Edinburgh Airport has more passenger traffic than any other airport in Scotland. The airport, located in the city’s Turnhouse area, is also one of the busiest airports in the UK. The airport passenger load is over 9 million a year. The airport is located near the M8 highway about 6 miles from downtown Edinburgh.
History of Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport was originally named Turnhouse Aerodrome when is was first built in 1915. The airfield was used by the British Royal Air Force during World War I. The airfield really came to life at the outbreak of hostilities during World War II. The runway was lengthened and paved. Several squadrons of Spitfire fighters were stationed at Turnhouse.
The airport remained under military control until 1960. At this time, the runway was rebuilt. The airport was thoroughly renovated in 1971 and turned over to the British Airports Authority who built a new runway and a terminal with more amenities available for passengers. A new terminal was built at the airport in 1977, and a new air traffic control tower was constructed in 2005. In 2006, there was a major extension project completed on the terminal increasing the number of available gates.
Currently, Edinburgh Airport has two asphalt runways. The longest runway is 8,386 feet in length, and the shorter runway is 5,896 feet in length.
All international passengers arriving at the Edinburgh Airport are required to stop at Passport Control. This area has two separate sections. One section is for British, European Union, Swiss, and European Economic Area citizens. The second area is for all other international citizens.
The airport advises passengers who are departing from Edinburgh to check in well in advance of departure. Those traveling to other UK destinations are asked to check in one hour ahead of departure. Those traveling outside of Europe are asked to arrive three hours early, and those traveling inside Europe should arrive two hours early.
Passengers waiting at the airport will find plenty of ways to relax. Departing passengers have the option of booking into the airport’s executive lounge. There is a fee for this service. In the lounge, passengers receive complimentary drinks and snacks. There are an assortment of national and international newspapers and magazines to read and pass the time. Free Internet access is available in the lounge. There are also telephones and televisions available. The lounge is located on the first floor near the Security Office.
Edinburgh Airport also offers massage service for passengers. No appointment is needed. This service is located across from Gate 10.
For those who want to spend their time watching the planes come and go, there are several observation areas in the terminal. The three main observation locations are the Gathering Restaurant, Costa Coffee, and WH Smith’s Cafe.
The Airport Gallery is an art gallery located next to Gate 9. All the artwork on display is for sale. The gallery’s artwork is all produced by Scottish artists.
Parking at the Airport
Edinburgh Airport has four parking options available including Long Stay Parking, Short Stay Parking, FastTrack Parking, and Air Porter Parking that offers valet parking services.
Airlines Serving Edinburgh Airport
Located in the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is served by several major airlines from Great Britain and Ireland. Passengers must check in for all airline service in the Ground Floor of the terminal. All flights arrive at the Ground Floor and all flights depart from the gates on the First Floor at Edinburgh Airport.
The busiest airline at Scotland’s largest airport is EasyJet. This company is considered the largest airline in the United Kingdom in terms of total passengers served yearly. EasyJet connects Edinburgh with three of the five major airports in London; Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted. Belfast International Airport and Bristol Airport are the other major U.K. destinations available through EasyJet.
United Kingdom’s largest airline links Scotland’s capital with major European cities such as Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, and Paris. Passengers at Edinburgh Airport can also use EasyJet service to get to popular resorts such as Alicante, Dubrovnik, Grenoble, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, and Paphos.
From Edinburgh Airport, Flybe offers the most destinations within the United Kingdom. This British low cost carrier provides direct flights to major English cities including Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Nottingham/East Midlands, Norwich and Southampton. The Welsh capital Cardiff and the Northern Irish capital city of Belfast are also accessible via Flybe. Jersey in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are other world famous destinations on the British Isles offered by this busy low cost airline.
Jet2 is another major low cost airline that serves Edinburgh Airport. Based in the English city Leeds, Jet2 mostly offers seasonal flights from the Scottish capital. Passengers using Jet2 can explore popular tourist sites in Dubrovnik, Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Minorca, Pisa, and Venice. These flights to tourist hot spots are only offered during certain seasons. Budapest and Prague are the only cities to which Jet2 offers service all year long.
Thanks to British Airways, Edinburgh Airport is directly linked with two of the largest airports in the United Kingdom. The flag carrier of the U.K. operates daily flights to Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport in London.
Aer Lingus takes passengers from Edinburgh to some of the largest cities in Ireland. The Irish flag carrier provides daily trips to Cork, Dublin and Shannon. Ryanair is another major Irish airline that serves the busiest airport in Scotland. This low cost carrier operates flights to more than 25 European destinations. Most of the Ryanair flights are to resort areas in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.