(previously known as Hurn Airport and
Bournemouth International Airport) is an airport
located north northeast of Bournemouth, in southern England.
- For the World War
II use of this facility, see RAF Hurn
Historically, charter services were dominated primarily by locally
which made up the majority of
commercial movements. In 2003, low cost carrier Buzz
began scheduled services, and today scheduled flights from the
airport frequently serve Western and Eastern Europe and the
Mediterranean with occasional charter and seasonal services serving
Northern Africa, North America and the Caribbean. Passengers
handled in 2007 rose by 13% to 1,086,900 which was the first time
passenger numbers passed the 1 million mark. Passenger numbers
remained relatively static in 2008 at 1,083,446.
November 2008, Bournemouth Airport was ranked best airport in the
United Kingdom and 3rd best in the world, after Singapore Changi
Airport and Hong Kong International Airport, by the Daily Telegraph Travel Awards.
Bournemouth Airport has a CAA
Aerodrome Licence (number P736) that allows flights for the public
transport of passengers or for flying instruction. As of November
and Thomson Airways
remain the primary users of
Bournemouth Airport is situated on the edge
of Hurn village in the Borough of Christchurch, north of Bournemouth, west of the A338 and
approximately south west of London.
The airport is
accessible via the A31
from the M27
and M3 motorway
to the east, and via the A35
Every hour, seven days a week, the Bournemouth Airport Shuttle bus
serves the airport, linking the town centre to the airport.
Operational between 7am and 7pm, the shuttle also provides
transportation for employees. The nearest other airports serving the area
International Airport and Southampton Airport.
Bournemouth Airport began as RAF Hurn on
1 August 1941, during World War
II. It was used for paratroop training and as a
glider base before the North African Landings in 1943.
Prior to D-Day
, it was the base of 570 Squadron
, who landed agents and
dropped supplies to the French
. The hardened runways of the airfield saw extensive
use by United States Army
in the preparations for D-Day and the subsequent
Battle of Normandy
. It was also
the home base of 84 Group
, RAF Second Tactical Air Force
comprising nine squadrons of Typhoons
, who flew daily to France supporting
November 1944 the airfield took over from Bristol's Whitchurch
airport as the main operating base for British Overseas Airways
Corporation until Heathrow fully opened in 1948.
It was the starting
point of the first England-Australia service, which took three days
in Avro Lancastrians
). The airport
served Accra, Cairo, Calcutta, Johannesburg, New York, Sydney and
1958 saw the first Palmair flight from the airport, using a single
36 seat Viking aircraft destined for Palma de Mallorca. The service
was one of the first charter flights in the United Kingdom.
took over some
ex-BOAC hangars at Hurn in 1951 and started production of Varsities
, then Viscounts
and eventually, as the British Aircraft Corporation
the BAC One-Eleven
Nearly all Vickers Viscounts & BAC 1-11s were built at this
of the development of the ill-fated TSR-2 was
also done here (but assembly and testing was at Warton, Lancs), as
well as the production of a number of parts for Concorde.
The closure of the BAC site in the
1980s saw an end to Bournemouth's role as a significant player in
the aircraft construction industry. The site of the BAC works now
forms one of Dorset's largest industrial sites, including a base
for Cobham plc
In 1969 the airport was purchased jointly by the Bournemouth
Corporation and Dorset County Council and renamed as "Bournemouth
Airport" (later to become Bournemouth International Airport). The
new owners decided to redevelop the facility as a commercial
airport and, by 1980, the airport became used by charter airlines,
when European Aviation
1990s - 2000s
In 1993, the airport received its first regular passengers when
European Aviation Air
(EAC) and Palmair
operations. In 1995, the airport was sold to National Express Group
and then, in
March 2001, was acquired by the Manchester Airports Group
largest UK-owned airport group.
In 1996, a new extension to the main runway was officially opened
by the arrival of Concorde. Bath Travel
chartered Concorde for supersonic champagne lunches across the Bay
of Biscay. Ryanair also began services from Bournemouth to Dublin
with one of its Boeing 737-200.
2001, a Boeing 747SP has been based at
the airport which is used by the Royal Family of Qatar and other
VIP government staff from the Middle
East. The aircraft is often stored in the former
BASCO building (Hangar 12) and is a regular visitor to Zürich
Airport and London Heathrow Airport.
In 2003, EAC acquired six Boeing 747-200s from British Airways,
with the intention of operating long haul holidays from the
airport. Due to financial difficulties, these aircraft were
scrapped in 2005.
Bath Travel's Palmair remained the prime user of the airport, with
a 737-200 permanently based there. In 2005 Thomsonfly
became the first major low cost
airline to establish a hub at Bournemouth; allocating two Boeing
737-300 aircraft for low-cost scheduled services to Europe and in
2008 to the Caribbean. Also in 2005, Air
began services by
announcing routes to Paderborn and Geneva respectively. Air Berlin
have now ceased operations at the
airport. The airport previously had a daily service to the Channel Islands
provided by the Jersey-based
airline, which withdrew
from Bournemouth in April 2009. Polish-based Wizzair
also ran routes to Gdansk, Katowice and
Krakow during 2006 and 2007.
Ryanair began to rapidly increase the number of services from the
airport, initially starting routes to Marseille, Alicante, and Milan which
brought the total to 8.
In December, 2007, EasyJet
announced a new seasonal route to Grenoble,
bring the number of routes to 2. The route ceased at the end of the
2008 winter season. In 2008, Palmair
introduced a new series of charter flights to Tunisia, Fuerteventura, Naples, Amalfi Coast and Rhodes.
Holidays also launched new charter flights to Corfu and Zakynthos in Greece and Larnaca in Cyprus.
January 2008, Ryanair announced that they would base one of their
Boeing 737-800s at Bournemouth from April 2008. During the first
quarter, the airline announced routes to Málaga, Murcia, Palma de
Mallorca, Wroclaw and the re-introduction of the Nantes
route. An additional flight each day was added to
Prestwick route, with the addition of a twice-daily flight to
Edinburgh. In May, Milan and Paris routes were
announced to commence in October plus a new weekly ski flight to
Turin for the winter season.Increasing from 14 routes, after the
discontinuation of the Nantes route, to 18 - Carcassonne, Faro, Limoges and Reus were added
to the route network in February 2009.
In July 2009 Glasgow
Prestwick - the airport's busiest route - will be discontinued,
reducing the number of routes from Ryanair to 17.
Following the closure of European Aviation Air Charter
Palmair chartered various aircraft types from Jet2, Viking, Blue
Line, Tor Air and Astraeus, before unveiling their new
Astraeus-leased Boeing 737-500 on 13th May 2009.
In 2007, the airport's owners, Manchester Airports Group
announced a £32 million investment in the redevelopment of the
airport which mainly focuses on creating new car parking spaces in
two separate car parks and building a new International Arrivals
terminal. Part of these plans include screening off the current
arrivals terminal with a three metre screen, with plans to
ultimately phase out use of the building. On 21 June 2007, planning
permission was granted to the scheme by Christchurch Council
Planning Committee, despite public objections and protests. This
was conditional, however, on a maximum of three million air
passengers per annum, and required contributions to road systems,
bus routes, and to use quieter aircraft.
With the budget increased to £45 million in July 2008, the upgrade
will replace the arrivals terminal and upgrade the check-in and
departure lounge areas. The number of aircraft stands will rise
from 4 to 12. Christchurch Council and central government backed
plans for the re-building of the airport terminal, increasing its
size by 62%; work started in August 2007.
The development re-started in August 2008 with the runway being
resurfaced, and a new Thales Cat IIIa ILS
on Runway 26 with associated
aerodrome ground lighting and IRVR
were installed during December
2008. The main apron has been expanded to a total of 11 stands for
aircraft of Boeing 737-800 size, including provision for aircraft
of Boeing 767-300 size, and construction of a car park towards the
south boundary is underway. Work on the terminal itself is now in
progress, where the check-in areas, security control and departure
lounges will be upgraded. Improvements to the infrastructure around
the airport include more frequent bus services to Bournemouth
Interchange and traffic lights at the entrance to the airport
Hurn village roundabout will also be revised.
The new departures building is expected to be completed by spring
after 17:00 on Saturday 11 February 2006, millionaire adventurer
Fossett made an emergency landing at Bournemouth
International Airport, after completing the longest non-stop flight
in history, having covered 25,766 miles in 76 hours and 43
minutes. Fossett had planned to end his flight 144
miles further away at Kent International Airport, but the failure of an electrical generator on
board the Virgin Atlantic
Global Flyer forced him to issue a Mayday call and land in limited
visibility, bursting two tyres as he touched down.
Airlines and destinations
Most charter services that operate from Bournemouth are seasonal,
Traffic and statistics
Busiest Domestic and International Routes out of
Bournemouth Airport (2008)
||2007-2008 % Change
||Airlines that serve(d)
||Ryanair, Thomson Airways
||Ryanair, Thomson Airways, Palmair
||- Faro Airport
||Ryanair, Thomson Airways, Palmair
||Thomson Airways, Palmair, Ryanair
||easyJet, easyJet Switzerland
Bournemouth Airport saw a very small decline in the total number of
passengers in 2008, with 6 of its busiest routes showing a drop in
passengers. Despite this, 9 routes showed an increase in passengers
flown, especially to Málaga and Glasgow-Prestwick, and two new
routes to Murcia and Wrocław launched by Ryanair saw over 45,000
and almost 30,000 respectively using the service.
Accidents and incidents
On 28 January 1972, Vickers
D-ANEF of Airwork
was damaged beyond repair when the undercarriage
collapsed after a heavy landing.
The airport has a industrial park, including offices and hangars
. In early March 2009, Manchester Airport
Developments Ltd completed the construction of Cirrus Court, a
development of 14 industrial units which is the first part of a
number of phases to redevelop the northern aviation sector.
- British Airline History - London Metropolitan
- History of Bournemouth Airport - Airport Guides