Edinburgh Airport

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Edinburgh Airport

Port-adhair Dhùn Èideann
Edinburgh Airport - Taxi rank.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGlobal Infrastructure Partners
OperatorEdinburgh Airport Ltd.
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland, UK
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL136 ft / 41 m
Coordinates55°57′00″N 003°22′21″W / 55.95000°N 3.37250°W / 55.95000; -3.37250Coordinates: 55°57′00″N 003°22′21″W / 55.95000°N 3.37250°W / 55.95000; -3.37250
EGPH is located in Edinburgh
Location in Edinburgh
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,556 8,386 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
Passenger change 18-19Increase3.1%
Aircraft movements130,016
Movements change 17–18Increase1.1%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Edinburgh Airport (Scottish Gaelic: Port-adhair Dhùn Èideann) (IATA: EDI, ICAO: EGPH) is an airport located in the Ingliston area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2019, handling over 14.7 million passengers. It was also the sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by total passengers in 2019.[3][4] It is located 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi)[1] west of the city centre, just off the M8 and M9 motorways. It is owned and operated by Global Infrastructure Partners, who are also a minority shareholder of Gatwick Airport.[5] The airport has one runway and one passenger terminal and employs about 2,500 people.


Early years[edit]

"Map of Air Routes and Landing Places in Great Britain, as temporarily arranged by the Air Ministry for civilian flying", published in 1919, shows Turnhouse as a "military and civil station".

Turnhouse Aerodrome was the most northerly British air defence base in World War I used by the Royal Flying Corps. The small base opened in 1916[6] and it was used to house the 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron from 1925, which consisted of DH 9As, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts, and Hawker Hind light bombers. All the aircraft used a grass airstrip.

In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and the airfield was named RAF Turnhouse and ownership was transferred to the Air Ministry.

When the Second World War broke out, RAF Fighter Command took control over the airfield and a runway of 3,900 ft (1,189 m) was paved to handle the Supermarine Spitfire. During the Battle of Britain, 3, 65, and 141 Squadrons were present at the airbase.

Post Second World War[edit]

When the war ended the airfield remained under military control. It was officially opened for commercial traffic on 19 May 1947. The first commercial flight to use the airport was a British European Airways service from London (Northolt) to Shetland, with Edinburgh and Aberdeen being intermediate stopping points. The aircraft was an 18-seat Douglas C47.[7]

In 1952 the runway was extended to 6000 ft to handle the Vampire FB5s operated by the resident 603 Squadron, and an aircraft arresting barrier net was installed to protect traffic on the adjacent A9 road. The net remained in place until the early 1970s and was used to stop one of the Ferranti Flying Unit Buccaneers which had overrun the runway. A further use was in 1970 when a Meteor TT20, operated by the RN Fleet Requirement Unit, overran the runway and ended up in the net. In 1956 a new passenger terminal was built to provide an improved commercial service; five years later it was extended. After the disbandment of the 603 Squadron in March 1957, the Air Ministry transferred ownership to the Ministry of Aviation in 1960 to offer improved commercial service to the airport. Flying was temporarily diverted to East Fortune, which had its runway extended to accommodate the airliners of the period.[citation needed]

BAA ownership 1971 to 2012[edit]

Aerial view of Edinburgh Airport

The British Airports Authority (BAA) took over ownership of the airport on 1 April 1971 at a time when the original terminal building was running at about eight times its design capacity. Immediate improvements to the terminal were cosmetic, such as extra seating and TV monitors for flight information, and it took two years for plans to be proposed for a completely new terminal and runway redesign. Public consultation on planning started in November 1971 and ended in February 1972. The initial stages of the redevelopment began in June 1973; they included a diversion of the River Almond. Work on the new terminal building, designed by Sir Robert Matthew, started in March 1975, and the building was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 27 May 1977,[8] opening to the public two days later.

Although the original main runway 13/31 (which is now 12/30) served the airport well, its alignment (NW-SE) had the disadvantage of suffering from severe crosswinds, and the other two minor runways were very short and could not be readily extended, so movements were transferred to a new runway (07/25, which has since become 06/24) in an addition completely outside the original airfield boundary. This runway, completed in 1977, is 2,556 m (8,386 ft) in length, and was able to take all modern airliners including Concorde. A new terminal was built alongside the runway to cater for the additional traffic. The old terminal and hangars were converted into a cargo centre.

International service from Edinburgh began in 1962 with direct service to Dublin, but for many years international flights were charter and private only. This started to change during the late 1970s, with direct services to continental Europe (Amsterdam, 1975). By the mid-1980s direct routes included Paris, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Frankfurt and Copenhagen, but direct transatlantic flights were not yet possible as Glasgow-Prestwick was the only "designated gateway" in Scotland under the US-UK Bermuda II Agreement.[9] By the time BAA had been privatised in 1987, Edinburgh Airport handled over 1.8 million passengers each year; compared to the 681,000 passengers handled in 1971 when BAA first took control of the airport.[10]

RAF Turnhouse was operational near the passenger terminal of the airport for all of the post-war period but was finally closed in 1997.[11]

Since the original terminal upgrade in 1977, there have been major reconstructions, including extensions of the two passenger terminal aprons and a major expansion of car parking facilities, including a multi-storey car park in 2004. In 2005, a new 57-metre-tall (187 ft) air traffic control tower was completed for £10m. An extension to the terminal called the South East Pier opened in September 2006. This extension initially added six gates on a new pier to the southeast of the original building. A further four gates were added to the South East Pier at the end of 2008.

On 19 October 2011, BAA Limited announced its intention to sell the airport, following a decision by the UK's Competition Commission requiring BAA to sell either Glasgow Airport or Edinburgh Airport.[12] BAA announced on 23 April 2012 that it had sold Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for a price of £807.2 million, equivalent to £1014 million in 2021.[13]


In 2013, a further extension to the passenger terminal was announced, taking the terminal building up to the Edinburgh Airport tram stop. The Edinburgh Trams opening in May 2014 created the first rail connection to Edinburgh Airport. Whilst the number of passengers has increased, the number of flights decreased in 2014 due to planes operating at a higher capacity.[14] Passenger traffic at Edinburgh Airport reached a record level in 2015 with over 11.1 million passengers[15] and over 109,000 aircraft movements.[2] The terminal building is currently being expanded with an investment of £40m. A new £25m expansion project involving the construction of a new 6,000 m² building, housing a security hall and retail areas, is also currently underway at the airport. On 23 February 2016, Ryanair announced a growth of 20% in passenger numbers, bringing the airline's annual passenger capacity at Edinburgh Airport to 2.5 million. This was coupled with the news of six new services to Ryanair's winter schedule from Edinburgh and more services on its popular European destinations. In February 2016, consultancy firm Biggar Economics announced that Edinburgh Airport contributes almost £1 billion annually to the Scottish economy.[16] As part of the expansion works, Runway 12/30 was officially withdrawn from use on 29 March 2018.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regularly scheduled flights to and from Edinburgh:[17]

Aegean Airlines Athens
Aer Lingus Belfast–City, Dublin
Air Canada Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson[18]
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Atlantic Airways Seasonal: Vágar
BH Air Seasonal: Burgas[19]
British Airways London–City, London–Heathrow
Seasonal: Chambéry, Florence, Palma de Mallorca, Southampton[20]
Brussels Airlines Brussels
Delta Air Lines New York–JFK[21]
Seasonal: Atlanta (begins 25 May 2023),[22] Boston
easyJet Alicante, Amsterdam, Basel/Mulhouse, Belfast–International, Berlin, Birmingham,[23] Bristol, Copenhagen, Geneva, Hamburg, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Stansted, Lyon, Madrid, Milan–Malpensa, Munich, Naples, Paphos, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Reykjavik–Keflavik, Tenerife–South, Venice
Seasonal: Antalya (begins 3 June 2023),[24] Athens, Bodrum, Catania (begins 2 June 2023),[25] Corfu,[26] Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Fuerteventura, Grenoble, Heraklion, Jersey (resumes 3 April 2023),[25] Kefalonia,[27] Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Rhodes, Santorini (begins 6 June 2023)[28]
Edelweiss Air Zürich
Eurowings Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf
Finnair Helsinki[29]
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid (resumes 18 June 2023)[30]
Jet2.com[31] Alicante, Antalya, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Bodrum, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Faro, Geneva, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck,[32] İzmir,[33] Kos, Larnaca, Menorca, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Preveza/Lefkada,[33] Reus, Reykjavík-Keflavík, Rhodes, Salzburg, Santorini,[33] Skiathos,[33] Split, Thessaloniki, Turin, Verona, Zakynthos
KLM Amsterdam
Loganair Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Kirkwall, Southampton, Stornoway, Sumburgh
Seasonal: Bergen, Newquay, Stavanger
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm–Arlanda
Qatar Airways Doha
Ryanair Alicante, Barcelona, Bari, Beauvais, Belfast–International (begins 28 March 2023),[34] Bergamo, Berlin, Billund, Bologna, Bratislava, Bucharest,[35] Budapest, Charleroi, Copenhagen, Cork,[36] Dublin, Eindhoven, Faro, Fuerteventura, Gdańsk, Gothenburg, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Kaunas, Knock,[37] Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London–Stansted,[38] Madrid,[39] Málaga, Malta, Marrakesh,[40] Marseille, Nantes, Naples, Palermo, Pisa, Poitiers, Porto, Poznań, Prague, Riga, Rome–Ciampino, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Shannon, Sofia, Tenerife–South, Toulouse, Turin,[41] Valencia, Vienna,[42][43] Warsaw–Modlin, Weeze, Wroclaw
Seasonal: Béziers, Bordeaux, Bournemouth (begins 26 March 2023),[44] Carcassonne, Corfu, Grenoble,[45] Ibiza, Katowice,[46] Newquay (begins 4 June 2023),[47] Nîmes,[48] Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes (begins 1 April 2023),[49] Treviso, Venice (begins 28 March 2023),[50] Verona,[45] Zadar[51]
Scandinavian Airlines Oslo, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Copenhagen
SunExpress Antalya[52]
Seasonal: İzmir (begins 29 August 2023)[53]
Transavia Rotterdam/The Hague
Seasonal: Paris–Orly
TUI Airways[54] Seasonal: Cancún, Chambéry, Corfu, Dalaman, Ibiza (begins 27 May 2023),[55] Innsbruck, Melbourne/Orlando,[56] Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–South, Verona[57]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
United Airlines Newark[58]
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Washington–Dulles[58]
Virgin Atlantic Seasonal: Orlando
Vueling Barcelona
WestJet Seasonal: Calgary (begins 17 May 2023)[59]
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Gdańsk, Warsaw–Chopin (ends 22 March 2023)[60]


Passenger Numbers[edit]

Edinburgh Airport Passenger Totals. See Wikidata query.
Number of Passengers[nb 1] Number of Movements[nb 2]
1985 1,578,000 36,926
1986 1,651,000 36,596
1987 1,852,000 39,603
1988 2,080,000 40,664
1989 2,369,000 47,100
1990 2,495,000 47,900
1991 2,343,000 49,700
1992 2,539,000 56,400
1993 2,721,000 58,800
1994 3,001,000 61,100
1995 3,280,000 64,000
1996 3,810,000 68,800
1997 4,214,919 99,352
1998 4,588,507 100,134
1999 5,119,258 101,226
2000 5,519,372 102,393
2001 6,067,333 112,361
2002 6,930,649 118,416
2003 7,481,454 118,943
2004 8,017,547 125,317
2005 8,456,739 127,122
2006 8,611,345 126,914
2007 9,047,558 128,172
2008 9,006,702 125,550
2009 9,049,355 115,969
2010 8,596,715 108,997
2011 9,385,245 113,357
2012 9,195,061 110,288
2013 9,775,443 111,736
2014 10,160,004 109,545
2015 11,114,587 115,286
2016 12,348,425 122,220
2017 13,410,256 128,675
2018 14,310,403 130,016
2019 14,747,830 131,617
2020 3,478,501 45,966
2021 3,031,140 43,674
Source:United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority[61]

Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest routes to and from Edinburgh (2019) [62]
Rank Airport Passengers
% Change
1 United Kingdom London–Heathrow 1,196,921 Decrease 0.1
2 United Kingdom London–Gatwick 731,793 Decrease 1.2
3 Netherlands Amsterdam 680,388 Increase 0.2
4 Republic of Ireland Dublin 655,294 Increase 4.4
5 United Kingdom London–Stansted 618,628 Decrease 15.5
6 United Kingdom London–City 513,360 Increase 3.3
7 United Kingdom Bristol 396,961 Decrease 0.8
8 France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 364,306 Decrease 8.2
9 United Kingdom Belfast–International 330,759 Increase 0.7
10 United Kingdom London–Luton 312,737 Decrease 0.7

Access and ground transport[edit]

Airlink 100 bus on Waverley Bridge
Edinburgh Gateway station interchange stop
Edinburgh Airport tram terminus
Transport at
Edinburgh Airport
Winchburgh Tunnel
Edinburgh Airport Airport interchange
Ingliston Park & Ride Parking
Edinburgh Gateway
Gyle Centre
South Gyle
Edinburgh Park Central
Edinburgh Park
Waverley/St Andrew Sq
York Place
extension under


Several operators provide bus services from the airport:


The airport lies on the A8 road, and can be reached by the M8 motorway and the M9 motorway. The airport is also within access from the M90 motorway via the Queensferry Crossing.


The airport has no dedicated railway station. However, it is served by the nearby Edinburgh Gateway station, which serves as an interchange with Edinburgh Trams services to the airport.[68] The tram line also connects the airport to the nearby Edinburgh Park railway station.[69]

A more expensive Edinburgh Airport Rail Link project to provide a direct heavy rail link was cancelled in 2007 due to increasing costs.[70]


The airport is served by Edinburgh Trams, a light rail link. The system runs from the airport and travels across the western suburbs of Edinburgh, terminating in the city centre.[71][72]

Preceding station   Edinburgh Trams   Following station
Ingliston Park & Ride   Edinburgh Trams
Line 1

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 20 July 1970, a Hawker Siddeley HS-125-3B (G-AXPS) operated by the Imperial Tobacco Company crashed on takeoff from Turnhouse on an empty positioning flight to Newcastle. The aircraft was a total loss and whilst the pilot was uninjured, the copilot was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The probable cause of the crash was thought to be the application of an incorrect rudder following a simulated engine failure on take-off. The reason for this application of an incorrect rudder has not been determined.[73][74]

A De Havilland Moth Minor (G-AFOZ) crashed at Turnhouse during a low-level display on 3 May 1975. One of the two occupants died in the hospital the following day.[75]

On 27 February 2001, a Loganair Shorts 360 (G-BNMT) operating a Royal Mail flight to Belfast, crashed into the Firth of Forth shortly after taking off from Edinburgh at 1730 GMT. Both crew members were killed, but there were no passengers on board. A fatal accident inquiry later blamed a buildup of slush in the aircraft's engines before the crash. A protective covering had not been fitted to the engine intakes while the aircraft was parked at Edinburgh for several hours in heavy snow.[76][77]


  1. ^ Number of Passengers, Freight and Mail include both domestic and international counterparts.
  2. ^ Number of Movements represents total aircraft takeoffs and landings during that year.


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External links[edit]