Multiflight was formed in 1994 by technology entrepreneur David Hood, OBE, after he purchased a Falcon 900B. David, who founded Shipley-based Pace Micro Technology plc and plotted the company’s growth through the 1980s and 1990s until its float in 1996, formed the company after becoming an aviation enthusiast and then helicopter pilot himself, before buying the Falcon.
David’s interest in aviation and learning to fly was born when he was a passenger on a pleasure flight in a Jet Ranger helicopter from the Devonshire Arms Hotel at Bolton Abbey while working at Pace. He was so enthused by the experience that he learnt to fly and was awarded his Twin Squirrel helicopter pilot’s licence. His passion for flight led him to purchase the Falcon and then to buy Knight Air, an aviation business location on the South Side of Leeds Bradford Airport. This facility was initially used to house the Falcon and then started aircraft maintenance work as well as providing Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and commercial flight training.
In 1999 Steve Borrowdale joined Multiflight as Managing Director to assist David with the development and expansion of the company. Steve’s engineering background; he was formerly European Helicopters and Lynton Aviation Vice President, and his experience of worldwide operations, sales and engineering, plus company acquisitions, made him the perfect choice for the role.
Miles Beecham was appointed to Multiflight’s Board of Directors as Finance Director in January 2008. Miles, who started his career with Birmingham accountancy firm PKF working in audit and then as a corporate tax specialist, had been Multiflight’s Financial Controller and Company Secretary since 2002.
Multiflight went on to acquire the two other companies based on the site: Yorkshire Light Aircraft Limited and the Yorkshire Flying Club, as part of a redevelopment and restructuring of the South Side of the airport.
“We saw an opportunity to develop a first class aviation facility that would not only offer flying enthusiasts like myself a great place to learn to fly and fulfil their ambitions, but also provide a one-stop shop for professionals and charter customers with a Flight Training Centre, specialist engineering, charter, aircraft management and sales and executive aircraft handling departments,” said David, Multiflight’s Chairman.
“We are constantly striving to improve our facility and totally refurbished the site. We want to provide our customers with the best possible aviation facility and the best service: we have been voted one of Europe’s leading fixed based operation facilities for customer service, which is testimony to the hard work of all the team here and shows our commitment to delivering high standards of customer service at all times.”
Multi-million pound investment has totally transformed the South Side since Multiflight was formed and created one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country. It caters for all sizes of aircraft, from light aircraft to VIP business jets and 757s and features a dedicated taxiway from the apron and hangar space totalling 10,000 square metres, including two barrel-vaulted hangars that are able to house four Boeing 737-800 sized aircraft.
In 2016, PTT (Pilot Training and Testing Limited) acquired Multiflight Flight Training Centre with the aim of developing and expanding its flight training offer, from Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) to Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL), Instrument Rating (IR) and further – another landmark in Multiflight history.
PTT is a subsidiary of aircraft management and charter operator Naljets who have a long-standing relationship with Multiflight. Naljets’ growing fleet of business jets are hangered with Multiflight at Leeds Bradford Airport, including a new Bombardier Challenger 350, Challenger 605, Citation Excel and a Gulfstream G200. It chose Multiflight as a base for its fleet due to its ongoing expansion and subsequent need for superior facilities.
As well as Multiflight and its 70-strong team, the site is home to a number of other businesses and organisations. These include Craven College’s Aviation Academy, Boundless Networks, one of the UK’s leading Fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers for business and residential customers, and online marketing company Infoserve.