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Bournemouth Airport

Coordinates: 50°46′48″N 001°50′33″W / 50.78000°N 1.84250°W / 50.78000; -1.84250
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Bournemouth Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorRegional & City Airports (RCA)
ServesSouth Wiltshire, Dorset, New Forest
LocationHurn, Dorset
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL38 ft / 12 m
Coordinates50°46′48″N 001°50′33″W / 50.78000°N 1.84250°W / 50.78000; -1.84250
Websitewww.bournemouthairport.com Edit this at Wikidata
BOH/EGHH is located in Dorset
Location in Dorset
BOH/EGHH is located in the United Kingdom
BOH/EGHH (the United Kingdom)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
08/26 2,271 7,451 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Passenger change 22-23Increase29.36%
Aircraft movements5,066
Movements change 21-22Increase64%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[2]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[3]

Bournemouth Airport (IATA: BOH, ICAO: EGHH) (previously known as Hurn Airport and Bournemouth International Airport) is an international airport located 3.5 NM (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) north-northeast of Bournemouth,[2] in southern England. The site opened as RAF Hurn in 1941, but was transferred to civil control in 1944. For a short period (between 1944 and 1946) 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.[4]

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.[5] Passenger numbers peaked in 2007 when just over one million passed through the airport. In 2019, the passenger total was around 803,000. This dropped to around 176,000 in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

Ryanair and TUI Airways are the primary users of the airport, which was owned and operated by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), one of the largest British airport operators until December 2017, when Regional & City Airports (RCA) acquired Bournemouth Airport for an undisclosed amount.[6]


Bournemouth Airport is situated on the edge of Hurn village in the BCP Council area, 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 airport serving the area is Southampton Airport.


Before World War II, Bournemouth's airport was Christchurch Airfield.[7]


From November 1944, the airfield took over from Bristol's Whitchurch airport[8] as the main operating base for British Overseas Airways Corporation until Heathrow fully opened in 1948.[9] Starting in October 1945, Hurn served as London's transatlantic airport until Heathrow opened to the airlines in mid-1946. In that role, 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.)[10]

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). [citation needed]


First charter flights[edit]

The first Palmair charter from the airport took place in 1958, using a single 36-seat Viking aircraft destined for Palma de Mallorca.[11] The service was one of the first charter flights in the United Kingdom.

Aircraft manufacture[edit]

A BAC 1-11 in British Aircraft Corporation livery at Bournemouth Airport in 1971.

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.[citation needed]

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. [citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

College of Air Traffic Control[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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. [citation needed]

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.[12]

First British woman air traffic controller[edit]

Yvonne Pope Sintes was the first British woman air traffic controller and worked at Bournemouth Airport when first qualified, before graduating to Gatwick and later becoming Britain's first female commercial airline captain.[13]

Airwork Fleet Requirements Unit[edit]

Hawker Sea Hawk aircraft, of the Airwork FRU, at Bournemouth (Hurn) Airport in 1967

Airwork Limited, referred to as Airwork Services Limited from 1957 for defence support work, secured a contract in September 1952 with the Royal Navy, to operate the Fleet Requirements Unit (FRU) at Hurn. It used ex-Fleet Air Arm aircraft as targets to provide training for Royal Navy radar operators, however, civilian pilots were employed to fly the aircraft. During the summer of 1959 Airwork moved its head office from Langley to Hurn and centralised it’s overhaul facilities there.[14] In October 1972 the FRU moved to RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), in Somerset.[15]

Change of ownership[edit]

In 1969, the airport was purchased jointly by the Bournemouth Corporation and Dorset County Council and renamed as "Bournemouth Hurn Airport",[9] 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed] 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.[16]

In 1996, an extension to the main runway was officially opened by the arrival of Concorde.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[17] Also in 2005, Air Berlin and EasyJet began services by announcing routes to Paderborn and Geneva respectively. [citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Route development[edit]

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. [citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

On 9 January 2008, Ryanair announced that they would base one of their Boeing 737-800s at Bournemouth from April 2008.[18] 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.[citation needed]

Increasing from 14 routes, after the discontinuation of the Nantes route, to 18 – Carcassonne, Faro, Limoges, and Reus were added to the route network in February 2009.

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,[19] 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.[20] 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[21]

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.

During the Summer of 2021, influenced by the ongoing pandemic and international travel restrictions, easyJet operated its first UK domestic services to Edinburgh, Belfast and later Liverpool.[22]

In March 2024, Jet2 announced that 16 new destinations in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey would become available from the airport by April 2025.[23]


The former terminal building which has been replaced under expansion

With the budget increased to £45 million in July 2008, the plan intended to replace the arrivals terminal and upgrade the check-in and departure lounge areas. The number of aircraft stands to 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.[24]

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 The Olive Tree eatery. All remaining retail space has since been completed and opened.[citation needed]

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.[24]

Other changes to the infrastructure around the airport include adding traffic lights at the entrance to the airport.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled flights to and from Bournemouth:[25]

easyJet Seasonal: Geneva, Lyon[26][better source needed]
Jet2.com[27] Alicante (begins 3 May 2025),[1] Fuerteventura (begins 2 April 2025),[1] Funchal (begins 1 May 2025),[1] Gran Canaria (begins 6 April 2025),[1] Lanzarote (begins 4 April 2025),[1] Tenerife–South (begins 1 April 2025)[1]
Seasonal: Antalya (begins 3 May 2025),[1] Corfu (begins 7 May 2025),[1] Dalaman (begins 3 April 2025),[1] Faro (begins 4 April 2025),[1] Heraklion (begins 6 May 2025),[1] Ibiza (begins 1 May 2025),[1] Menorca (begins 4 May 2025),[1] Palma de Mallorca (begins 2 April 2025),[1] Rhodes (begins 5 May 2025),[1] Zakynthos (begins 1 May 2025)[1]
Ryanair[28] Agadir,[29] Alicante, Edinburgh, Faro, Gran Canaria, Kraków, Lanzarote, Málaga, Malta, Tenerife–South, Wrocław
Seasonal: Bergerac, Budapest, Carcassonne, Girona, Murcia, Nantes,[30] Palma de Mallorca, Venice, Zadar
TUI Airways[31] Lanzarote, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Antalya, Corfu, Dalaman, Gran Canaria, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kefalonia, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Zakynthos



Number of
passengers[note 1]
Number of
movements[note 2]
Bournemouth Airport passenger totals
2003–2021 (millions)
2003 460,872 76,177
Annual passenger traffic at BOH airport. See Wikidata query.
2004 492,882 77,142
2005 829,108 79,512
2006 960,773 75,505
2007 1,083,379 71,742
2008 1,078,941 78,527
2009 868,445 82,538
2010 751,331 55,398
2011 613,755 51,799
2012 689,913 51,089
2013 660,272 47,174
2014 661,584 43,122
2015 706,776 43,020
2016 667,981 36,922
2017 694,660 34,641
2018 674,972 39,886
2019 803,307 39,886
2020 175,907 28,370
2021 200,640 3,098
2022 734,530 5,066


Busiest routes to and from Bournemouth (2022)[32]
Rank Airport Total
2021 / 22
1 Palma de Mallorca 110,968 Increase 410.3%
2 Alicante 70,195 Increase 237.7%
3 Málaga 67,418 Increase 212.7%
4 Tenerife South 55,073 Increase 327.7%
5 Faro 50,890 Increase 280.1%
6 Girona 35,907 Increase 430.3%
7 Krakow 34,815 Increase 155.2%
8 Lanzarote 29,567 Increase 262.7%
9 Murcia 29,233 Increase 254.6%
10 Dublin 28,983 Increase 621.7%

Other facilities[edit]

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.[33]

When Channel Express operated, its head office was in Building 470 at the airport.[34]

Babcock International Group has its Defence and Security offices located at the airport.

L3 CTS (formerly CTC Aviation) used to have 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 operated a fleet of Diamond DA42, Slingsby T67 Firefly and recently Diamond DA40 aircraft. Their Bournemouth base complemented its facilities in Southampton, Coventry, Ponte de Sor (Portugal), Hamilton (New Zealand) and Cranfield.[citation needed]

Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training and Airline Pilot Academy Operated from its main office and hangar on Aviation Park West adjacent to the National Police Air Service (NPAS) facility. The apron provided parking for its commercial fleet including two BE76 Duchess and four Piper PA-28 aircraft. They also had 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 specialised in modular flight training whilst its sister company APA was pioneering a new and dynamic approach to Integrated Flight Training with bases at Bournemouth International Airport and Melbourne Orlando International Airport. It ceased operations in early September 2022.

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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[edit]


  1. ^ Number of passengers including domestic, international and transit.
  2. ^ Number of movements represents total takeoffs and landings during that year.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Calder, Simon (26 March 2024). "Bournemouth airport set for 2025 fares war as Jet2 moves in". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  2. ^ a b "NATS Aeronautical Information Service: Bournemouth – EGHH". Retrieved 21 August 2019.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Aircraft and passenger traffic data from UK airports". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 21 March 2023. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Our History". Bournemouth Airport. 2011. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures". Bournemouth Airport. 2008. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Rigby Group buys Bournemouth Airport for undisclosed fee". Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ White, Allen (1987) Christchurch Airfield - 40 Years Of Flying
  8. ^ British Airline History – London Metropolitan University Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b "History of Bournemouth Airport – Airport Guides Network". Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  10. ^ John Fleischman (October 2020). "The Dawn of Transatlantic Flight". Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Palmair History". Archived from the original on 19 February 2010.
  12. ^ Reader, Jane (9 January 2014). "Parents' anger over Parkfield School moving to Bournemouth Airport site". Bournemouth Echo. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Yvonne Pope Sintes obituary". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Airwork Woolleyfamily". www.woolleyfamily.co.uk. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  15. ^ "FRADU Hunter history". www.fradu.info. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  16. ^ "Manchester Airport spreads its wings". BBC News &#7c Business. 19 February 2001. Archived from the original on 2 February 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Bournemouth confirmed as new base for low fares airline". Thomson. 2004. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  18. ^ "Bournemouth wins Ryanair's 24th European Base". Ryanair. 2008. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  19. ^ "Ryanair announce new routes and add another aircraft at Bournemouth Airport". Bournemouth Echo. 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  20. ^ "Peter Bath's plane unveiled with flying colours at Bournemouth Airport". Bournemouth Daily Echo. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "EasyJet launches domestic routes from Dorset | The Independent". Independent.co.uk. 18 March 2021.
  23. ^ "New airline announced at Bournemouth Airport - flying to 16 destinations". Bournemouth Echo. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  24. ^ a b "£45 million redevelopment programme". Bournemouth Airport. 2008. Archived from the original on 21 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  25. ^ bournemouthairport.com – Timetables Archived 16 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 19 November 2016
  26. ^ "EasyJet adds second ski route from Bournemouth".
  27. ^ "Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announce launch of flights and holidays from Bournemouth Airport". Jet2.com. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  28. ^ "Book cheap flights using Fare Finder | Ryanair". www.ryanair.com.
  29. ^ "Ryanair adds UK routes with summer 2024 Morocco expansion".
  30. ^ "Ryanair".
  31. ^ "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk.
  32. ^ "Airport Data 2019" (PDF). UK Civil Aviation Authority. 5 March 2019. Tables 12.1(XLS) and 12.2 (XLS). Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  33. ^ "Airport development is now complete". Daily Echo. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  34. ^ "Contact Information Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Channel Express. Retrieved on 31 December 2011. "Channel Express (Air Services) Limited Building 470 Bournemouth International Airport Christchurch Dorset. BH23 6SE."
  35. ^ "Family of Bournemouth bomber crash pilot Denis Evans in justice call". BBC News. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2023.
  36. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2009.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]