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.
Aberdeen International Airport
Port-adhair Obar Dheathain
|Operator||Aberdeen International Airport Limited|
|Serves||Aberdeen, United Kingdom|
|Elevation AMSL||215 ft / 66 m|
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 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:
- No. 1 Coastal Patrol Flight RAF
- No. 2 Radio Servicing Section RAF
- No. 4 Fighter Command Servicing Unit RAF
- No. 5 Gliding School RAF
- No. 7 Maintenance Unit RAF
- No. 8 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
- No. 9 Blind Approach Training Flight RAF
- No. 662 Gliding School RAF
- No. 663 Gliding School RAF
- No. 1509 (Beam Approach Training) Flight RAF
- No. 2737 Squadron RAF Regiment
- No. 2784 Squadron RAF Regiment
- Aberdeen University Air Squadron
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.
Development since the 2000sEdit
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.
A total of just under 3.1 million passengers used the airport in 2017, an increase of 4.6% compared with 2016. 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 airport was ranked worst in Scotland and sixth worst in the UK by Which? magazine in a ranking of 30 airports for customer satisfaction, with a score of 50%. Edinburgh performed better on 61% while Glasgow International achieved the top rank in Scotland at 64%.
Airlines and destinationsEdit
The following airlines operated regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Aberdeen:
|Aer Lingus Regional||Dublin|
|Air France||Paris–Charles de Gaulle|
|BH Air||Seasonal: Burgas|
|Danish Air Transport||Esbjerg, Stavanger|
|Flybe|| Belfast–City, Birmingham, Durham/Teesside, Humberside, London–Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Wick |
Seasonal: Jersey, Newquay
|Loganair||Bristol, Brussels (begins 13 January 2020), East Midlands (begins 24 February 2020), Esbjerg, Haugesund (begins 24 February 2020), Kirkwall, London–Southend, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Sumburgh|
|Ryanair|| Alicante |
Seasonal: Faro, Málaga, Malta
|Scandinavian Airlines||Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger|
|TUI Airways|| Tenerife–South |
Seasonal: Corfu, Dalaman, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Reus, Rhodes
|Royal Mail||East Midlands, Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Sumburgh|
Passengers and movementsEdit
|Aberdeen Airport passenger totals|
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority|
2017 / 18
|9||Paris-Charles de Gaulle||90,518||5.7%|
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 10 January 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.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On 3 March 2009, seven protesters from Plane Stupid occupied a taxiway at Aberdeen Airport, barricading themselves within a makeshift wire enclosure while two further protesters occupied the roof of the main terminal building. Their actions were in protest at the proposed extension to the airport runway, and Donald Trump's plan to create a golf resort in the area. After a number of hours, the group eventually ended their protest, and were arrested by police.
- On 22 June 2006, a City Star Airlines Dornier 328 (TF-CSB) operating a passenger flight from Stavanger, Norway, overshot the end of the airport's runway by several hundred yards as it came in to land. None of the 16 passengers and 3 crew members on board were injured.
- On 24 December 2002 a Swearingen Metroliner III (OY-BPH) of Danish operator North Flying crashed after takeoff from Aberdeen on a positioning flight to Aalborg in Denmark. Immediately after take-off the aircraft was suspected to have suffered a major power loss in its right engine and crashed into a field just to the south of the airport. It slid along the field and through a fence onto Dyce Drive, a main road into the airport, where it hit a moving car and then came to rest. The two crew and driver of the car survived the accident, with only one crewmember sustaining minor injuries.
- On 4 July 1983, Bristow Helicopters AS332L Super Puma (G-TIGD) crashed on landing at Aberdeen. During the approach to Aberdeen from the North Hutton platform, a loud bang was heard, followed by severe vibration. A PAN call was made to ATC by the crew. Shortly before landing control was lost and the helicopter struck the runway heavily on its side. 10 of 16 passengers received serious injuries. A tail boom panel had become detached in flight and damaged all five tail rotor blades. The resulting imbalance to the tail rotor assembly led to the separation of this unit and subsequent loss.
- On 22 May 1978, a British European Airways Trident G-AWZU overshot the runway ending up 200 ft into the grass at the Northern end of runway 34 (35 at the time) due to wet weather. All 120 passengers survived with no injuries. The forward fuselage of this aircraft survives at the Jet Age Museum, Gloucester.
- on 31 March 1992, BAe 146-300 G-UKHP overran runway 34 at Aberdeen (Dyce) Airport after landing on a wet runway with high crosswinds. The pilot failed to deploy the spoilers and ran off the end of the runway. The aircraft was not badly damaged and no passengers were hurt.
The airport is no longer linked to the Dyce railway station by the 80 Dyce Airlink shuttle bus which was introduced in 2012 and was axed in 2017. Instead, travellers can walk 3 miles from Dyce station, or use the 727 bus from Aberdeen station.
On 5 August 2019, the brand new X27 bus service was introduced which connects Aberdeen City Centre, Dyce railway station, TECA (P&J Live) and the Heliports which are around a 5-minute walk to the main terminal.
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.
The airport is connected to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route at the Craibstone exit which is around 1 mile drive away from the Main terminal
- Number of passengers including domestic, international and transit.
- Number of movements represents total takeoffs and landings during that year.
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- aberdeenairport.com - Destinations Archived 12 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 15 February 2017
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk.
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- "Oil firm signs major office lease". 12 August 2014. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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-  TF-CSB AAIB Report
-  OY-BPH AAIB Report
- "Pilot relives day jet slid off runway at Aberdeen airport". Evening Express. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "AAIB report 4/1993 G-UKHP 31 March 1992, Aberdeen". Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Beattie, Kieran. "Cancellation of bus service between Aberdeen Airport and railway station leaves commuters "stranded"". Press and Journal. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "X27 | Aberdeen". First Bus. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- Merson, Adele. "Trams and travelators options to link Aberdeen airport to new P&J Live arena". Evening Express. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- Stagecoach Bus Archived 24 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
Media related to Aberdeen Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Photo of eastside terminal 1970s
- Photo of old control tower and RAF buildings 1970s
- Photo of airport 1980s with new terminal and control tower
- RAF Dyce decoy airfield at Harestone Moss with Bunker, bomb craters and flarepath direction shown
- Current weather for EGPD at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for ABZ at Aviation Safety Network