Newtownards Airport opened in 1934 and was extensively used during WWII by the RAF. Currently home to Ulster Flying Club and hosts frequent flying out of the airport, with Helicopters, Microlights and Light Aircraft using the site. Newtownards Airport is in County Down and can be found around 11 miles from the City of Belfast, 0.9 Miles from the Town of Newtownards and 4.2 miles from Mount Stewart Gardens in Ireland.
The North Flying Club was formed in September 1928 and sought a permanent home for its new members. A solution was thought of in December 1933 when the 7th Marquis of Londonberry - who too was an enthusiastic aviator and Secretary of State for Air from 1931-1932 announced that an aerodrome would be built on a fifty-acre plot of land, which formerly happened to be a recourse. Newtownards opened in August 1934 and was served by UK-scheduled internal mail and passenger flights until the construction of Sydenham airport in March 1938.
The first recorded landing took place in the summer of 1934. The aircraft was a de Havilland Gipsy Moth - A British two-seat touring and training aircraft. The airport was officially opened on 31 August 1934 by the Duke of Abercorn, the governor of Northern Ireland. In his speech, he mentioned that this occasion marked a significant development in air communications between Britain and Northern Ireland and believed that as air travel developed, Newtownards would be a base for flights to Britain and other parts of Europe.
With the outbreak of World War II, private flying came to a temporary stop as the airfield was requisitioned as a suitable base for training and Army Co-Operation flying. Air Ministry drew up plans to increase the site by 234 acres. The first RAF Unit 231 squadron operating Lysander aircraft and primarily engaged in Army Co-operation duties. Some of these duties consisted of patrols over Army convoys and were general support for tactical exercises. By the beginning of 1944, the demands of the war and the airfield changed, meaning Newtownards became a relief landing ground for 24 Empire Flying Training School.
Today, the airfield is home to the Ulster Flying Club, founded in 1961. Over the years, the club has grown significantly and has become Northern Ireland's largest flying school and one of the largest non-commercial training and flying organisations. However, a fire in 2004 destroyed the clubhouse; a new one was soon built and opened by HRH, the Duke of York, in 2005.
Newtownards offers a variety of Flying Experiencesavailable for you to choose from and take part in, which can all be booked at FlyDays.
Please remember that Flying Experiences are dependent on weather conditions, so at times may need to be rescheduled.