Norwich International Airport
Norwich International Airport, also known by the airport code NWI, provides service to the Norfolk area of England from its location at Norwich. Carriers utilize the airport to provide regional air service within England as well as to connect to international hubs.
History of Norwich Airport
The area of the Norwich airport was utilized for military operations during both world wars. The U.S. Army Air Force utilized the area as a bomber base during early World War II. At the time, it was known as RAF Horsham St. Faith. After the war, the Royal Air Force based fighter aircraft at the base into the early 1960s.
Local leaders dedicated the area for a commercial air operations in the late 1960s and received a customs facility allowing international passengers and freight in 1970. Over the years, the airport has undergone a number of upgrades and expansions although some of the World War II era buildings still stand and have been repurposed for other uses. Barracks at the base are now used for student housing by a local university.
The terminal at Norwich International Airport is of newer construction and was completed in 1988. It includes a dozen check-in counters serving three gates and two baggage claim areas. The terminal space also includes a memorial to the soldiers and airmen of the United States Army Air Force that served there during World War II. Moving through the terminal is relatively easy with passengers able to make transfers between international flights or between a international and domestic flight in about 45 minutes. Connecting between two domestic flights usually requires about a half hour.
The terminal has a stated capacity of about 700,000 people per year. The airport has reached that level in some years but is currently seeing less than 500,000 people each year. About two thirds of the passengers utilizing Norwich International Airport arrive or depart on commercial scheduled flights. The rest of the passengers utilize charter flights or are flying by helicopter to the oil and gas platforms of the North Sea.
The airport utilizes a single runway to handle about 50,000 take offs and landings each year. The runway is also a relic of the airports World War II history although it has been lengthened, widened, and resurfaced. The runway stretches about 1,800 meters or 6,000 feet and is large enough to accommodate aircraft the size of a Boeing 727 or smaller. The runway is equipped with lights and an instrument landing system.
The airport operates from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. local time with the customs station operating from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time. Passengers are urged to arrive at the airport at least one hour before flight time to pass through security. Travelers through the airport are required to pay an airport development fee. The airport is using this tax for improvements at Norwich International Airport. Operational improvements have included upgrades to radar and instrument landing systems. Improvements to passenger amenities include improvements to the terminal. The money is also used in attempts to improve and expand flight schedules offering travelers in the Norfolk area more travel options.