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Edinburgh Airport
Port-adhair Dùn Èideann
BAA Edinburgh logo.png
Edinburgh Airport View.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator BAA
Serves Edinburgh
Scottish Borders
Location Turnhouse, Edinburgh
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 136 ft / 41 m
Coordinates 55°57′00″N 003°22′21″W / 55.95°N 3.3725°W / 55.95; -3.3725Coordinates: 55°57′00″N 003°22′21″W / 55.95°N 3.3725°W / 55.95; -3.3725
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,557 8,389 Asphalt
12/30 1,798 5,899 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Aircraft Movements 115,969
Passengers 9,049,355
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Edinburgh Airport (IATA: EDIICAO: EGPH) is located at Turnhouse in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2009, handling just over nine million passengers. It was also the seventh[3] busiest airport in the UK by passengers and the fifth busiest by aircraft movements.[2] It is located 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi)[1] west of the city centre and is situated just off the M8 motorway.

The airport is owned and operated by BAA, which also owns and operates five other UK airports,[4] and is itself owned by ADI Limited, an international consortium, which includes Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and GIC Special Investments, that is led by the Spanish Ferrovial Group.[5]

The airport is a base of EasyJet and Ryanair. Flyglobespan used to be based at Edinburgh airport but all operations were ceased on 16 December 2009 after going into administration due to financial circumstances.

The present terminal building, designed by Robert Matthew, was constructed in 1977 and has been upgraded in recent years, with new car parking facilities and an extended arrivals hall. A new control tower was completed in 2005.

There are plans for expansion of the airport, with passenger numbers expected to reach 26 million per annum by 2030.



Turnhouse Aerodrome was the most northerly British air defence base in World War I used by the Royal Flying Corps. The small base opened in 1915 and it was used to house the 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron from 1925, which consisted of DH 9As, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts, and Hawker Hind light bombers. All the aircraft used a grass air strip.

In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and the airfield was named RAF Turnhouse and ownership transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

When the Second World War broke out, fighter command took control over the airfield and a runway of 3,900 ft was paved to handle the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire.

When the war ended the airfield still remained under military control, but by the late 1940s the first commercial services were launched. In 1947, British European Airways started a service between Edinburgh and London using Vickers Vikings followed by the Viscount and Vanguard series.

View of the control tower from the terminal building

In 1952 the runway was extended to 6000 ft to handle the Vampire FB5s; and an aircraft carrier Catcher Net (never used) to protect traffic on the adjacent A9 road. In 1956 a new passenger terminal was built to offer improved commercial service and five years later it was extended. The Ministry of Defence transferred ownership to the Ministry of Aviation in 1960 to offer improved commercial service to the airport. Flying was temporarily diverted to East Fortune, which had its runway extended to accommodate the airliners of the period. In 1971 the British Airports Authority took over the airport and immediately started to expand it by constructing a new runway and terminal building.

Although the original main runway 13/31 (which is now 12/30) served the airport well, its alignment had the disadvantage of suffering from severe crosswinds and the other two minor runways were very short and could not be readily extended, so movements were transferred to a new runway (07/25 which has since become 06/24) in an addition completely outside the original airfield boundary. This runway, completed in 1977 is 8399 ft in length, and was able to take all modern airliners including Concorde. A new terminal was built alongside the runway to cater for the additional traffic. The old terminal and hangars were converted into a cargo centre.

The only international services from Edinburgh during the 1980s were to Amsterdam and Dublin, but in the following years links were opened to destinations in France and Germany. By the end of the decade BAA had been privatised and funds were used to extend the current terminal building and create parking aprons.

In 2005, a new 57 metre tall air traffic control tower was completed at a cost of £10m (€16m).

An extension to the terminal opened in September 2006 called the "South East Pier". This extension initially added six gates (14 - 19) on a new pier to the South-East of the earlier building next to departure gates 12 & 12b. A further 4 gates (20 - 23) were added to the South East Pier at the end of 2008 as well as a very controversial Gate 13 between the earlier terminal building (Gate 12b) and the newer gates in the South East Pier.

Airlines and destinations

Ryanair and Flybe aircraft at the airport
A Flybe Embraer 195 at the airport

Scheduled airlines

Airlines Destinations
Aer Arann Cork [ends 27 March], Derry [begins 20 May], Galway
Aer Lingus Dublin
Aer Lingus Regional operated by Aer Arann Cork [begins 28 March], Dublin [begins 28 March]
Air France operated by CityJet London-City, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air France operated by ScotAirways for CityJet London-City
Air Transat Toronto-Pearson [seasonal]
BMI London-Heathrow
BMI operated by BMI Regional Brussels, Copenhagen, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Zürich
Bmibaby Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands
British Airways London-Heathrow, London-Gatwick
British Airways operated by BA Cityflyer London-City
Cimber Sterling Copenhagen [seasonal]
Continental Airlines Newark
EasyJet Alicante [seasonal], Amsterdam, Belfast-International, Bristol, Geneva, Kraków, Lisbon [begins 4 May], London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Lyon, Madrid, Milan-Malpensa, Munich, Nice, Palma de Mallorca [seasonal], Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Flybe Belfast-City, Bergerac [seasonal], Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Guernsey [begins 13 July], Manchester, Manston [ begins 27 May], Newquay [seasonal], Norwich, Rennes [seasonal], Southampton
Flybe operated by Loganair Inverness, Isle of Man, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Wick
Germanwings Cologne/Bonn [seasonal] Chambéry [seasonal], Dubrovnik [begins 2 May; seasonal], Faro [begins 20 May; seasonal], Ibiza [seasonal], La Rochelle [seasonal], Minorca [seasonal], Murcia [seasonal], Olbia [seasonal], Palma de Mallorca [begins 26 June; seasonal], Pisa [seasonal], Prague, Toulouse [seasonal], Venice-Marco Polo [seasonal]
KLM Amsterdam
KLM operated by KLM Cityhopper Amsterdam
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Lufthansa Regional[ operated by Lufthansa CityLine Düsseldorf [begins 26 April]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda [begins 6 May]
Ryanair Alicante, Berlin-Schönefeld, Billund, Bologna [seasonal], Bordeaux [seasonal; begins 31 March], Bournemouth [ends 27 March], Bratislava, Bremen, Brussels South-Charleroi, Dublin, Faro [begins 2 May], Gdansk, Girona, Hahn, Haugesund, Kaunas [begins 6 May], Kraków, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Łódź, Lübeck [begins 20 May], Málaga, Malta, Marseille [seasonal], Marrakech [begins 1 May], Memmingen, Palma de Mallorca [seasonal], Paris-Beauvais [begins 1 May], Pisa, Poitiers [seasonal], Poznań, Oslo-Torp, Rome-Ciampino, Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tampere [begins 1 April], Tenerife-South, Weeze, Zadar [seasonal]
Scandinavian Airlines Stockholm-Arlanda [seasonal]
Spanair Barcelona [begins 14 May]
Star1 Airlines Vilnius [begins 28 March]

Charter airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air Europa Palma de Mallorca [seasonal]
BA Cityflyer Cagliari [seasonal]
BH Air Burgas [seasonal], Sofia [seasonal, Varna [seasonal]
BMI Ibiza [seasonal]
Iberworld Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Tenerife-South
Monarch Airlines Alicante [seasonal], Dalaman [seasonal], Fuerteventura [seasonal], Ibiza [seasonal], Lanzarote [seasonal], Larnaca [seasonal], Las Palmas de Gran Canaria [seasonal], Palma de Mallorca [seasonal], Reus [seasonal], Rhodes [seasonal], Tenerife-South [seasonal], Zakynthos [seasonal]
Thomas Cook Airlines Dalaman [seasonal], Palma de Mallorca [seasonal]
Thomson Airways Sharm El Sheik, Tenerife South
Viking Airlines Corfu [seasonal], Heraklion [seasonal], Rhodes [seasonal]

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Atlantic Airlines Coventry
Bluebird Cargo Cork, Reykjavik-Keflavík
DHL East Midlands
DHL operated by Exin Aberdeen Bristol, London-Stansted
Titan Airways Larnaca, Paphos
UPS operated by Star Air Cologne, East Midlands


Gate lounge area in the South East Pier Extension at Edinburgh Airport
Aircraft from British Airways and Flybe at Edinburgh Airport

Passenger traffic at Edinburgh Airport has increased every year since 1997, except in 2008 when a slight drop was recorded. In 2009, a record 9,049,355 passengers used the airport with 115,969 aircraft movements recorded.[2]

Number of Passengers[2] Number of Movements[6] Freight
1997 4,214,919 99,352 27,548
1998 4,588,507 100,134 23,260
1999 5,119,258 101,226 25,594
2000 5,519,372 102,393 32,694
2001 6,067,333 112,361 36,181
2002 6,930,649 118,416 32,126
2003 7,481,454 118,943 26,806
2004 8,017,547 125,317 28,605
2005 8,456,739 127,122 24,699
2006 8,611,345 126,914 14,550
2007 9,047,558 128,172 26,608
2008 9,006,702 125,550 36,714
2009 9,049,355 115,969 28,219
Source: United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority [7]
Busiest international routes out of Edinburgh Airport (2008)[2]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change Airlines Served (2008)
1 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 465,654 7.32 easyJet, KLM
2 Dublin Airport 449,562 1.12 Aer Lingus, Ryanair
3 Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport 278,694 16.03 Air France, easyJet
4 Frankfurt Airport 166,003 5.87 Lufthansa
5 Newark Liberty International Airport 156,039 1.69 Continental Airlines
6 Alicante Airport 151,067 39.32 easyJet, Flyglobespan, Monarch, Ryanair
7 Geneva Cointrin International Airport 120,502 2.64 easyJet, Flyglobespan
8 Palma de Mallorca Airport 112,618 10.57 Air Europa, easyJet, Flyglobespan, Ryanair, Thomson
9 Madrid Barajas Airport 105,916 19.86 easyJet, Iberworld
10 Málaga Airport 96,735 14.78 Flyglobespan, Ryanair
11 Munich Airport 90,179 29.07 easyJet
12 Milan Malpensa Airport 88,562 67.68 easyJet
13 Faro Airport (Portugal) 69,854 11.94 Flyglobespan
14 Barcelona Airport 65,532 30.65 Flyglobespan
15 John F. Kennedy International Airport 61,101 n/a Delta Air Lines

Access and ground transportation

Lothian Buses Airlink 100 airport express bus to Edinburgh

The airport lies on the A8 Glasgow-Edinburgh road, and can be easily reached by the M8 (from Glasgow) and the M9 (from Stirling). The airport is also within easy access from the M90 motorway (from Perth) via the Forth Road Bridge.

Lothian Buses provide public transportation to the airport with the Airlink 100 express bus from Edinburgh city centre,[8] as well as local bus services. Additionally, Stagecoach operates the AirDirect 747 express bus service between the airport and Inverkeithing railway station and Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife, and the Gyle Shopping Centre and Heriot-Watt University.[9]

There are currently no direct rail links to Edinburgh Airport, although it lies very close to the Fife Circle and the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway lines. A project to build the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link was cancelled in 2007 due to funding problems.[10]

Transport links

Diagram of the forthcoming Edinburgh Trams network

Work is underway to construct a light rail link from the airport to Edinburgh city centre on the Edinburgh Trams network. The new system will run from an airport station across the western suburbs of Edinburgh on a segregated track; when the trams reach Haymarket railway station they will switch to street-running mode and travel through the city along Princes Street. Edinburgh Trams are expected to begin operation around 2011 or 2012.[11]

As a cheaper alternative to the cancelled Edinburgh Airport Rail Link project, it has been proposed that an additional interchange station be constructed on the Fife Circle Line. Gogar railway station would provide interchange with airport tram services. This proposal has not yet been approved or funded.[12]

Future plans

Transport at Edinburgh Airport (future)
Continuation backward
to Glasgow
Straight track Continuation backward
to Fife & Aberdeen lines
Track turning from left Junction to right Bridge over water
Forth Bridge
Enter and exit tunnel Straight track Station on track
Straight track Track turning left Junction to right
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexKBHFa" Straight track
Airport interchange Edinburgh Airport
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Straight track
Ingliston park & ride
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Straight track
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexCPICl" Unknown route-map component "eCPICr"
Gogar (proposed) National Rail Tram/light rail interchange
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Straight track
Gyle Centre
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Straight track
Edinburgh Park Central
Straight track Unused straight waterway Station on track
South Gyle
Right side of cross-platform interchange Unknown route-map component "uexCPICr" Straight track
Edinburgh Park
Junction from left Unknown route-map component "uxmKRZ" Track turning right
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexLUECKE"
Tramway under construction
Right side of cross-platform interchange Unknown route-map component "uexCPICr"
Haymarket National Rail Tram/light rail interchange
Straight track Unknown route-map component "uexLUECKE"
Station on track + Hub
Unknown route-map component "uexBHF" + Hub
Waverley/St. Andrew Sq. National Rail Tram/light rail interchange
Straight track Unused waterway turning left Unknown route-map component "ueCONTl"
trams to Leith
Continuation forward
East Coast main line


In April, 2008 work began on the resurfacing of the main runway. This project, at a cost of £16m,[13] was due to be completed by the end of November, 2008 and will prolong the life of the runway for a further 15 years.[14] In the end, the work was completed around 10 days ahead of schedule and on budget.[15]

A £40m extension to the departure lounge is to be built, with work commencing in December, 2008.[14]

£250m is to be spent on the airport over the next decade.[14] BAA has made provision in its Master Plan for the airport for an extension to the current runway 06/24, which would allow larger aircraft to serve longer haul destinations. There are plans to expand further by adding a new runway and terminal by 2020 which would accommodate up to 20 million passengers per annum.[16] BAA projects that by 2030 Edinburgh Airport will be handling 26 million passengers per annum. Development has recently begun at Edinburgh Airport on a £40 million departure lounge extension project which will see the current lounge double in size as well as a new security search area and a greater choice bars, restaurants and shops. The departure lounge opened on 18/11/09.[17]

Accidents and incidents

On 27 February 2001, a Loganair Shorts 360 (G-BNMT) operating a Royal Mail flight to Belfast, crashed into the Firth of Forth shortly after taking off from Edinburgh at 1730 GMT. Both crew members were killed, and there were no passengers on board. A fatal accident inquiry later blamed a build up of slush in the aircraft's engines before the crash. Protective covering had not been fitted to the engine intakes while the aircraft was parked for several hours in heavy snow at Edinburgh.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Edinburgh - EGPH
  2. ^ a b c d e f UK Airport Statistics: 2009 - annual
  3. ^ "Official CAA stats 2009". CAA. 
  4. ^ UK airports owned and operated by BAA
  5. ^ BAA: "Who we are"
  6. ^ Number of Movements represents total aircraft takeoffs and landings during that year.
  7. ^ UK Airport Statistics
  8. ^ "Edinburgh Airport - City Centre frequent express shuttle". Lothian Buses. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Airdirect 747". Stagecoach Group. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "It's £30m down the drain". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  11. ^ "Route map". Edinburgh Trams. 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Stevenson, Stewart; (Minister for Transport) (27 September 2007). "Edinburgh Airport Rail Link". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  13. ^ Runway revamp ready for take-off
  14. ^ a b c /display.var.2469632.0.More_investment_for_airport_following_runway_resurfacing.php More investment for airport following runway resurfacing
  15. ^ New look runway set for take off after £16m upgrade project heralds "great future" for capital's airport
  16. ^ Evidence supporting airport expansion is flawed, says government adviser
  17. ^ Edinburgh Airport outlines 2030 vision
  18. ^ Scotsman: Pilots praised as sheriff confirms snow caused crash, 13 November 2003
  19. ^ Accident description and details.

External links


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