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End of an illustrious era at Blackpool Airport

Pioneering aviator Amy Johnson, pictured in her aircraft in 1930. Credit: PA

Blackpool Airport - which has roots in the infancy of aviation - closes to the public today.

There's still hope a new owner will be found to resurrect commercial aviation at some stage in the near future, but for now it's the end of long and proud history at the airport which was formerly known as Squires Gate Airfield.

The empty terminal has become a familiar sight. Credit: PA

According to www.controltowers.co.uk, Squires Gate Fields was chosen as the site for the resort's first aerodrome.

The first aviation meeting was held there in 1907, attracting 200,000 spectators.

The site was occupied by other uses, including a convalescent hospital for the The King's Lancashire Regiment, until after the First World War.

Flying resumed in the 1920's and from 1933 Squires Gate flew regular services to Liverpool and the Isle of Man but airline operations were later moved to Stanley Park on the other side of town.

During the Second World War, both Squires Gate and Stanley Park airfields were aircrew training and bomber manufacturing sites.

A Vickers Wellington Bomber, thousands were manufactured in Blackpool during the Second World War. Credit: PA

Thousands of Wellington bombers were built at sites all over Blackpool to assist in the war effort.

It's been claimed the pioneering aviator Amy Johnson flew her last flight from Blackpool and it is said she often flew in to visit her sister who lived in the resort.

Amy Johnson and the famous Gypsy Moth aircraft in 1930. Credit: PA

In recent years the airfield was transformed into Blackpool Airport, a modern International airport serving domestic and European routes.

But after losing a number of airlines the business struggled to make money and owners Balfour Beatty announced it would close last month.

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary announcing new routes in 2003, but the airline's relationship with Blackpool was not to last. Credit: PA

The last flight comes in from the Isle of Man shortly before 5pm tonight and the final departure, heading to the Isle of Man, will take off shortly afterwards.

The scene at Blackpool Airport's terminal today. Credit: ITV News

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