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Norwich Airport

Coordinates: 52°40′33″N 01°16′58″E / 52.67583°N 1.28278°E / 52.67583; 1.28278
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Norwich Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerRegional & City Airports
OperatorNorwich Airport Limited
ServesNorwich, Norfolk
Opened1968; 56 years ago (1968)
Focus city forTUI Airways
Built1939; 85 years ago (1939) (as RAF Horsham St Faith)
Elevation AMSL36 m / 117 ft
Coordinates52°40′33″N 01°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 (2022)
Passenger change 21-22Increase151%
Aircraft Movements15,291
Movements change 21-22Increase24%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Norwich Airport (IATA: NWI, ICAO: EGSH) is an international airport in Hellesdon, Norfolk, England, 2.5 miles (4.0 kilometres) north of the city of Norwich.[3] In 2023, Norwich Airport was the 25th busiest airport in the UK and busiest in East Anglia.[2]

Norwich Airport has a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Public Use Aerodrome Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. Along with a long history of flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol via KLM Cityhopper, it offers flights to various destinations in the United Kingdom and Europe. Besides the commercial flights, charter operators also operate from Norwich. Bristow Helicopters, DanCopter, and Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore fly crews to North Sea gas and oil rigs, and SaxonAir operates executive, private aircraft and helicopter charter flights.

The airport was established on the aerodrome site of RAF Horsham St Faith, a former Royal Air Force station in the early 1970s, under the ownership of the local authorities. It was later sold into private ownership.



The first Norwich Airport was created as a former First World War aerodrome on Mousehold Heath, on what is now the Heartsease housing estate. It opened in 1933; 91 years ago (1933), and was used by Boulton & Paul for aircraft test flying and other recreational activities. This aerodrome fell into disuse in the early part of the Second World War.

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; 85 years ago (1939), and officially opened on 1 June 1940; 84 years ago (1940-06-01), 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 subsequently 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; 60 years ago (1963-08-01).

Civil airport

Control tower at Norwich International Airport.

The Royal Air Force left Horsham on 24 March 1967. Over the following two years, the major part of the airfield and buildings were sold to Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council, a small part being retained by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Norwich Airport Limited, under joint ownership of the county and city councils, developed the modern day Norwich International Airport, with the main terminal opening in 1988. In 1971, the airport began operations with charter flights,[3] with airline Air Anglia creating a base at the airfield, offering flights all over north-western Europe. Their route to Amsterdam is still operated today with KLM Cityhopper.

Most of the World War II buildings used by the USAAF and RAF remain, although converted for a variety of purposes. Two of the five large pre-war hangars are still being used for aircraft maintenance. One of the other three has been converted into an aviation academy, the remaining two have been converted for commercial use by Air Livery and KLM UK Engineering. The original military 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 Norwich Airport Industrial Estate (owned by the county and city councils) and are intermingled with many newer structures. Adjacent to the airport terminal building opened 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 northern environs of airport also features the private City of Norwich Aviation Museum, by the control tower, commemorating the airfield's history as a military airfield and development as a civil airport through the years, with many civil and military aircraft on display - many of which served from the aerodrome at some point in their lifetime.

The former RAF single persons 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 (RAF Coltishall and RAF Neatishead), but due to the closure and / or reduction in size 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: Runway 09/27, which was extended eastwards by the RAF in 1956 to 1,841 metres (6,040 feet) long. The 04/22 runway is no longer used for takeoffs or landings, but is used for parking and taxiing of aircraft.

In 1999, the new corporate identity was launched as Norwich International Airport, kept until April 2017.

In March 2004, the city and county councils sold 80.1% of Norwich Airport Limited to Omniport,[4] whilst retaining the remaining 19.9%. Omniport has also acquired 100% of Norwich Airport Travel Limited (the separate travel agency located within the airport passenger terminal). Following the sale to Omniport, the airport became one of the UK hubs for budget airline Flybe, and the number of flights and destinations served increased. In 2005, a £3.5 million terminal expansion programme began.

In 2009, during filming of the BBC show Top Gear, operations from the airport appeared to be 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 it had lifted off from the airfield to satisfy the requirements of the film crew.[5]

A Loganair Saab 340 parked on the apron at Norwich. Loganair is one of the airport's largest scheduled operators, offering flights to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Jersey.

In 2007, the airport introduced its Airport Development Fee (ADF). All passengers over 16 years old departing from the airport pay a fee of £10.[6]

In 2014, the airport was sold by the majority stakeholders of Omniport to the Rigby Group, who integrated the airport as part of Regional & City Airports in April 2017.[7]

Recent developments


Norwich International Airport announced in 2015 that four new routes were being considered for Department for Transport (DfT) funding. The routes being considered included: 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 return), and Exeter Airport (Flybe, daily return). Links Air proposed a start date of 1 September 2016, but the airline was put into liquidation.[8][9] In November 2015, it was announced that bids for routes to Newcastle and Exeter had been successful, with the inaugural flight to the latter on 24 March 2016, operated by Flybe.[10] Flybe also confirmed plans to operate summer sun and winter ski routes from Norwich Airport as part of a five-year deal with the Regional & City Airports (RCA) group. From May 2016, one of Flybe's Embraer ERJ-195 aircraft began operating multi-weekly flights from Norwich to Alicante and Málaga.

In 2016, an engine test facility opened on site. The KLM UK Engineering Academy opened on 18 April 2017.

On 6 July 2017, Managing Director Richard Pace announced a 30 year vision to treble passenger numbers at the airport. The plans include raising annual passenger numbers to 930,000 by 2030, and 1.4 million by 2045, forging new routes to Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dublin to boost the choice of worldwide destinations and constructing a 100 acre business park for both aviation and non-aviation companies; it was originally frozen by investors in 2015 waiting for the new Northern Distributor Road to be completed. Further plans include extending Runway 27/09 by 500 metres (1,600 feet), and building new taxiways to boost capacity and allow larger aircraft to operate to the airport. Another 10 year ambition was seeking permission to allow flights to fly until up to 01:30 (currently, the curfew is put in place at 23:00, with the airport placing charges for any arrivals after 21:30) for four nights a week. Pace says the new Broadland Northway (NDR) is "unlocking the potential for the site to generate growth for the region and the airport", and "the masterplan sets out the vision for the future development of Norwich Airport and its continued vital role in supporting our region’s economy".[11]

On 10 November 2017, a discussion between the airport, Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council, and Norfolk County Council took place on the possible relocation of the Mile Cross Recycling Centre in Norwich, whose contract was to end in 2021. County Hall put aside £2.75m in funding for the new centre, which was approved in February. The move was floated due to Norfolk County Council wanting to integrate its highway maintenance, fleet vehicle storage, park and ride and a strategic salt store into one location, called the Norwich Depot Hub. This would have been located north of the airport, near the new Northern Distributor Road, which the Council claimed would offer easier access than to the current site in the city;[12] however, this was scrapped when councillors were told it would not make enough savings to justify the outlay. A new site has been identified north of the Broadland Northway (near its junction with the A140), which is jointly owned by the City Council and County Hall, whilst negotiations are underway with the private owner of the land required for an access road.[13]

A refurbishment of the passenger terminal commenced in April 2018, to be completed in Spring 2019, increasing the number of retail shops and dining options for passengers.[14] The airport also invested in upgrade and refurbishment works to the executive lounge at the airport, completed in May 2018.[15]

Flybe announced in April 2019 that they would be ending jet flights from Norwich Airport as of winter 2019/20 due to them returning their Embraer 195 aircraft back to the lessors.

In July 2019, Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council sold their remaining 19.9% stake in the airport to Regional and City Airports.[16][17]

In December 2023 Ryanair announced they would start operating from the airport for the very first time. 3 new routes were announced to Alicante, Faro and Malta for the summer 2024 season with flights starting on 1 April 2024. The airport hopes to further develop its partnership with Ryanair in the future.[18]

In May 2024 just 6 weeks after launch of operations at Norwich, Ryanair confirmed that Alicante would continue a 2x weekly for the Winter 24/25 season making it a year round destination at Norwich once again .[19]



Runway and apron


The airport has one operational runway (designated 09/27), 1,841 metres (6,040 feet) in length. A smaller 1,285 metres (4,216 feet) runway (designated 04/22) was closed in 2006, and is now used as a taxiway (south of Runway 09/27) and parking area for decommissioned aircraft (north of Runway 09/27). The airport apron has nine parking stands for commercial aircraft.



Operators based at Norwich are CHC Scotia, Bristow Helicopters,[20][21] NHV Helicopters,[22] SaxonAir Charter & SaxonAir Flight Support, and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.[23]

Airlines and destinations


The following airlines operate regular scheduled services to and from Norwich:[24]

Blue IslandsSeasonal: Jersey
Ryanair Alicante
Seasonal: Faro, Malta[25]
TUI AirwaysTenerife–South
Seasonal: Corfu, Dalaman, Heraklion, Ibiza, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes

Accidents and incidents

  • On 12 December 1973, a Dassault Falcon 20 of Fred. Olsen Airtransport suffered a bird strike on takeoff from Runway 27. Both engines failed, and the aircraft made an emergency landing in a field. All three crew members were injured, but the passengers sustained no injuries. The aircraft was written off.[26]
  • 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.[27]



2022 CAA statistical data for Norwich Airport revealed a total aircraft movement count of 15,291, giving an average rate of 42 movements per day. Total passenger numbers for 2022 were recorded as 319,040.[28]

Annual passenger traffic at NWI airport. See Wikidata query.
Busiest routes to and from Norwich (2022)[28]
rank destination
2021 / 22
1 Amsterdam 83,751 Increase 622.3%
2 Aberdeen 32,346 Increase 35.4%
3 Palma de Mallorca 26,323 Increase 697.9%
4 Tenerife–South 22,110 Increase 381.4%
5 Dalaman 14,050 Increase new route
6 Menorca 13,880 Increase new route
7 Corfu 8,577 Increase 233.1%
8 Heraklion 8,512 Increase new route
9 Rhodes 8,315 Increase new route
10 Ibiza 8,088 Increase new route

Public transport




Konectbus operates the 501 Norwich Park and Ride service, connecting the airport terminal with Norwich city centre, six days a week (excluding Sundays), up to every 15 minutes.[29]

Konectbus also operates route 35, "Canary Konect" which travels between The Nest and Carrow Park (for Carrow Road) via the Airport Terminal, Aylsham Road, Anglia Square, Tombland (For Norwich Cathedral and the City Centre), Prince of Wales Road and the railway station. This service runs up to every 60 mins, seven days a week.[30]

Konectbus routes 512 and 515, Sanders Coaches Routes 43, X40, 44A, and X44, and First Eastern Counties route 37 all operate from within a ten-minute walk of the terminal.



Norwich Airport is situated adjacent to the A140 Cromer Road which runs from Ipswich, through Norwich and on to the seaside town of Cromer; this also provides easy road access to Norwich city centre. The entrance to the airport is around 3 miles (4.8 kilometres) from the city centre. The A1270 Broadland Northway (also known as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road or NDR) links the airport to the A47 to Lowestoft in the east and Fakenham in the west, as well as Norwich itself.



The nearest station is Norwich railway station approximately 4 miles (6.4 kilometres) away.


  1. ^ "National Air Traffic Services - AIS - Norwich".
  2. ^ a b "CAA Airport Data". CAA.co.uk. Civil Aviation Authority.
  3. ^ a b "About Us – Norwich Airport". Norwich Airport. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Welcom". www.Omniport.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Eastern Daily Press video". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 1 December 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Norwich Airport Development Fee". NorwichAirport.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. ^ Woods, Ben (11 June 2014). "Graphic: New owners of Norwich International Airport will not scrap controversial travel tax". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Routes that have applied for start-up aid" (PDF). GOV.UK. Government of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Norwich Airport - News". NorwichAirport.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ "flyBe adds new UK routes in S16". AirlineRoute.net. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. ^ Shields, Mark. "Revealed: Norwich Airport's 30-year vision to treble passenger numbers and forge worldwide links". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  12. ^ Betts, Marc. "Norwich recycling centre could be relocated to near city's airport". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  13. ^ Grimmer, Dan. "Norwich's new £2.75m tip could be built next to the NDR". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Revealed: New food and drink offer for Norwich Airport". NorwichAirport.co.uk. Norwich Airport. 4 December 2018. Archived from the original on 9 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Norwich Airport completes Executive Lounge upgrade". NorwichAirport.co.uk. Norwich Airport. 2 May 2018. Archived from the original on 9 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  16. ^ Grimmer, Dan (15 July 2019). "Norfolk County Council agrees to sell its last shares in Norwich Airport". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  17. ^ Hannant, David (10 July 2019). "Norwich Airport moves closer to private ownership as city council agrees sale of shares". EDP24.co.uk. Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Ryanair's Low Fares Land at Norwich with Flights to Alicante, Faro & Malta from April 2024". 6 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Ryanair confirms winter flights to Alicante from Norwich Airport". 15 May 2024.
  20. ^ "Offshore Helicopter Transportation - Helicopter Transport Services". BristowGroup.com. Bristow Group. Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  21. ^ "DanCopter celebrates successful first year of Shell contract". EbanMagazine.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  22. ^ "NHV Helicopters - operations - offshore". NHV.be. NHV Helicopters. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  23. ^ "East Anglian Air Ambulance". EastAnglianAirAmbulance.org.uk. East Anglian Air Ambulance. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Norwich Airport - flights & holidays". NorwichAirport.co.uk. Norwich Airport. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  25. ^ "Ryanair will fly to THREE new Mediterranean destinations from Norwich Airport". 5 December 2023.
  26. ^ Avions Marcel Dassault Fan Jet Falcon LN-FOE report on the accident near Norwich Airport, Norfolk on 12 December 1974 (PDF). AAIB.gov.uk (Report). London, England: Accidents Investigation Branch. 1974. p. 1. ISBN 0-11-511417-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  27. ^ "G-APTK accident report" (PDF). AAIB.gov.uk. Accidents Investigation Branch. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Data and analysis". CAA.co.uk. Civil Aviation Authority.
  29. ^ "Route 501: Norwich Park & Ride". KonectBus.co.uk. KonectBus. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Route 35: Konectbus". KonectBus.co.uk. KonectBus. Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.


  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978). Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle. Battle of Britain Prints International Limited. ISBN 0-900913-09-6.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

Media related to Norwich Airport at Wikimedia Commons