It’s about 20 years since I first spoke to someone at Carlisle Airport who told me flights would begin there soon.

This wasn’t somebody walking their dog along the fence, by the way.

It was a manager who assured me it was only a matter of time.

They were right, although neither of us thought it would be a matter of quite so much time.

If I had a pound for every occasion I’ve written the words ‘Carlisle Airport is ready for take-off’, I would have £57.50.

That includes the time I gave up in despair halfway through the sentence.

Even now, five days before scheduled flights are due to begin, I’m wondering if they’ll be delayed again.

This is a very Carlisle attitude. Sometimes I think we enjoy it when things don’t happen.

It’s a delicate balancing act. An airport would be hugely convenient.

But is that convenience worth losing the pleasure of saying “Mark my words - it will NEVER happen”?

I’m trying to be optimistic that flights will start next Thursday.

If they do, it will be ok: I’ll still find something to moan about.

For example: the person sitting in front of me tipping their seat back so far I could use their mouth as a cup holder.

Flights from Carlisle will be provided by Scottish company Loganair.

Its website states that ‘the majority of our flights offer complimentary catering, including soft drinks, tea and coffee and nibbles.’

The site says that ‘on very short flights, a full service cannot always be offered.’

Are Carlisle’s flights - to Belfast, Dublin and Southend - classed as too short for catering?

A lot is riding on that question: as you can see from this photo of Loganair cabin crew with a basket of mouth-watering Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers.

I asked Loganair, and it’s good news.

Carlisle passengers will be served with a complimentary soft drink, hot drink and snack, “which includes a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer.”

The flights without catering are on Loganair’s Orkney Inter-Island service.

This includes the world’s shortest flight, between Westray and Papa Westray: 90 seconds.

I love the fact that Loganair feels compelled to explain that catering will not be provided on a flight which takes less time than boiling a kettle.

“I’ve been waiting seconds for something to eat!”

“We’ve landed, sir.”