A DAKOTA became the last ever aircraft to land at Leeds Bradford Airport's original runway this week.

Airport workers and original airline stewards lined up to see the 44-year-old Dakota DC3 land at runway 09/27 on Monday.

An impressive arch of water provided by the airport fire engines greeted the aircraft as it touched down much to the delight of aircraft spotters who flocked to perimeter fences to get a view.

And as the plane travelled along the runway for the final time it passed a throng of parked holiday jets which now populate the Yeadon airport.

The original runway will now be used as a taxiway and extra apron space will be built in order to park the increasing number of aircraft using the airport.

Amongst those watching the landing were two original air hostesses from the former BKS Airline which used the Dakota DC3 for scheduled flights.

Air hostess Christine Hill, 62, flew from the airport's original runway many times in the 1960s with the fondly remembered BKS Air Transport.

Christine, of Burley Woodhead, said: "Its all very different today. Back then, the airport was pretty primitive, but I loved every minute of it.

"We worked a six-day week in the summer and were often freezing cold in the winter but I wouldn't have swapped it for the world.

"The aircraft was left outside all night so we often had to scrape the ice off the inside of the windows before we welcomed the passengers on board."

Each Dakota could carry up to 32 passengers along with a pilot, co-pilot and hostess. As the era of international travel got under way, thousands began their journeys at Leeds Bradford.

Monday's event coincided with the start of national Customer Service Week during which the airport recognised the important work of its staff.

And to mark the airport's first year as a member of the Institute of Customer Services, a giant cake was served up by Councillor Stewart Golton, chairman of the airport board of directors.

Celebrations have been taking place all week and are due to end at 1pm tomorrow when 250 helium balloons will be released from the airport terminal.

Every one of the red and blue balloons will represent a member of the airport's staff.