|Owner/Operator||Regional & City Airports (RCA)|
|Serves||South Wiltshire, Dorset, New Forest|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||38 ft / 12 m|
Bournemouth Airport (IATA: BOH, ICAO: EGHH) (previously known as Hurn Airport and Bournemouth International Airport) is an airport located 3.5 NM (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) north-northeast of Bournemouth, in southern England. The site opened as RAF Hurn in 1941, but was transferred to civil control in 1944. For a short period Hurn served as London's international airport, until the opening of facilities at Heathrow. Commercial services resumed in the late 1950s, with Palmair commencing flights to Palma, Majorca in October 1958.
Subsequently, Ryanair and TUI Airways based aircraft at the airport, with scheduled flights now frequently serving Western Europe and the Mediterranean area, with charter and seasonal services serving North Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. Passenger numbers peaked in 2007 when just over one million passed through the airport. In 2016, the passenger total was around 670,000.
Ryanair and TUI Airways are the primary users of the airport, which was owned and operated by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the largest British airport operator until December 2017, when Regional & City Airports (RCA) acquired Bournemouth Airport for an undisclosed amount.
Bournemouth Airport is situated on the edge of Hurn village in the Borough of Christchurch, 4 miles (6 km) north of Bournemouth, 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the A338 and approximately 100 miles (160 km) south west of London. The airport is accessible via the A31 from the M27 and M3 motorways to the east, and via the A35 to the west. The nearest other airports serving the area are Exeter International Airport, Bristol Airport and Southampton Airport.
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From November 1944, the airfield took over from Bristol's Whitchurch airport as the main operating base for British Overseas Airways Corporation until Heathrow fully opened in 1948. Starting in October 1945, Hurn served as London's transatlantic airport until Heathrow opened to the airlines in mid-1946. In that rôle, it participated in the "First Commercial Land Plane Flight Overseas" from the United States, on 23 October. (That intercontinental flight in the Douglas DC-4 involved refueling stops at Gander, Newfoundland and Shannon in the Republic of Ireland.)
In January 1946 Pan Am opened a scheduled New York (La Guardia) to London (Hurn) service, five days a week, using the new DC-4; the journey time was 17 hours 40 minutes. It was also the starting point of the first England-Australia landplane service, which took three days in Avro Lancastrians (modified Lancaster bombers).
First charter flights
The first Palmair charter from the airport took place in 1958, using a single 36-seat Viking aircraft destined for Palma de Mallorca. The service was one of the first charter flights in the United Kingdom.
Vickers-Armstrongs took over some ex-BOAC hangars at Hurn in 1951 and started production of Varsities, then Viscounts and eventually, as the British Aircraft Corporation, the BAC One-Eleven. During a 33-year period, 222 One-Elevens, 146 Varsities and 279 Viscounts were built and delivered from Hurn making a total of 647 produced at this site.
Some of the development of the ill-fated TSR-2 was also done here (although assembly and flight testing was carried out at Warton, Lancs), as well as the production of Jet Provost wings; other components were manufactured here for Concorde, the Panavia Tornado and Short Skyvan. The closure of the British Aerospace site in 1984 ended Bournemouth's role as a significant player in the aircraft manufacturing industry. The former aircraft factory now forms one of Dorset's largest industrial sites, including a base for Cobham plc.
College of Air Traffic Control
Adjacent to the entrance to Bournemouth Airport was the College of Air Traffic Control, operated by NATS, the now privatised provider of air traffic control services in the UK. Established by the Ministry of Civil Aviation as the School of Air Traffic Control in 1949, the establishment was retitled as a college in 1962. Students from home and abroad were trained in all aspects of ATC operations and went on to work throughout the world. Electronic computer-based ATC simulators were widely employed. Usefully situated at an operational airfield, for a considerable period training in approach radar control was facilitated by the airport ATC unit. Students were able to practise live radar control exercises using temporarily detached Civil Aviation Flying Unit Dove aircraft as live targets. The building was also the home to the Air Traffic Control Evaluation Unit, responsible for developing technology used within the service.
During 2011, NATS transferred ATC training to its headquarters facility at Whiteley near Southampton. The Hurn facility was purchased by a free school, Parkfield School, serving Bournemouth and the local area.
Change of ownership
In 1969, the airport was purchased jointly by the Bournemouth Corporation and Dorset County Council and renamed as "Bournemouth Hurn Airport", later to become Bournemouth International Airport. The new owners decided to redevelop the facility as a commercial airport and, by 1980, the airport became used by charter airlines, when European Aviation began services.
In 1993, the airport received its first regular passenger flights when Palmair wet leased its first aircraft and European Aviation Air Charter (EAC) started operations. In 1995, the airport was sold to National Express and then, in March 2001, was acquired by the Manchester Airports Group, which was at that time the second-largest owner of UK airports.
In 1996, an extension to the main runway was officially opened by the arrival of Concorde. Travel agency Bath Travel chartered Concorde for supersonic champagne lunches across the Bay of Biscay. Ryanair also began services from Bournemouth to Dublin with a Boeing 737-200.
Since 2001, a Boeing 747SP has been based at the airport; it is used by the Royal Family of Qatar and other VIP government staff from the Middle East state of Qatar. The aircraft is often stored in the former BASCO building (Hangar 12) and is a regular visitor to Zürich Airport and Heathrow.
In late 2001, Bournemouth Flying Club took the leap into full commercial flight training and established Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training on the former SFT site adjacent to the threshold for runway 08. Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training (BCFT) has adapted and expanded throughout its history, contributing to the overall success of the airport and continuing to make Bournemouth Airport important to the overall commercial flight training in the UK.
Bath Travel's Palmair remained the prime user of the airport, with a 737-200 permanently based there. In 2005, Thomsonfly became the first major low-cost airline to establish a hub at Bournemouth, allocating two Boeing 737-300 aircraft for scheduled services to Europe and (in 2008) to the Caribbean. Also in 2005, Air Berlin and EasyJet began services by announcing routes to Paderborn and Geneva respectively. Air Berlin have now ceased operations at the airport. The airport previously had a daily service to the Channel Islands provided by the Jersey-based Blue Islands airline, which withdrew from Bournemouth in April 2009. Hungarian-based Wizz Air also ran routes to Gdansk, Katowice, and Kraków during 2006 and 2007.
In 2007, Ryanair began to rapidly increase the number of services from the airport, initially starting routes to Marseille, Alicante, and Milan which brought the total to eight. In 2008, Palmair introduced a new series of charter flights to Tunisia, Fuerteventura, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and Rhodes. Olympic Holidays also launched new charter flights to Corfu and Zakynthos in Greece and Larnaca in Cyprus.
On 9 January 2008, Ryanair announced that they would base one of their Boeing 737-800s at Bournemouth from April 2008. During the first quarter, the airline announced routes to Málaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Wroclaw and the re-introduction of the Nantes route. An additional flight each day was added to the Glasgow Prestwick route, with the addition of a twice-daily flight to Edinburgh. In May the same year, Bergamo and Beauvais routes were announced to commence in October plus a new weekly ski flight to Turin for the winter season.
On 25 November 2008, Bournemouth Airport was ranked best airport in the United Kingdom and third best in the world, after Singapore Changi Airport and Hong Kong International Airport, by the Daily Telegraph Travel Awards.
In December 2009, bmibaby announced a new summer route to Jersey. It was the first time the airline had operated out of the airport; they provided three services a week, using a Boeing 737-500. Again in December, Ryanair added four new routes to the network, bringing the total to 17. Another Boeing 737-800 was based at the airport and the airline projected to fly 650,000 passengers per annum at Bournemouth, however the actual figure was lower.
Following the closure of European Aviation Air Charter, Palmair chartered various aircraft types from Jet2, Viking, Blue Line, Tor Air and Astraeus, before unveiling their new Astraeus-leased Boeing 737-500 (G-PJPJ) on 13 May 2009. The original agreement was for the aircraft to be leased until April 2012, but the airline ceased operations in October 2010.
Flybe started services in May 2010 but discontinued services in November the same year. It led to no scheduled services from the airport. After a hiatus of services, Blue Islands recommenced services to Guernsey and Jersey on 1 November 2011. Flybe announced on 10 November 2015 that all destinations would end 27 March 2016
In September 2016 one of the UK's newest AOC's Scenic Air Tours started operations from the airport, offering pleasure/scenic flights along the south coast and aircraft rentals. The company has now expanded with a second operating base at Durham Tees Valley Airport in the North East. The company operates two Piper PA-28 and one Grumman American AA-5.
In November 2016, Bournemouth based Eagle European commenced operations on its A – B AOC, flying the Cessna 421 Golden Eagle on charter flights, focusing heavily on the medical role.
With the budget increased to £45 million in July 2008, the upgrade will replace the arrivals terminal and upgrade the check-in and departure lounge areas. The number of aircraft stands would rise from four to 11. Christchurch Council and central government backed plans for the re-building of the airport terminal, increasing its size by 62%; work started in August 2007.
Work on the terminal itself is now complete, where the check-in areas, security control, and departure lounges have been upgraded. A new World Duty Free store has opened on the airside, as have a new WHSmith store and an The Olive Tree eatery. All remaining retail space has since been completed and opened.
The new arrivals hall was completed on time and budget in July 2011. The building produces 70% less carbon dioxide than the previous facility with the design taking advantage of the building's orientation to make maximum possible use of solar gain, solar shading, daylight, and natural ventilation. These measures will reduce the need for mechanical and electrical installations which, in turn, will reduce the building's energy requirements.
Other improvements to the infrastructure around the airport include more frequent bus services to Bournemouth Interchange and traffic lights at the entrance to the airport have been constructed.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled, seasonal, and seasonal charter flights to and from Bournemouth:
|Ryanair|| Alicante, Dublin, Faro, Kraków, Málaga, Malta, Tenerife–South|
Seasonal: Girona, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Prague
|TUI Airways|| Lanzarote |
Seasonal: Antalya, Corfu, Dalaman (resumes 2 May 2022), Gran Canaria, Heraklion (resumes 6 May 2022), Ibiza (resumes 5 May 2022), Kefalonia, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Tenerife–South, Zakynthos
|Bournemouth Airport passenger totals|
|Source: CAA Official Statistics|
2018 / 19
|1||Palma de Mallorca||112,459||8.5%|
The airport has a 200-acre (0.81 km2) industrial park, including offices and hangars. In early March 2009, Manchester Airport Developments completed the construction of Cirrus Court, a development of 14 industrial units which is the first part of a number of phases to redevelop the northern aviation sector.
Babcock International Group has its Defence and Security offices located at the airport.
L3 CTS (formerly CTC Aviation) has its main U.K flight training base at the airfield with students completing basic, intermediate and advanced training there. Located on the East side from its purpose built hangar, the company operates a fleet of Diamond DA42, Slingsby T67 Firefly and recently Diamond DA40 aircraft. Their Bournemouth base complements its facilities in Southampton, Coventry, Ponte de Sor (Portugal), Hamilton (New Zealand) and recently opened satellite base in Cranfield.
Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training and Airline Pilot Academy Operates from its main office and hangar on Aviation Park West adjacent to the National Police Air Service (NPAS) facility. The apron provides parking for its commercial fleet including two BE76 Duchess and four Piper PA-28 aircraft. They also have hangared aircraft belonging to the company, including a Pilatus PC-12, a SIAI-Marchetti SF.260, a Beagle B.121 Pup, a Scottish Aviation Bulldog, a Partenavia P.68 and several Robin HR 200 aircraft. BCFT specialises in modular flight training whilst its sister company APA is pioneering a new and dynamic approach to Integrated Flight Training with bases at Bournemouth International Airport and Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
Scenic Air Tours, an A to A AOC holder, also operates from Aviation Park West with its main base of operation at the airport, its secondary base located at Durham Tees Valley Airport houses one of its Piper PA-28 aircraft available for Sightseeing and Aerial Photography. The Bournemouth-based fleet consists of a Piper PA-28 and Grumman American AA-5 both available for sightseeing trips and rentals.
Bournemouth is home of a dedicated Pilatus maintenance facility, focusing on the Pilatus PC-12, serving aircraft from across Europe. Jetfly Aviation, a fractional ownership company, uses the Bournemouth facility for its maintenance needs and has aircraft and crew based at the airport.
As well as the Pilatus maintenance facility the airport is also home to several others, all specialising in various areas of the industry. The largest for general aviation aircraft is Airtime Aviation, providing maintenance for aircraft up to the size of Beechcraft King Air. Airtime also provide aircraft painting through its sister company, Airtime Paint, handling all kinds of aircraft including small jets. Fast Aviation also provides maintenance for general aviation aircraft and is based on the north side of the airfield. MCA provide specialist King Air support and maintenance, with several worldwide contracts. Jets and Technic Air provide maintenance for Jet aircraft and smaller turboprop airliners.
Handling for General Aviation aircraft is provided by two companies, Bliss Aviation a small flight school specialising in Helicopter training provide handling for smaller aircraft such as Piper PA-28 and larger multi engine pistons like Piper Chieftain and Beechcraft Baron. Larger corporate aircraft are handled by Signature Flight Support, often handling aircraft up to the size of Gulfstream G650 and Falcon 7X.
Accidents and incidents
- On 28 January 1972, Vickers Viscount D-ANEF of Airwork Services was damaged beyond repair when the undercarriage collapsed after a heavy landing.
- Number of passengers including domestic, international and transit.
- Number of movements represents total takeoffs and landings during that year.
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