Tales of the Tees – Teesside Airport


Teesside Airport

Teesside Airport was created as a military airbase in 1941 during the second world war. It was called RAF Middleton St George although many local people called it RAF Goosepool. It was mainly a bomber base, the most northerly in Britain, and was operated by RAF and Canadian aircrew flying Lancaster Bombers. After the war the RAF took total control of it, extended the runway and used it as a base for the Lightning Jet which was pretty much the fastest thing in the sky at the time.

However, as Britain started to slim down its military capability after the 50’s the airfield was no longer of much use to the RAF so they sold it in 1964. It was sold to another government ministry, the ‘ministry of Civil Aviation who converted it into an airport for passengers with the growing trade in air travel. Teesside Airport was born.

The airport has had a very up and down history with passenger numbers peaking in the early 2000’s followed by a steady decline. It was even renamed in 2004 as ‘Durham Tees Valley’ which was not popular with local people. 

However, Teesside Airport is now on the up. Just a few years ago it was due to be sold off for land to build houses on, passenger and flight numbers were down and really, the future looked bleak. 

In 1732 Richard Peirse decided that the road to

Now, it has increasing passenger and flights each year with new destinations being added all the time. Most of its facilities have been upgraded and it is very definitely now called Teesside Airport. However, that is just part of the story.  The airfield also houses new facilities and hangars for an aircraft engineering for that repair or recycle aircraft from all over the world. There are also various training companies on site such as the Aviation Fire Training Centre which is one of the most well respected in the world. And most people in Tees Valley will be familiar with the noisy jets that fly overhead most days. These are military training companies that support the RAF and have expanded their facilities over the last few years. 

The next phase of development is focussed on cargo. A new cargo handling facility has been built which is immediately increasing trade flights and currently under construction is a huge business park on the south side of the runway. This will allow logistics forms to better use the cargo facilities at the airport and further increase its use.

Other resources

To total history of the airport on Wikipedia including its origins as a WW2 airfield

Old maps of the area – range of dates often before the airport was created.

History and info about RAF Middleton St George