Newquay Cornwall Airport

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Newquay Cornwall Airport
Ayrborth Tewynblustri Kernow
RAF St Mawgan
Newquay Cornwall airport.jpg
Newaquay Cornwall Airport
Airport type Public/Military
Operator Cornwall Airport Ltd.
Serves Newquay and Cornwall
Location Mawgan in Pydar, Cornwall
Elevation AMSL 390 ft / 119 m
Coordinates 50°26′27″N 004°59′43″W / 50.44083°N 4.99528°W / 50.44083; -4.99528Coordinates: 50°26′27″N 004°59′43″W / 50.44083°N 4.99528°W / 50.44083; -4.99528
EGHQ is located in Cornwall
Location in Cornwall
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 2,744 9,003 Grooved
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 174,891
Passenger change 12-13 Increase5.0%
Aircraft Movements 5,118
Movements change 12-13 Increase5.3%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Newquay Cornwall Airport (IATA: NQYICAO: EGHQ) is the main commercial airport for Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, located at Mawgan in PydarNM (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) northeast of Newquay on Cornwall's north coast. Its runway was previously operated by RAF St Mawgan before the runway was handed over in December 2008. The airport is located close to Newquay, Cornwall's premier tourist resort, as well as major attractions such as The Eden Project.

In 2013 the airport handled 174,891 passengers, a 5.0% increase compared with 2012.[2] Newquay has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. The Cornwall Air Ambulance is based at the airport.

The runway is able to take the very largest and fastest of civil and military aircraft, having been built and maintained for decades as a United States Air Force (USAF) ASW tactical nuclear bomber base[citation needed]. With the end of the Cold War and changes in American political priorities, the Americans pulled out of all involvement with the base by the end of 2009. The last RAF flying squadron[when?] based at St Mawgan was 203(R) Squadron which operated as the Sea King Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and has now moved to RAF Valley in Wales.


World War II[edit]

The airfield was originally opened in 1933 as a civilian facility, but was requisitioned at the outbreak of World War II and named RAF Trebelzue to support other bases in the Cornwall area. The base was then renamed RAF St Mawgan 1943, after expansion. The facility was then handed to the USAAF where a number of improvements took place, including the building of a new control tower and expansion of the current runway. The airfield was then put under maintenance in 1947, and reopened as a Coastal Command base in 1951. Since 1951, the base has seen various squadrons based; including 22 Sqn., 203 Sqn. 220 Sqn. (later renamed 201), 228 Sqn. (later renamed 206), both Long Range Reconnaissance Squadrons, 42 Sqn., 7 Sqn., 2625 Sqn (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) and 1 Sqn. (RAF Regiment) - 2625 Sqn was disbanded on 1 November 2006, whilst 1 Sqn relocated to RAF Honington. The others relocated or closed. In 2005, RAF St Mawgan was one of the bases shortlisted to house the new Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) in 2013, but in November 2005 it was announced by Minister of State for the Armed Forces Adam Ingram that the operation would be based from Scotland. Helicopter maintenance (HMF) also ceased here in late 2006.

Flying operations at RAF St Mawgan (on the opposite side of the runway to the civil terminal) ceased in December 2008.

Transition to fully civilian airport[edit]

Looking over the ramp at some of the airlines that serve NQY in Summer 2007

In 2006 the airport introduced a £5 per passenger airport development fee, payable by all departing passengers via an ATM type machine prior to passing security.[3] This resulted in Monarch Airlines axing its route from the airport (to Málaga) and Ryanair reducing the number of flights, though this was later restored.

In 2008 the airport closed from the 1st until 19 December. This allowed extra time for the takeover of the airfield navigation services (i.e. Air Traffic Control/Fire Services) from RAF St Mawgan and to fully meet CAA standards. Following further inspections by the CAA, flights recommenced on 20 December 2008.

By virtue of a recent Statutory Instrument issued on 22 September 2009, Newquay Airport will, from the coming in force of this instrument on 1 November 2009, be subject to current airport bylaws, as per Section 63 of the Airports Act 1986[4]

The new terminal extension has increased the terminal size by 20%, and was opened in 2006. This means the airport can handle as many as 450,000 passengers a year. In January 2008, Cornwall County Council approved plans for an expanded arrivals hall and departure lounge; a new retail outlet; a business lounge and new airfield structures CAA, which were needed to gain the civil licence. In May 2008, the new arrivals and baggage reclaim area was opened; now allowing both domestic and international flights to simultaneously be processed unlike the old arrivals hall. This also added a gate to the departures lounge.

The expansion of the airport was criticised in 2007 by a number of environmental groups. This opposition was based not only on environmental concerns (given that the majority of flights are short-haul and to destinations that could be served by rail), but also socio-economic concerns that airport expansion would lead to a greater demand for second homes in Cornwall, adding to already inflated local house prices.[5]

In 2006 the Irish low cost carrier Ryanair pulled out of the airport ceasing flights to London Stansted and Girona-Costa Brava Airport.[6]

In November 2008, amidst the airport troubles, Newquay Airport released their draft master plan, outlining their plans for the airport until 2030.[7]

Civil airport operation[edit]

In July 2011, the airport's main carrier, Air Southwest, announced the end of all flights from Newquay with effect 30 September 2011, leaving the airport with only three year-round scheduled routes.[citation needed]

From 29 March 2013 the Classic Air Force has operated from the airport using a variety of different aircraft[8] including the world's oldest flying British jet aircraft and the only flying Gloster Meteor T7.[9] Since April 2013 the Classic Air Force has also operated a museum in the 70,000 sq ft Hangar 404 which was previously used to service the Hawker Siddeley Nimrods of RAF St Mawgan.[8]

In May 2013, Flybe announced they would cease flying to London-Gatwick, leaving Newquay with year-round flights to just the Isles of Scilly and Manchester. On 2 December 2013, Flybe announced they had agreed a deal with Newquay which will secure the future of the Gatwick route until the end of October 2014, so that a public service obligation (PSO) subsidy can be finalized. Under the new deal Flybe will operate 2 daily flights with the afternoon service being dropped.[citation needed]

Potential future use[edit]

In July 2014, Newquay was one of 8 airports shortlisted by the Civil Aviation Authority as a possible site for a UK commercial spaceport.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aer Lingus Regional
operated by Stobart Air
Dublin (begins 1 May 2015)[11]
easyJet Seasonal: Liverpool
Flybe London-Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Belfast-City, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London-Stansted (begins 16 May 2015), Newcastle upon Tyne
operated by Eurowings
Seasonal: Düsseldorf
Isles of Scilly Skybus St Mary's


Busiest routes to and from Newquay Cornwall Airport (2013)[2]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change 2012 / 13
1  United KingdomLondon Gatwick 92,609 Decrease 4
2  United KingdomManchester 32,570 Increase 5
3  United KingdomIsles of Scilly 22,093 Increase 56
4  United KingdomLondon Southend 7,448 -
5  United KingdomLiverpool 5,848 -
6  United KingdomEdinburgh 4,481 Decrease 55
7  GermanyDüsseldorf 2,407 Decrease 29
8  United KingdomNewcastle 2,384 Decrease 8
9  United KingdomBelfast City 2,187 Increase 24
10  United KingdomGlasgow 1,751 Decrease 51


  1. ^ Newquay - EGHQ
  2. ^ a b c CAA: UK Annual Airport Statistics
  3. ^ Airport Development Fee
  4. ^ The Airports Byelaws (Designation) Order SI 2576/2009
  5. ^ Groundswell Cornwall, Newquay Airport The Case Examined, revised October 2007. Accessed 9 February 2008.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ The Newquay Cornwall Airport Draft Masterplan
  8. ^ a b FlyPast. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. March 2013. p. 6. 
  9. ^ "Gloster (Armstrong Whitworth) Meteor T7". Classic Air Force. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Sample, Ian (15 July 2014). "Space race: eight sites shortlisted for UK's first commercial spaceport". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Newquay Cornwall Airport at Wikimedia Commons