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History of Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport:

So how did it all begin?

Glasgow airport began its life back in 1932 at Abbotsinch as an overspill for the RAF base at Renfrew. The airfield then became known as HMS Sanderling in 1943, when the Royal Navy took over and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force 602 was based there.

Six years after the announcement that Abbotsinch would replace Renfrew as the airport serving Glasgow, Glasgow airport was officially opened in May 1966. It didn't take long for business to boom, with over 1 million customers recorded by December that year.

1973 marked the next major development as the runway was extended to cater for larger jets. In 1975 BAA purchased the airport from Glasgow Corporation and began immediate development, expanding the terminal building with a £2 million extension and raising the capacity to 3.5 million by 1986.

Expansion continued during the late eighties with a £55 million expansion, increasing the terminal size by 70% to now cater for 6 million passengers a year.

Another major change took place in 1990 as Prestwick airport lost its monopoly on transatlantic flights and many airlines could move across to Glasgow's runway. By 1994 building work was completed and international traffic was able to move to the newly developed pier with 7 air bridges and able to handle any aircraft.

Both international and domestic passenger numbers continued to rise steadily, helped by the increased number of gates, remote parking areas and expansion from low coast operators.

Today Glasgow airport is the second busiest of Scotland's three main international airports with record numbers of passengers passing through the terminal each month. Over 7.4 million passengers pass through the airport each year with over 80,000 air movements recorded. Over 30 airlines currently use its runway flying to over 100 destinations but further expansion is planned to increase annual passenger numbers to more than 24 million by 2030.