The history of Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport begins in 1969 with the initiation of a planning permit procedure for the construction of an airfield on land north of the town of Ahden. As early as September 1971, the first smaller aircraft began to use the new airfield for both scheduled service and business aviation. However, it wasn't until 1984 that the airfield became a "real" airport with aviation authority approval to operate as a commercial airport - a status that required the construction of a runway 1,760 meters in length and 30 meters in width, an operations building, airside aprons and a variety of aircraft hangars. But with these new features, larger machines could also take off and land at Paderborn-Lippstadt, and this boosted the tourist travel business in charter flights in particular. In 1986, additional investments in technical facilities enabled instrument approaches (ILS, the use of radio signals and lighting to aid aircraft as they approach the runway), and subsequently the runway was extended to 2,180 meters in length and 45 meters in width, making it possible for large aircraft to take off and land here. Both scheduled service and charter carriers benefitted from this step, with the charter airlines providing service to their first sunshine destinations: Mallorca and Gran Canaria.