|East Midlands Airport
Castle Donington Airport
|The runway at East Midlands Airport|
|IATA: EMA ICAO: EGNX|
|Owner/Operator||Manchester Airports Group|
|Location||Castle Donington, Leicestershire|
|Elevation AMSL||306 ft / 93 m|
|Passenger change 11-12||3.3%|
|Movements change 11-12||0.7%|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
East Midlands Airport (IATA: EMA, ICAO: EGNX) is an airport in the East Midlands of England, located at Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire. It lies between the cities of Derby 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi) southeast, Leicester and Nottingham, which are all within a 20 mi (30 km) radius of the airfield. It mainly serves the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. Passenger numbers peaked in 2008 at 5.6 million, but declined by 25% to 4.1 million in 2012 making it the 13th busiest airport in the UK by passenger traffic. A major cargo hub, it was the second busiest UK airport for freight traffic in 2012.
EMA has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P520) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. The airport is owned by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the largest British-owned airport operator which is controlled by the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester with Manchester retaining the controlling stake.
The airport was originally a Royal Air Force station, RAF Castle Donington, which was decommissioned in 1946. The site was purchased by a consortium of local government authorities in 1964, when a major programme of building work and runway investment was begun. The airfield was renamed East Midlands Airport to reflect the area it served, and it opened for passengers in April 1965.
EMA replaced the smaller pre-war grass airfield at Derby Burnaston, and the base's light aircraft later moved to a new site at Derby Egginton Airfield near Hilton. The original Derby Airport site at Burnaston has since been redeveloped as a Toyota car factory.
Derby Airways, which was in the process of being renamed British Midland Airways, moved its operations to the new airport and established its headquarters in nearby Donington Hall in Castle Donington, operating a network of domestic and international scheduled and charter flights at East Midlands. The airfield was established with basic requirements of a 5,850 ft (1,780 m) runway, a 60 ft (18 m) taxiway, a new hangar floor and aprons, and parking for 850 cars. Financially, it was not an instant success. However, the picture quickly changed, with the increased volume of cargo traffic soon demanding further development. In 1970, an agreement was reached on creating a new freight complex, and both the runway and the terminal were extended.
Expansion was swift, with a further runway extension to 2,283 m (7,490 ft) and terminal upgrade in the late 1970s. During 1985, one million passengers used the airport for the first time, which necessitated yet another terminal extension. Following government legislation, the airport became a public limited company in 1987, distancing it from all-out control by the local authorities.
With growing passenger and cargo traffic, further expansion was proposed for the airport in 1992. However, despite the enthusiasm of the local authorities who owned the airport, the funds necessary were not raised, so in 1993 East Midlands became the first major regional airport in the UK to be privatised. National Express Group purchased the airfield for £24.3m and began to invest in airport facilities. A £20m, 610 m (2,000 ft) extension to the runway was added to enable the airport to handle long-haul flights, and a new air traffic control tower was constructed, the second tallest in the UK at the time. National Express investment would eventually total over £77m over an eight-year period.
DHL Aviation opened a new £35m cargo facility on site in 2000, and in the same year a business park was constructed next to the airport. However, National Express Group announced its intention to concentrate on bus and rail provision, and sold East Midlands Airport, together with Bournemouth Airport, in March 2001 to Manchester Airports Group for £241m.
The arrival of low-cost carriers in 2002 resulted in a sharp jump in passenger numbers, rising 36% in that year to 3.23 million. Go Fly established a hub at East Midlands, and the operation has been strengthened since the airline's absorption by easyJet. The majority of BMI operations were ceded to a new low cost subsidiary, bmibaby, in 2002.
The DEMAND Campaign was formed in 2004 to campaign against night flights at the airport and against increasing levels of noise generally.
By 2006, annual passengers had reached 4.72 million, twelfth highest in the UK. The five million mark was passed during April 2007.
In September 2006 Plane Stupid blocked a taxiway at the airport for four hours. Their spokesman Leo Murray said, "The people of the past didn't know what the problem was. For the people of the future it's going to be too late. People in developing countries are powerless to do anything about it. If we don't do this, it's not going to get done."
Following increasing overcrowding at the terminal building, the airport facilities have been extended and remodelled. There are new short-stay car parks, but there are charges for drop-off outside the terminals. The arrivals hall has been extended, a new transport interchange has been created, and a new pier has been built to reduce 'across tarmac' walking to aircraft. A major extension is being created airside.
East Midlands Airport has established itself as a hub for low fare airlines such as, Jet2.com and Ryanair and tour operarors like Thomson Airways which serve a range of domestic and European short-haul destinations. It is also a base for BMI Regional, Flybe, Monarch and Thomas Cook Airlines. EasyJet ceased operating from the airport on 5 January 2010. As a result of this redeployment, bmibaby announced plans to expand its operation by 40% by basing three more aircraft at the airport by summer 2010.
A major development towards the long-haul programme came in 2005 with the introduction of holiday flights to the Dominican Republic, Orlando, and Cancún by First Choice Airways. The Indian resort of Goa has since been added.
On 28 August 2009, low fares airline Jet2.com announced that it's seventh base would be at East Midlands Airport, starting with seven routes across Europe from May 2010 and two new winter routes from 20 December 2010 and have grown further since.
BMI has its maintenance base at the airport.
It was announced on 13 April 2011 that Bmibaby would close its Manchester and Cardiff bases, moving an additional service to East Midlands Airport with increased frequencies and new routes for summer 2012.
It was announced only just over a year later, on 3 May 2012, that Bmibaby would be closed down and cease all operations in September 2012 with a number of services being dropped from June. The parent company, International Airlines Group, cited heavy losses and the failure to find a suitable buyer as the reasons for the decision. In light of the announcement, Flybe and Monarch announced they would establish a base at the airport, and low-cost airline Jet2.com confirmed they would also expand their operations from the airport with new routes and an additional aircraft from Summer 2013.
Ryanair has also expanded its East Midlands base with a series of new routes and frequency increases on existing routes. They will now serve the airport with 7 based aircraft, 40 destinations, over 320 weekly flights and roughly 2.3 million passengers a year, making it the largest airline at the airport, accounting for about 50% of passenger traffic with East Midlands now being Ryanair's third largest UK airport after London-Stansted and Manchester, both now also owned by MAG.
|Aurigny Air Services||Guernsey|
|BH Air||Seasonal: Bourgas, Varna|
|BMI Regional||Brussels, Frankfurt|
|Flybe||Amsterdam, Belfast-City, Edinburgh, Glasgow-International, Jersey, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
|Freebird Airlines||Seasonal: Dalaman|
|Jet2.com||Lanzarote, Tenerife-South, Alicante, Málaga
Seasonal: Bodrum, Budapest (begins 8 November 2013), Chambéry, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Faro, Geneva, Gran Canaria (begins 15 July 2013), Heraklion, Ibiza (begins 24 May 2013), Larnaca (begins 25 May 2013; ends 2 November 2013), Madeira (begins 8 April 2014), Minorca (begins 17 May 2013), Murcia, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Prague (begins 7 November 2013), Rhodes, Zakynthos (begins 28 May 2014)
|Monarch Airlines||Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Malta (begins 7 May 2013)
Seasonal: Ibiza (begins 23 May 2013), Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South
Charter Seasonal: Dalaman
|Onur Air||Seasonal: Dalaman|
|Ryanair||Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin-Schönefeld, Dinard, Dublin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Knock, Kraków, Lanzarote, Limoges, ód, Malaga, Milan-Bergamo, Pozna, Reus, Riga, Rzeszow, Tenerife-South, Venice-Treviso, Warsaw-Modlin, Wrocaw
Seasonal: Almeria, Bergerac, Carcassonne, Corfu, Chania, Girona, Ibiza, La Rochelle, Marseille, Minorca , Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Rhodes, Rome-Ciampino, Valencia, Zadar
|Thomas Cook Airlines||Bourgas, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Izmir, Lanzarote, Monastir, Paphos, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tenerife-South
Seasonal: Alicante, Faro, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Antalya, Bodrum, Corfu, Dalaman, Larnaca, Malta, Minorca, Palma de Mallorca, Reus, Rhodes, Rovaniemi, Skiathos, Zakynthos
|Thomson Airways||Alicante, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, Madeira, Palma de Mallorca, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tenerife-South
Seasonal: Antalya, Boa Vista, Bodrum, Barbados, Burgas, Cancún, Chambéry, Corfu, Dalaman, Faro, Enfidha, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Larnaca, Minorca, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Paphos, Rhodes, Salzburg, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Zakynthos
|Aerologic||Leipzig/Halle, Frankfurt, Bahrain|
|Atlantic Airlines||Jersey, Basel/Mulhouse Airport|
|DHL Aviation||Belfast-International, Brussels-International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Milan-Orio al Serio, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Vitoria|
|DHL Air UK
operated by Atlantic Airlines
|DHL Air UK
operated by ABX Air
|DHL Air UK
operated by Swiftair
|DHL Air UK
operated by Europe Airpost
|Shannon, Paris-Charles de Gaulle|
|Icelandair Cargo||Reykjavik-Keflavík, Liege|
operated by Atlantic Airlines
|Aberdeen, Belfast-International, Cardiff, Isle of Man, Edinburgh|
operated by Jet2.com
|Belfast-International, Edinburgh, Exeter, Newcastle uponTyne|
operated by Loganair
operated by Titan Airways
|TNT Airways||Belfast-International, Liège|
|UPS Airlines||Cologne/Bonn, Louisville, Philadelphia|
operated by Star Air (Maersk Air)
|Cologne/Bonn, Belfast-International, Edinburgh|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % Change
2009 / 10
|2||Spain, Palma de Mallorca||218,037||16|
|5||Spain, Tenerife South||151,100||9|
|7||United Kingdom, Edinburgh||108,700||17|
|10||United Kingdom, Glasgow International||99,740||13|
|11||France, Paris Charles de Gaulle||91,572||11|
|13||Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh||83,703||76|
|14||Spain, Gran Canaria||74,927||12|
|15||Germany, Berlin Schönefeld||74,826||7|
East Midlands Airport is the second largest cargo airport in the United Kingdom after London Heathrow. In 2010 Heathrow handled 1.47 million tonnes of freight compared with 273,600 tonnes at East Midlands. DHL Aviation have a large purpose-built facility at EMA, and courier companies United Parcel Service (UPS) and TNT also use the airport as a base to import/export freight to Belfast and Liege.
The nearest railway station is East Midlands Parkway, which is 4 miles (6.4 km) away. The shuttle bus service linking the station and the airport has ceased but one can take a taxi at a reduced fare if it is booked at least 12 hours in advance.
Although very much still in the initial stages of planning, a proposed route for the High Speed 2 rail line from London Euston to the north of England via Birmingham could bring the Leeds branch very close to East Midlands Airport with proposals for a station to serve the airport and the Nottingham and Derby catchment areas.
There are frequent Skylink services operated by Kinchbus and Trent Barton. Kinchbus run buses from Leicester to Derby via Loughborough and Trent Barton operate a route from Nottingham to Loughborough via Beeston and Long Eaton. Both services operate every 30 minutes during the day and hourly throughout the night, seven days a week.
The East Midlands Aeropark to the north west corner of the airport has a large number of static aircraft on public display.
The museum and its exhibits are managed and maintained by the Aeropark Volunteers Association (AVA). It also offers two excellent viewing mounds for watching aircraft arriving and departing from the main runway. AVA Members are allowed free access to the Aeropark. Exhibits include: