Aberdeen International Airport
Port-adhair Obar Dheathain
|Operator||Aberdeen International Airport Limited|
|Serves||Aberdeen, United Kingdom|
|Elevation AMSL||215 ft / 66 m|
Aberdeen International Airport (Scottish Gaelic: Port-adhair Eadar-nàiseanta Obar Dheathain) (IATA: ABZ, ICAO: EGPD) is an international airport, located at Dyce, a suburb of Aberdeen, Scotland, approximately 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) northwest of Aberdeen city centre. A total of just under 3.1 million passengers used the airport in 2017, an increase of 4.6% compared with 2016.
The airport is owned and operated by AGS Airports which also owns and operates Glasgow and Southampton airports. It was previously owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly known as BAA).
Aberdeen Airport is a base for Eastern Airways, Flybe, Flybmi and Loganair. The airport also serves as the main heliport for the Scottish offshore oil industry. With the utilisation of newer aircraft, helicopters can reach northernmost platforms on both the east and west of Shetland areas. However, helicopters also sometimes use Wick, Kirkwall, Scatsta and Sumburgh for refuelling stops.
The airport has one main passenger terminal, serving all scheduled and charter holiday flights. In addition, there are four terminals dedicated to North Sea helicopter operations, used by Bristow Helicopters, CHC Helicopter, NHV and Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore. Bristow Helicopters also have a small terminal adjacent to the main passenger terminal, used primarily for oil company charter flights to Scatsta and Sumburgh in Shetland, operated by Eastern Airways.
The airport opened in 1934, established by Eric Gandar Dower, intended to link the northern islands of Scotland with London.
During Second World War the airfield became a Royal Air Force station RAF Dyce. It was the site of the Dyce Sector Operations Room within No. 13 Group RAF. Although fighters were there throughout the Battle of Britain to provide protection from German bombing raids from Occupied Norway, it was mainly used as a photographic reconnaissance station. Anti-shipping operations by Coastal Command were carried out from RAF Dyce as well as convoy escort. The airfield was bombed by the Luftwaffe on 26 July 1940 and 27 August 1940, no damage was reported. A decoy site ('Q' Site) was located at Harestone Moss near Whitecairns. The aim of this site was to create the impression of an active airfield during the night. The decoy worked on around four occasions, where several raids resulted in bombs being dropped on the decoy site. The decoy site had a small underground bunker that housed a generator. This was used to power a decoy 'flarepath' in addition to a rotating lamp to give the impression of a taxiing aircraft. Near the airport off the A96, to deter German gliders landing to attack RAF Dyce during WW2, the flat areas across from Concraig Farm (between Blackurn and Kintore) had wooden poles erected as anti-glider landing poles. A Spitfire IIa crashed at the east side of the airfield on 19 November 1941 during attack practice with a target glider being towed. F/O Zaoral is buried in the old Dyce graveyard, where some German aircrew are also buried that crashed in Aberdeen in 1940.
A significant wartime event occurred in May 1943 when a German, Junkers Ju 88 night fighter landed here; it was flown to Scotland by its crew, who wanted to defect to the Allied side. The surrender of this aircraft was of great intelligence value at the time, as it was fitted with the latest FuG 202 Liechtenstein BC A.I radar. The aircraft survives and is displayed in the RAF Museum in London.
On 17 August 1943, a Mosquito crashed following a stall in the circuit, crashing onto 5 John Street in Dyce village; another Mosquito on 10 April 1944 crashed on approach to the airfield. On 26 December 1944, A Messerschmitt BF109G signalling intentions to surrender crash landed at the airfield. On 16 May 1945, two pilots were killed when a Wellington bomber crashed on landing wrecking a goods train in Dyce Station. During air raids in the Second World War, aircraft were moved to East Fingask beside Oldmeldrum. One RAF building still remains at East Fingask, where aircrews waited for the "All Clear" before returning to Dyce airfield.
The following units have been based at Aberdeen Airport:
Virtually nothing remains from the war era at the airport due to expansion and development of the industrial estates around it. The original airport terminal was located at the East Side where the Bond Offshore Helicopters Terminal 2 is located, a new terminal was built along with a new control tower to handle the increase in air traffic. The airport was nationalised in 1947 and was transferred to the control of the British Airports Authority (BAA) in 1975. From 1967 and 1970 there were regular flights to Moscow and Toronto; these were later stopped due to cost related problems.
With the discovery of North Sea oil, helicopter operations began in 1967, linking the growing number of oil platforms to the mainland. As Aberdeen became the largest oil-related centre in Europe, the airport became the world's largest commercial heliport. Today,[when?] Aberdeen Airport handles more than 37,000 rotary wing movements carrying around 468,000 passengers annually. Helicopters account for almost half of all aircraft movements at the airport.
Until March 2005, aircraft were not allowed to take-off or land between 22:30 and 06:00 local time due to noise constraints. The city council overturned this ban, however, despite some Dyce residents' objections, and the airport is now open 24 hours a day to fixed-wing aircraft with a quota count of QC4 or below, and the overnight restrictions still apply to helicopters.
General aviation flight training for private pilots licences takes place from the East Side of the airport. Signature Flight Support also handles most of the private flights and corporate jets that park on the Eastside Apron. The air ambulance (fixed wing) is positioned on the eastside apron in a dedicated hangar, Gama Aviation operates King-Air aircraft from Aberdeen.
Aberdeen, being a major city in the oil industry has a number of oil company charter flights, these have included flights to South America and also Korea (via Abu Dhabi). Flights from the USA are regular visitors and the occasional military flights have also landed.
In October 2014, Heathrow Airport Holdings reached an agreement to sell the airport, together with Southampton and Glasgow, to a consortium of Ferrovial and Macquarie Group for £1 billion. The airport handles around 500,000 passengers per year by helicopter for the North Sea oil fields. making it the world's busiest heliport.
The airport's Master Plan 2013 forecast growth to 5.09 million passengers a year by 2040. A major three year project (2016-2019) aims to transform the passenger terminal and increase space by 50%.
In 2019 the following airlines operated regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Aberdeen:
|Aer Lingus Regional||Dublin|
|Air France||ParisCharles de Gaulle|
|BH Air||Seasonal: Burgas|
|easyJet|| LondonGatwick (ends 8 February 2019), LondonLuton|
|Flybe|| BelfastCity, Birmingham, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, London-City, LondonHeathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Wick |
Seasonal: Jersey, Newquay
|flybmi||Bristol, Esbjerg, OsloGardermoen|
|Ryanair|| Alicante |
Seasonal: Faro, Málaga, Malta
|Scandinavian Airlines||Copenhagen, OsloGardermoen, Stavanger|
|TUI Airways|| TenerifeSouth |
Seasonal: Corfu, Dalaman, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Reus, Rhodes (begins 1 May 2019)
|DHL Aviation||East Midlands|
|Royal Mail||East Midlands, Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Sumburgh|
2016 / 17
|10||ParisCharles de Gaulle||85,601||14.4%|
There are Jurys Inn, Premier Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza hotels on the airport site, as well as a Speedbird Inn. On January 10, 2013 it was also announced that Accor Group will be bringing two new hotels to the airport, a 194-bedroom Novotel hotel and the other a 112-bedroom Ibis hotel. At least one more hotel is planned for the adjacent Aberdeen International Business Park starting in 2016.
For flight training, Airbus/Eurocopter and Bristow Helicopters both have helicopter flight simulators in buildings at the airport. Alexander Air also operate GA flight training based from Aberdeen Airport.
Aberdeen Airport is served by local and express bus services operated by First Aberdeen and Stagecoach Bluebird. There is a dedicated No.727 bus service up to every 10 minutes to the main bus and rail station in central Aberdeen. The 747 bus (operated by Stagecoach Bluebird) provides connections to Montrose and Stonehaven, the 757 to Newtonhill and Portlethen and both to Ellon, Cruden Bay and Peterhead
Chartered buses can also be booked with local operators.
Media related to Aberdeen Airport at Wikimedia Commons