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East Midlands Airport (IATA: EMAICAO: EGNX) is an international airport in the East Midlands of England, located in Leicestershire close to Castle Donington. It lies between Loughborough (10 miles (16 km)) and the cities of Derby (12.5 miles (20 km)) and Nottingham (14 miles (23 km)) with the city of Leicester located at a distance of some (20 miles (32 km)) to the south.

East Midlands Airport
East Midlands Airport logo.svg
East Midlands2.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Manchester Airports Group
Serves Nottingham, Leicester and Derby
Location Castle Donington, Leicestershire, UK
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 306 ft / 93 m
Coordinates 52°49′52″N 001°19′40″W / 52.83111°N 1.32778°W / 52.83111; -1.32778Coordinates: 52°49′52″N 001°19′40″W / 52.83111°N 1.32778°W / 52.83111; -1.32778
EGNX is located in Leicestershire
Location in Leicestershire
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,893 9,491 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 4,653,818
Passenger change 15-16 Increase4.6%
Aircraft movements 73,689
Movements change 15-16 Decrease4.4%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

EMA has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P520) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. East Midlands Airport has established itself as a hub for low fare airlines such as and Ryanair and tour operators like TUI Airways which serve a range of domestic and European short-haul destinations. It is also a base for BMI Regional, Flybe, and Thomas Cook Airlines. Passenger numbers peaked in 2008 at 5.6 million, but had declined to around 4.5 million in 2015 making it the 11th busiest airport in the UK by passenger traffic. A major air cargo hub, it was the second busiest UK airport for freight traffic in 2016 after London Heathrow.[2]

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.[3]



Britannia Airways Boeing 737 operating holiday charters in 1982

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.[4]

Until 1982, when the head office moved to Donington Hall,[5] British Midland had its head office on the airport property.[6] BMI also had its maintenance base at the airport.

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

EasyJet ceased operating from the airport on 5 January 2010.[7] However, 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.[8] In light of the announcement, Flybe and Monarch Airlines announced they would establish a base at the airport, and low-cost airline confirmed they would also expand their operations from the airport with new routes and an additional aircraft from Summer 2013. From 2015 ,the airport announced will base a seventh aircraft at East Midlands airport in the summer period. Monarch Airlines shut down its base at East Midlands as well by spring 2015.[citation needed] Ryanair expanded its East Midlands base with a series of new routes and frequency increases on existing routes. They now serve the airport with 9 based aircraft, 41 destinations, over 320 weekly flights and roughly 2.3 million passengers a year[citation needed], 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.

In 2016 Heathrow handled 1.54 million tonnes of freight & mail compared with 300,100 tonnes at East Midlands.[2] 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. Since July 2013, TUI Airways operates with their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft out of East Midlands, serving the long haul holiday destinations of Sanford (Orlando) and Cancun.[9] There are also return flights to Jamaica and Barbados, operated once each year to join cruises and holidays.

Airlines and destinationsEdit


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from East Midlands Airport:[10]

Airlines Destinations
Aurigny Guernsey
BH Air Seasonal: Burgas, Sofia[11]
BMI Regional Brussels
Flybe Amsterdam, Belfast–City, Edinburgh, Glasgow
Seasonal: Chambèry, Jersey Alicante, Bodrum (begins 1 May 2018), Budapest, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madeira, Málaga, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Almeria, Antalya, Chambéry, Cephalonia, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Girona, Grenoble, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Larnaca, Malta, Menorca, Murcia, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Pisa, Prague, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sofia, Split, Thessaloniki, Zakynthos
Ryanair Alghero, Alicante, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Budapest, Dublin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Knock, Kraków, Lanzarote, Limoges, Łódź, Malaga, Malta, Riga, Rome–Ciampino, Rzeszów, Seville, Tenerife–South, Treviso, Warsaw-Modlin, Wrocław
Seasonal: Barcelona, Bergerac, Bodrum, Carcassonne, Chania, Corfu, Dinard, Girona, Ibiza, La Rochelle, Menorca, Murcia, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Reus, Rhodes, Valencia
Thomas Cook Airlines Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Burgas, Corfu, Dalaman, Heraklion, Hurghada,[12] Ibiza, Kittila, Larnaca, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Rovaniemi, Skiathos, Zakynthos
TUI Airways Alicante, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Antalya (begins 4 May 2018), Burgas, Cancún, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik (begins 3 May 2018),[13] Faro, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kefalonia, Kittila, Kos, Larnaca, Menorca Airport, Naples, Orlando–Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Pula, Rhodes, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Zakynthos[14]
Seasonal charter: Chambéry, Salzburg[15]


Airlines Destinations
ASL Airlines Belgium Belfast–International, Liège, Montpellier
Atlantic Airlines Basel/Mulhouse, Belfast–International, Edinburgh, Exeter, Jersey, Newcastle upon Tyne
DHL Aviation Amsterdam, Belfast–International, Bergamo, Brussels–International, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Hamilton, Hong Kong, Leipzig/Halle, London–Heathrow, Madrid, New York–JFK, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Shannon, Vitoria
Etihad Cargo Columbus–Rickenbacker, Frankfurt–Hahn[16]
FedEx Express Liège, London–Stansted
Icelandair Cargo Liège, Reykjavík–Keflavík
Royal Mail Aberdeen, Belfast–International, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Guernsey, Isle of Man
RVL Aviation Dublin, Edinburgh, Guernsey, Isle of Man
UPS Airlines Belfast–International, Cologne/Bonn, Edinburgh, Louisville, Philadelphia
West Air Sweden Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey


The air traffic control tower at East Midlands airport, located at the south of the airfield, next to the terminal.
The terminal buildings as they appear today.
The check-in hall at the airport.
Busiest routes to and from East Midlands (2016)[17]
Rank Airport Total
2015 / 16
1 Alicante 391,061   3.1%
2 Palma de Mallorca 340,103   4.0%
3 Málaga 308,964   12.3%
4 Tenerife–South 303,076   6.1%
5 Dublin 246,371   40.3%
6 Faro 243,715   3.5%
7 Lanzarote 195,955   0.4%
8 Belfast–City 144,312   2.6%
9 Ibiza 116,890   15.6%
10 Fuerteventura 113,589   18.1%
11 Glasgow 109,538   15.4%
12 Gran Canaria 104,686   35.7%
13 Edinburgh 93,710   1.7%
14 Barcelona 88,714   9.6%
15 Murcia 87,386   5.5%
16 Wrocław 83,116   2.0%
17 Menorca 75,996   3.9%
18 Knock 68,165   3.8%
19 Paphos 67,560   1.3%
20 Corfu 60,583   21.8%

Ground transportEdit


The airport has excellent connections[citation needed] to the motorway network as it is near the M1, M42 and A50, bringing the airfield within easy reach of the major population centres of the Midlands.

Drop-off feesEdit

The airport introduced a charge of £1 to drop car passengers near the departure lounge in 2010. In May 2016, the charge was doubled to £2, with any stay in the area above ten minutes being charged at £1 per minute. Drivers needing longer, can stay free for one hour in the Long term carpark, which is a five minute bus ride from the terminal. The short term parking is closer but charges £3.50 for 30 minutes.[18] [19]


There is no direct access to the rail network or the Nottingham tram network.[20]

The nearest railway station is East Midlands Parkway, which is 4 miles (6.4 km) away, with regular services to Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham and London. The original shuttle bus service linking the station and the airport had ceased not long after it was introduced,[21] but in 2015 an hourly minibus service was re-introduced by Elite Cars, restoring scheduled shuttle services to and from the airport.[22] Connections to the airport via taxi are also available.

Though the nearest station is East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton is a more practical option.This is because all the skylink bus services stop outside the station, so it does not require private taxis etc.

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 at Toton to serve the airport and the Nottingham and Derby catchment areas.[23]


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 20 minutes during the day and hourly throughout the night, seven days a week. Skylink Express,[24] also operated by Trent Barton, started operating on 31 January 2016. This service runs via the A453 road into Nottingham, serving the Clifton South Park & Ride tram stop, Nottingham Trent University and West Bridgford.[25][26]

East Midlands AeroparkEdit

The Aeropark at East Midlands Airport

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 viewing mounds for watching aircraft arriving and departing from the main runway. AVA Members are allowed free access to the Aeropark. Exhibits include:[citation needed]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 20 February 1969, Vickers Viscount G-AODG of British Midland Airways was damaged beyond economic repair when it landed short of the runway. There were no casualties.[27]
  • On 31 January 1986, Aer Lingus Flight 328, a Short 360, en route from Dublin, struck power lines and crashed short of the runway. None of the 36 passengers and crew died but two passengers were injured in the accident.[28]
  • On 18 January 1987, a British Midland Fokker F27 Friendship, on a training flight, crashed on approach to East Midlands Airport due to wing and tail surface icing. There were no fatalities.[29]
  • On 8 January 1989, British Midland Flight BD092 crashed on approach to East Midlands Airport, killing 47 people. The Boeing 737 aircraft had developed a fan blade failure in one of the two engines while en route from London Heathrow to Belfast and a decision was made to divert to East Midlands. The crew mistakenly shut down the functioning engine, causing the aircraft to lose power and crash on the embankment of the M1 Motorway just short of the runway. No one on the ground was injured despite the aircraft crashing on the embankment of one of the busiest sections of motorway in the UK. The investigation into the Kegworth air disaster, as the incident became known, led to considerable improvements in aircraft safety and emergency instructions for passengers. The official report into the disaster made 31 safety recommendations.
  • On 29 October 2010, in the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot, British police searched a UPS plane at East Midlands Airport but found nothing.[30] Later that day, when a package was found on a plane in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, British officials searched again and found a bomb.[31][32] The two packages, found on two planes originating in Yemen, contained the powerful high explosive PETN. The U.K. and the U.S. determined that the plan was to detonate them while in flight. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took responsibility.[33]


  1. ^ "East Midlands – EGNX". Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Aircraft and passenger traffic data from UK airports". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "AGMA to consider Manchester Airport restructure in takeover bid". Manchester Evening News. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Our History". East Midlands Airport. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "the eighties Archived 10 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.." British Midland International. Retrieved on 28 December 2011.
  6. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 July 1980. 295. "Head Office: East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Derby, Great Britain. 37172."
  7. ^ "easyJet announces network redeployments". EasyJet. 3 September 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "BMI Baby to be grounded by BA owner IAG". BBC. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2016. BMI Baby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m in the last four years, 
  9. ^ "Thomson's first long haul 787 Dreamliner from East Midlands Airport takes flight". Thomson. Archived from the original on 2014-05-20. East Midlands is now one of only four UK airports to currently operate the revolutionary Thomson 787 Dreamliner aircraft – along with London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow airports. Thomson Airways will fly the state-of-the-art aircraft from the East Midlands on long haul routes to Sanford, Florida and Cancun in Mexico. 
  10. ^ - Flight Timetables retrieved 5 October 2016
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Ski Holidays 2016/2017 - Get More Winter With Crystal Ski". Crystal Ski. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Etihad Cargo Winter 2016 Flight Schedule" (PDF). Etihad Cargo. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "Airport Data 2016". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 3 March 2017. Tables 12.1(XLS) and 12.2 (XLS). Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  18. ^ "East Midlands Airport 'drop-off' charges double". Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "Pick Up & Drop Off | East Midlands Airport". Retrieved 23 December 2017. 
  20. ^ "Tram Train proposals for East Midlands Airport and East Midlands Parkway news". RailUK Forums. Retrieved 23 December 2017. 
  21. ^ "Train services to and from East Midlands Parkway – East Midlands Trains". East Midlands Trains. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "High level Assessment of the wider network options - Reverse 'S' and 'Y' network" (PDF). HS2. n.d. paragraph 4.26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "welcome - skylink express - run by trentbarton". Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  24. ^ "Skylink". Skylink. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "Skylink Derby". Kinchbus. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 October 2009. 
  27. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Shorts 360-100 EI-BEM East Midlands Airport (EMA)". Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  28. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Fokker F-27 Friendship 200 G-BMAU East Midlands Airport (EMA)". Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  29. ^ "Terrorist Bombers May Have Targeted Aircraft". Fox News Channel. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "How many more bombs out there?: Device found in Dubai had been on two PASSENGER flights, airline reveals". Daily Mail. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  31. ^ Rayner, Gordon (31 October 2010). "Cargo plane bomb plot: al-Qaeda terrorists 'threatened another Lockerbie'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  32. ^ "Al-Qaida claims responsibility for cargo bombs". MSNBC. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 

External linksEdit

  Media related to East Midlands Airport at Wikimedia Commons