Norwich International Airport

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This article is about the civil airport. For the military base, see RAF Horsham St Faith.
Norwich International Airport
Norwich Airport - - 22532.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Rigby Group (80.1%)
Norfolk County Council
Norwich City Council
Operator Norwich Airport Limited
Serves Norwich, Norfolk
Elevation AMSL 117 ft / 36 m
Coordinates 52°40′33″N 001°16′58″E / 52.67583°N 1.28278°E / 52.67583; 1.28278Coordinates: 52°40′33″N 001°16′58″E / 52.67583°N 1.28278°E / 52.67583; 1.28278
EGSH is located in Norfolk
Location in Norfolk
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 1,841 6,040 Asphalt/concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 458,968
Passenger change 13-14 Decrease1.0%
Aircraft Movements 37,391
Movements change 13-14 Decrease8.1%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Norwich International Airport (IATA: NWIICAO: EGSH), also known as Norwich Airport, is an airport in the City of Norwich within Norfolk, England 2.8 NM (5.2 km; 3.2 mi) north of the city centre and on the edge of the city's suburbs at Hellesdon. In 2014 Norwich airport was the 29th busiest airport in the UK.[2]

Along with a long history of flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol via KLM Cityhopper (formerly KLM UK), it offers flights to various destinations in the United Kingdom and Europe. Besides the commercial flights, charter operators also operate out of Norwich. Bristow Helicopters, DanCopter and Bond Offshore Helicopters fly crews to North Sea gas rigs and SaxonAir operates executive, private aircraft and helicopter charter flights.

Norwich Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P723) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.


The first Norwich airport was set up on a former First World War aerodrome on Mousehold Heath under what is now the Heartsease housing estate. This fell into disuse in the early part of the Second World War.

RAF Horsham St Faith[edit]

Main article: RAF Horsham St Faith

The current site, formerly known as Royal Air Force Station Horsham St Faith, or more commonly RAF Horsham St Faith, was first developed in 1939 and officially opened on 1 June 1940 as a Royal Air Force (RAF) bomber station.

In September 1942 Horsham St. Faith was made available to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) for use by the Eighth Air Force. The USAAF designated the airfield as Station 123 (HF).

The airfield was transferred to RAF Fighter Command on 10 July 1945 when it was occupied by four Gloster Meteor Squadrons. RAF Horsham St. Faith was a front-line RAF station for many years, and its squadrons participated in many post-war exercises. The station was deactivated on 1 August 1963.

Civil airport[edit]

The RAF left Horsham on 24 March 1967. Over the following two years the major part of the airfield and buildings were sold to Norwich City and Norfolk County Council, a small part being retained by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Norwich Airport Ltd under ownership of the County and City Councils developed the modern day Norwich International Airport.

Most of the World War II buildings used by the USAAF remain, although converted for a variety of purposes. Two of the five large pre-war hangars are still being used for aircraft maintenance. One is due to be converted into an aviation academy, due to open late 2016, the remaining two have been converted for commercial use. The control tower still exists although the top has been restored and a new tower has been built adjacent to the present main runway. Other wartime buildings now form part of the airport industrial estate (owned by the County and City Councils) and are intermingled with many newer structures. Adjacent to the airport terminal building opened in 1988 by the Queen Mother, there is a memorial display relating to the USAAF, consisting of photographs, paintings, and a plaque commemorating the American use of the airfield.

The former RAF accommodation blocks situated towards Old Catton were until 1993 used by the University of East Anglia as accommodation for students; known to students as "Fifers Lane" halls, these have since been demolished and the site redeveloped as housing. The remaining MoD property—airmen's married quarters—continued to be used for nearby RAF stations, but due to the closure of these stations, the housing has been sold to private buyers.

Whilst most runways and taxiways from the military airfield remain, only one runway is primarily used, to avoid takeoffs and landings over built-up areas: east–west runway 09/27, which was extended eastwards by the RAF in 1956. The old 04/22 runway is no longer used for takeoffs or landings, but is used for parking and taxiing of larger aircraft.

In March 2004, the City and County Councils sold 80.1% of Norwich Airport Ltd to Omniport[3] whilst retaining the remaining 19.9%. Omniport has also acquired 100% of Norwich Airport Travel Ltd. Since the sale to Omniport the airport has become one of the UK hubs for budget carrier Flybe and the number of flights and destinations served have rapidly increased. In 2005 a £3.5M terminal expansion programme began.

During filming of the BBC show Top Gear, operations from the airport appeared disrupted when a caravan, adapted into an airship and flown by James May, drifted overhead the airport, infringing its controlled airspace. In reality, the event occurred after much pre-planning between the airport authorities and the BBC; and scenes showing the airship in the airfield boundary were actually filmed after the blimp had lifted off from the airfield to satisfy the requirements of the film crew.[4]

In 2007, the airport introduced its Airport Development Fee (ADF). All passengers departing from the airport pay a fee of £10.[5]

In December 2013 Loganair announced they would be taking over Flybe's service to Edinburgh Airport from April 2014 and increasing flights from 1 to 3 times a day each weekday and twice on Sundays in the peak season, with this there will be two further D328s based at the airport one to operate the route and one as a 'hot spare'/charter aircraft with all crew being relocated from Edinburgh and Dundee.[6]

The airport was sold by the majority stakeholders of Omniport to the Rigby Group PLC in 2014.[7]


The airport has one runway (designated 09/27), 1,841 m (6,040 ft) in length. A smaller 1,285 m (4,216 ft) runway (designated 04/22) was closed in 2006, and is now used as a taxiway. The airport has nine parking stands for commercial aircraft.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Control tower at Norwich International Airport.
Airlines Destinations
Aurigny Air Services Seasonal: Guernsey (begins 14 May 2016)
BH Air Seasonal: Burgas
BMI Regional Aberdeen
Eastern Airways Aberdeen
Flybe Alicante (begins 29 March 2016), Exeter (begins 27 March 2016),[8] Málaga (begins 28 March 2016)
Seasonal: Geneva (begins 17 December 2016), Jersey
operated by Loganair
Edinburgh, Manchester
Germania Seasonal charter: Corfu, Dalaman, Gran Canaria,[9] Ibiza, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos (begins 4 May 2016),[10] Tenerife-South
operated by KLM Cityhopper
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: Verona, Naples
SunExpress Seasonal charter: Dalaman
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca
Thomson Airways Seasonal: Paphos (begins 4 May 2016), Tenerife-South

Based operators[edit]

Operators based at Norwich are CHC Scotia, Bond Helicopters,[11] Bristow Helicopters,[12] DanCopter,[13] NHV Helicopters,[14] Eastern Airways, Flybe, SaxonAir Charter & SaxonAir Flight Support and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.[15]

Flybe and Regional & City Airport's Partnership[edit]

Flybe recently confirmed plans to operate summer sun and winter ski routes from Norwich airport as part of a 5-year deal with the Regional & City Airports (RCA) group. From 24 March 2016, one of Flybe's 118-seat Embraer 195 aircraft will operate multi-weekly flights from Norwich to Alicante and Malaga. In addition, with effect from its Winter 2016 programme Flybe will also introduce Geneva as a new route from Norwich.[16][17] There is also the potential for consideration of further routes.[18]

Route Development[edit]

Norwich International Airport recently announced that four new routes were being considered for Department for Transport (DfT) funding. The routes being considered include: Dublin Airport (Flybe, double daily return weekdays, single return weekends), Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (Flybe, daily return), Newcastle Airport (Links Air, double daily weekday returns), and Exeter Airport (Flybe, daily return). Flights operated by Flybe have proposed start dates of 01/04/2016 if successful, with Links Air proposing a start date of 01/09/2016.[19][20] In November 2015 it was announced that bids for Norwich routes to Exeter and Newcastle had been successful.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 12 December 1973 a Dassault Falcon 20 of Fred. Olsen Airtransport suffered a bird strike on takeoff from runway 28. Both engines failed and the aircraft made an emergency landing in a field. All three crew members were injured, the passengers sustained no injuries. The aircraft was written off.[21]

On 25 October 1974 a Cessna 310 dived into the ground while on final approach, killing the pilot. The Cessna's nose pitched down and the wings rolled over; the loss of control was caused by the uncommanded retraction of the starboard flap, caused by the failure of the drive mechanism.[22]


Busiest Routes to and from Norwich Airport (2014)[23]
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
2012 / 13
1 Amsterdam 137,380 Increase4
2 Aberdeen 60,162 Decrease6
3 Manchester 29,668 Decrease2
4 Palma de Mallorca 28,584 Increase21
5 Edinburgh 28,460 Increase15
6 Tenerife-South 16,554 Decrease6
7 Dalaman 13,523 Increase11
8 Enfidha 11,817 Increase14
9 Corfu 7,075 Decrease33
10 Ibiza 6,550 Decrease16

Ground services[edit]

Passenger Handling is controlled by Norwich International Airport Passenger Services. MultiYork provide an executive lounge for the use of passengers.


KonectBus operates a Park and Ride service a 2-minute walk from the airport direct to Thickthorn Services via Norwich City Centre on Monday – Saturday every 10 – 15 minutes. The first bus departs Norwich Airport at 06:40 and the last 19:05.[24]


Norwich airport is situated on the A140, which travels from Ipswich via Norwich to the seaside town of Cromer; this also provides easy road access to Norwich city centre.

Future Road Links: The Norwich Northern Distributor Road will link the airport to the A47, stopping people using the congested ring road, and providing faster and better connections to other parts of the county and country.


Norwich airport does not have a railway station; the nearest station is Norwich railway station approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) away.


Taxis are available from Norwich Airport Taxi's within Arrivals of the terminal building.



External links[edit]

Media related to Norwich Airport at Wikimedia Commons