WONDERFUL pictures capture some of the history of flying in Yeadon - tracing the aerodrome's early days to its progression to a thriving international airport.

This year is Leeds Bradford Airport's 90th anniversary - and these atmospheric images, from Aireborough Historical Society, show some of the highlights and changes that have taken place over the decades.

The airport began life as Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome, also know as Yeadon Aerodrome, in October 1931, and since then it has played an important role in the life of the area.

At an elevation of 681 feet it also holds the title of England’s highest airport.

Leeds Bradford Airport’s website says: “When the Second World War brought a halt to civil aviation in 1939 a near-by, camouflaged aircraft factory used the aerodrome to deliver planes to the war effort.

“Civilians were flying out from Leeds Bradford Airport again by 1947 and the 50s and 60s brought routes to Belfast, Düsseldorf and Dublin we still offer today.

“Work to extend the runway, create a tunnel to take the A658 beneath it and redevelopments of the terminal building were completed in 1985 upgrading the airport to regional status.

“Transatlantic flights to Canada were first offered in 1984 with Wardair. The first chartered Concorde landed in 1986 with an estimated 70,000 people there to see it.

“In 1994 we went open all hours meaning flights could use the airport 24 hours a day.

“In recent years, airport passengers have grown significantly from 1.2 million a year in 1997 to 2.9 million in 2007. Now welcoming over 4 million passengers a year, the airport plans to welcome 7 million a year by 2030.”

The new municipal airport was just a plan when one of these photographs was taken in 1929. It shows a party of dignitaries viewing the proposed site for Yeadon airport. In the centre wearing their mayoral chains and top hats are the Lord Mayors of Leeds and Bradford. A number of other officials and council representatives were also present - as well as chauffeurs with the officials cars.

An early but undated picture, top left, shows a bi-plane at the aerodrome.

Another undated image, donated to AHS by Michael Clements, shows a crashed Spitfire . This aircraft is a post Second World War model belonging to 609 Squadron.

Mr Clements’ grandfather Laurie Clements worked at the aerodrome with the airport fire service, and he can be seen third from the left in picture of the group of firemen.

The fire brigade photographs, thought to pre-date 1939, were also donated by Michael Clements.

A photograph of the airport site in 1950 shows West Riding Aviation Centre and was donated to Aireborough Historical Society by Howard German.

The AHS website says: “The airfield was controlled from the top floor with offices on the ground floor. Stairs on the left of the building led to the roof. The public were allowed onto the roof to watch the aircraft.”

A picture taken in November 1984 shows a British Airways 747 landing on the newly opened runway. Traffic can be seen driving into the new underpass. The image was donated to AHS by Alan Pickles.

Concorde was captured in a photographs donated by Howard German. The picture was taken on April 25, 1987, and shows British Airways Concorde on it’s first flight into LBA. The French Concorde had flown into the airport just over a year earlier.