Aberdeen Airport

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Aberdeen International Airport
Port-adhair Obar Dheathain
BAA Aberdeen logo.png
Aberdeen Airport terminal close up 23-03-11.JPG
Airport typePublic
OwnerAGS Airports
OperatorAberdeen International Airport Limited
ServesAberdeen, United Kingdom
LocationDyce, Aberdeen
Elevation AMSL215 ft / 66 m
Coordinates57°12′09″N 002°11′53″W / 57.20250°N 2.19806°W / 57.20250; -2.19806Coordinates: 57°12′09″N 002°11′53″W / 57.20250°N 2.19806°W / 57.20250; -2.19806
EGPD is located in Aberdeen
Location of airport in Aberdeen
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16/34 1,953 6,407 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
m ft
H05/H23 476 1,562 Asphalt
H14/H32 581 1,906 Asphalt
H36 260 853 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passenger change 16–17Increase4.6%
Aircraft movements97,007
Movements change 16–17Increase0.9%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

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.[1] A total of just under 3.1 million passengers used the airport in 2017, an increase of 4.6% compared with 2016.[2]

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).[3]

Aberdeen Airport is a base for Eastern Airways, Flybe, Flybmi 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 northern most 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.


Early years[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[4] 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.[4]

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:[5]

The airport is the world's busiest heliport. Here four helicopters are lined up in the morning waiting to begin the day's operations.

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.[citation needed] 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 2000s[edit]

Various aircraft at Aberdeen International Airport in July 2014

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[6] with a quota count of QC4 or below, and the overnight restrictions still apply to helicopters.[1]

General aviation flight training for private pilots licences takes place from the East Side of the airport by Alexander Air Flight Training and located in Signature Flight Support. 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.

On 6 October 2011, a 124-metre extension to the main runway at the airport was opened, almost eight months ahead of schedule.[7] On 8 January 2013, the airport was renamed Aberdeen International.[8]

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.[9] The airport handles around 500,000 passengers per year by helicopter for the North Sea oil fields.[10] making it the world's busiest heliport.[11]

The airport's Master Plan 2013 forecast growth to 5.09 million passengers a year by 2040.[12] A major three year project (2016-2019) aims to transform the passenger terminal and increase space by 50%[13].

Airlines and destinations[edit]


In 2017 the following airlines operated regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Aberdeen:[14]

Aer Lingus Regional Dublin
airBaltic Seasonal: Riga
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
BH Air Seasonal: Burgas
British Airways London–Heathrow
easyJet London–Gatwick, London–Luton
Seasonal: Geneva
Flybe Belfast–City, Birmingham, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, London-City, London–Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Wick
Seasonal: Jersey, Newquay
flybmi Bristol, Esbjerg, Oslo–Gardermoen
KLM Amsterdam
Loganair Kirkwall, Sumburgh
Ryanair Alicante
Seasonal: Faro, Málaga, Malta
Scandinavian Airlines Bergen,[15] Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger
TUI Airways Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Corfu, Dalaman, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Reus, Rhodes (begins 1 May 2019)[16]
Widerøe Bergen, Stavanger
Wizz Air Gdańsk


DHL Aviation East Midlands[citation needed]
Royal Mail East Midlands, Edinburgh, Kirkwall,[17] Sumburgh[18]


Busiest routes to and from Aberdeen (2017)[19]
Rank Airport Total
2016 / 17
1 United Kingdom London–Heathrow 622,034 Increase 4.9%
2 NetherlandsAmsterdam 263,400 Decrease 6.3%
3 United Kingdom Manchester 208,112 Increase 2.8%
4 United Kingdom London–Gatwick 156,446 Increase 8.9%
5 United Kingdom Sumburgh 155,459 Increase 44.7%
6 United Kingdom Birmingham 131,075 Increase 1.1%
7 Germany Frankfurt 103,506 Decrease 18.7%
8 United Kingdom Scatsta 94,611 Increase 26.0%
9 Norway Stavanger 93,021 Decrease 4.7%
10 France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 85,601 Decrease 14.4%
11 United Kingdom London–Luton 75,148 Increase 4.2%
12 United Kingdom Kirkwall 54,861 Increase 53.5%
13 United Kingdom London–City 54,350 Decrease 15.7%
14 Republic of Ireland Dublin 47,473 Increase 24.7%
15 United Kingdom Norwich 45,386 Increase 7.1%
16 United Kingdom Belfast–City 42,806 Decrease 0.6%
17 Poland Gdańsk 39,586 Increase 7.5%
18 Norway Bergen 39,137 Increase 19.9%
19 Poland Warsaw–Chopin 33,282 Increase 55.0%
20 Spain Alicante 31,832 New Route


Head office of BMI Regional

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 January 10, 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[20] is planned for the adjacent Aberdeen International Business Park starting in 2016.

BMI Regional has its head office in Aberdeen Airport East.[21]

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 accidents[edit]

  • 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.[22]
  • On 24 December 2002 a Swearingen Metroliner III (OY-BPH) of Danish operator North Flying crashed after take off 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.[23]
  • 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. [24]
  • on 31st 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. [25]



The airport is no longer linked to the Dyce railway station by the 80 Dyce Airlink shuttle bus.[26] Instead, travellers can walk 3 miles from Dyce station, or use the 727 bus from Aberdeen station.


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.[27] Chartered buses can also be booked with local operators.


The airport lies on the main A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, being only a few kilometres from the city centre itself.


  1. ^ a b c "Aberdeen/Dyce – EGPD". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Aircraft and passenger traffic data from UK airports". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Who we are". Heathrow Airport Holdings. 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b Individual history: Junkers Ju88 R-1 W/Nr.360043/PJ876/8475M Museum Accession Number 78/AF/953 (PDF), RAF Museum, archived from the original (pdf) on 13 May 2012, retrieved 14 February 2010
  5. ^ "Dyce (Aberdeen)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Airport given overnight approval". BBC News. 2 March 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Aberdeen Airport runway extension opening". Aberdeen Airport. 6 October 2011. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Airport rebranded 'Aberdeen International'". BBC News. 8 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports sold in £1bn deal". BBC News. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  10. ^ Swartz, Kenneth I. (16 April 2015). "Setting the Standard". Vertical Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Air traffic timelapse: untangling Britain's plane-filled skies" The Telegraph 1 July 2015
  12. ^ "Aberdeen Airport Master Plan 2013" (PDF). Aberdeen Airport. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Passenger Terminal Transformation". Aberdeen Airport. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  14. ^ aberdeenairport.com - Destinations retrieved 15 February 2017
  15. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SAS schedules service additions in W18".
  16. ^ "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk.
  17. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-38810648
  18. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-38810648
  19. ^ "CAA Passenger Statistics 2016-17". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 7 April 2018. Tables 12.1(XLS) and 12.2 (XLS). Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Oil firm signs major office lease". 12 August 2014 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  21. ^ "General Conditions of Carriage Archived 30 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." British Midland. Retrieved 28 December 2011. "British Midland Regional Ltd Registered Office Aberdeen Airport East Wellheads Drive Dyce Aberdeen AB21 7EU"
  22. ^ [1] TF-CSB AAIB Report
  23. ^ [2] OY-BPH AAIB Report
  24. ^ "Pilot relives day jet slid off runway at Aberdeen airport". Evening Express.
  25. ^ AAIB report 4/1993 G-UKHP 31st March 1992, Aberdeen
  26. ^ "Bumpy Ride for Passengers". The Press and Journal.
  27. ^ Stagecoach Bus Archived 24 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Media related to Aberdeen Airport at Wikimedia Commons