Edinburgh Airport

(Turnhouse Airport)

Edinburgh Airport
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is located 6 miles (10 km) west of the centre of Edinburgh and 46 miles (74 km) east of Glasgow. The passenger terminal was opened in 1977, the work of local architects Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall and Partners. By 2013, it was the busiest airport in Scotland with more than 9.8 million passengers annually, served by 40 different airlines with over 104,000 air transport movements each year. Edinburgh Airport has three runways; the two main runways are 2560m (8399 feet) and 1828m (6000 feet) in length respectively. A much-shorter third runway is used for small aircraft. The airport employs 2500 staff.

It is said to be Scotland's fastest growing airport, and the terminal building has been subject to recent major extension and refurbishment (2000-01). A dramatic new 57-m (187-feet) high air traffic control tower was completed in 2005 at a cost of £11 million and has become a notable landmark. The terminal was further extended in 2006 and a £40-million expansion and redevelopment took place between 2008-10. The terminus of the Edinburgh Tram Line opened here in 2014.

Originally one of seven in the UK operated by the denationalised British Airports Authority, BAA Plc., the airport was sold in 2012 on the instructions of the Competition Commission. It was bought for £807 million by Global Infrastructure Partners, which owns Gatwick and London City airports in the South East of England.

Turnhouse Aerodrome was established here in 1915 for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), with a grass runway. This became a Royal Air Force (RAF) base after the First World War and a hard runway was constructed in 1939. Spitfires from 603 'City of Edinburgh' Squadron, based here, were involved in the first air action of the Second World War, which took place over the Firth of Forth, along with 602 'City of Glasgow' Squadron based at Drem in East Lothian. Edinburgh University Air Squadron was established at Turnhouse in 1940, becoming the East Lowlands University Air Squadron in 1969 and moving to RAF Leuchars in 1993. The airfield began handling civilian traffic in 1947. The old terminal building, opened in 1954, located to the northeast and on the opposite side of the runway to the current terminal, is now associated with the cargo-handling and flying club facilities. RAF Turnhouse eventually closed in 1996.

Edinburgh Airport has the International Air Transport Association (IATA) location code "EDI".

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