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For the military use of this facility, see RAF Horsham St Faithmarker
Norwich International Airport , also known as Norwich Airport, is an airport in the City of Norwichmarker within Norfolk, Englandmarker north of the city centre and on the edge of the city's suburbs.

Along with a long history of flights to Amsterdam Airport Schipholmarker via KLM Cityhopper (formerly KLM UK), it offers flights to various destinations in the United Kingdommarker and Europe. Besides the commercial flights, charter operators also operate out of Norwich. Bristow Helicopters flies crews to North Seamarker gas rigs and SaxonAir Charter operates executive, private aircraft and helicopter charter flights.

Norwich Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P723) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

Facilities

The Airport has one runway (designated 09/27), in length. A smaller runway (designated 04/22) was closed in 2006, and is now used as a taxiway. The airport has nine parking stands for commercial aircraft.

Airlines and destinations

Other airlines based at the airport



Based Operators



History

The first Norwich airport was set up on a former First World War aerodrome on Mousehold Heathmarker under what is now the Heartsease housing estate. This 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 and officially opened on 1 June 1940 as a bomber station.

In September 1942 Horsham St. Faith was made available to the United States Army Air Forces for use by the Eighth Air Force. The USAAF designated the airfield as Station 123 (HF).

The airfield was 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.

Civil 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 and Norfolk County Council, a small part being retained by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Norwich Airport Ltd under ownership of the County and City Councils developed the modern day Norwich International Airport.

Most of the World War II buildings used by the United States Army Air Force remain, although converted for a variety of purposes. Three of the five large pre-war hangars are still being used for aircraft maintenance. Two have been converted for commercial use. The 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 airport industrial estate (owned by the County and City Councils) and are intermingled with many newer structures.

The former RAF accommodation blocks situated towards Old Cattonmarker were until 1993 used by the University of East Angliamarker 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, formerly enlisted men's quarters, has become married quarters for nearby RAF stations.

Whilst most runways and taxi-tracks from the military airfield remain, only one runway is primarily used, east-west runway 09/27, which was extended eastwards by the RAF in 1956, to avoid takeoffs and landings over built-up areas. A section of the old main runway is currently used for light aircraft.

Adjacent to the airport terminal building opened in 1988 there is a memorial display relating to the USAAF, consisting of photographs, paintings, and a plaque commemorating the American use of the airfield.

In March 2004, the City and County Councils sold 80.1% of Norwich Airport Ltd to Omniport whilst retaining the further 19.9%. Omniport has also acquired 100% of Norwich Airport Travel Ltd. Since the sale to Omniport the airport has become one of the UK hubs for budget carrier Flybe and the number of flights and destinations served have rapidly increased. In 2005 a £3.5M terminal expansion programme began.

It was announced in April 2008 that Flybe was to reduce routes and frequencies from Norwich Airport. Glasgowmarker was axed by May and Paris-Charles de Gaullemarker was being merged into a Norwich-Jerseymarker-Charles de Gaulle service, making it an indirect service. Guernseymarker is having its frequency dropped to one Saturday flight.

On 5 July 2008, LTE International Airways started scheduled flights to Alicantemarker, Barcelonamarker and Palma de Mallorcamarker for the summer 2008 season and in addition to these routes from winter 2008/2009 they had announced new routes to Malagamarker, Tenerifemarker and Gran Canariamarker, however due to financial difficulties with the airline, LTE services (including all from Norwich) are suspended until further notice.

During filming of the BBC show Top Gear, operations from the airport appeared 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 occured after much pre-planning with the airport authorities and the BBC, and scenes showing the airship in the airfield boundary were actually filmed after the blimp had lifted from the airfield to satisfy the requirements of the film crew .

Controversy

Advertising for 'fake' passengers

During 2008 Flybe advertised for actors to fly for free to Dublin from the airport to avoid a £280,000 fine. It was projected to be 172 passengers short of the required minimum 15,000 passengers and advertised 200 free flights to make up the numbers. They said they would carbon offset the flights. Plane Stupid asked why airports require minimum passenger levels in the first place.

References



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