt at a gateway to skies didn’t so much take off as crash land in a flaming ball of despair. Sheffield’s airport was a disappointment for many lager-swilling, English breakfast feasting, Manor-estate-arians, who had long yearned for an easy route out to “Napa”, without the chore of having to traverse the Pennines or the mundane slog out to East Midlands. Not easy to fund when the cab fare costs more than the holiday and you’re on the Rock’n’Roll.
But Sheffield’s loss could be Dronfield’s gain if we were to adopt my proposal for a local airport. Dronfield’s best kept secret hangs surreptitiously above the valley in the rolling hills of Apperknowle; Apperknowle Airfield is a bustling hive of activity with at least one flight departing every month (unless the bloke that lives in the Control Tower, er…. house, is on holiday). Few people actually know where the aerodrome is; this is because to a layperson, it could very well be mistaken for a field. It’s an easy mistake for the untrained eye to make, the livestock wandering across the runway and the cowshed in Terminal 1 only add to cloaking the site’s identity. Apperknowle Airfield cleverly blends into the delightful countryside leaving most in blissful ignorance of its existence. Heathrow could learn a thing or two from us.
Herein lies an opportunity. With the recent exciting developments in Dronfield, such as the superb Aldi, the stunning new bearings in the fly over, the pot hole AND the newly resurfaced, billiard table like, Civic Car Park, what we should really be doing is now is thinking BIG. Apperknowle International is the answer.
Just think; tourists could flock to Dronfield in their tens, the influx of money into the local economy could fund further round-a-bouts where they are not needed and more speed bumps, where they are not needed. Now I do concede, there would be some capital outlay. I guess at the very least we should shift some of the animal excrement from the runway, mow the grass, and pay for some of those lighty up sticks for the farmer to wave at jumbo jets as they taxi towards his house. Nevertheless, with a little effort, we would soon have swarms of A380’s delivering passengers to and from locations all over the globe. Of course, we would need a Wetherspoons in the departure lounge, which might upset the neighbours a tad, but on the plus side it would give us folks in the Dronx a place to go for that early morning holiday pint, which nobody can really stomach but nevertheless does, grimacing, so as not to emasculate themselves in front of their peers.
The new facility would also introduce exciting new trade opportunities, allowing for increased import / export business in the area. The local sub-classes would enjoy uninhibited routes into the region for drugs cartels operating out of Europe, trafficking to the significant distribution hubs of Jordanthorpe, Lowedges and Batemoor.
I’ve been working on a business plan for Apperknowle International Airport (AIA) for at least a day now and already have the buy in from 3 major worldwide air operators. My plans have been thwarted though by a previously unbeknown to me technicality. It seems there is a debate around the correct name of the airfield commonly known as Apperknowle Airfield. Wikipedia cites the little launch pad to the clouds as Coal Aston Airfield. Disputes over the name of the aerodrome got so heated in the early 1900’s that the field was the scene of Civil War between residents of Apperknowle and Coal Aston. The conflict was eventually settled after 25 minutes when the now owner of the strip reminded the locals that it didn’t really matter as nothing ever landed there anyway. In modern times, this unresolved battle over ownership leads to some tricky legal wrangling. It is expected that ultimately, the catchy Apperknowle International will go the way of Doncaster’s attempt to placate its locals and be renamed The Dronfield Apperknowle Coal Aston Miners Arms Airport.
Join me in my plight to get Dronfield the air infrastructure it so desperately needs and follow #ApperknowleInternational.