Edinburgh Airport Control Tower

©The Creative  Minds

Weilheim-Schongau, Germany

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Artist's Description

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Edinburgh Airport is located at Turnhouse in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The airport is owned and operated by Global Infrastructure Partners, which also owns and operates two other UK airports.

The present terminal building, designed by Robert Matthew, was constructed in 1977 and has been upgraded in recent years, with new car parking facilities and an extended arrivals hall. In 2005, a new 57 m (187 ft) tall air traffic control tower was completed at a cost of £10m (€16m).

There are plans for expansion of the airport, with passenger numbers expected to reach 26 million per annum by 2030.

On 19 October 2011, BAA Limited announced its intention to sell the airport, following a decision by the UK’s Competition Commission requiring BAA to sell either Glasgow International or Edinburgh Airport. BAA announced on 23 April 2012 that it had sold Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for a price of £807.2 million.

Turnhouse Aerodrome was the most northerly British air defence base in World War I used by the Royal Flying Corps. The small base opened in 1915 and it was used to house the 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron from 1925, which consisted of DH 9As, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts, and Hawker Hind light bombers. All the aircraft used a grass air strip.

In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and the airfield was named RAF Turnhouse and ownership transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

When the Second World War broke out, RAF Fighter Command took control over the airfield and a runway of 3,900 ft (1,189 m) was paved to handle the Supermarine Spitfire. During the Battle of Britain, Nos 3, 65, and 141 Squadrons were present at the airbase.

When the war ended the airfield still remained under military control, but by the late 1940s the first commercial services were launched. In 1947, British European Airways started a service between Edinburgh and London using Vickers Vikings followed by the Viscount and Vanguard series.

In 1952 the runway was extended to 6000 ft to handle the Vampire FB5s; and an aircraft carrier Catcher Net (never used) to protect traffic on the adjacent A8 road. In 1956 a new passenger terminal was built to offer improved commercial service and five years later it was extended. The Ministry of Defence transferred ownership to the Ministry of Aviation in 1960 to offer improved commercial service to the airport. Flying was temporarily diverted to East Fortune, which had its runway extended to accommodate the airliners of the period. In 1971 the British Airports Authority took over the airport and immediately started to expand it by constructing a new runway and terminal building.

Although the original main runway 13/31 (which is now 12/30) served the airport well, its alignment had the disadvantage of suffering from severe crosswinds and the other two minor runways were very short and could not be readily extended, so movements were transferred to a new runway (07/25 which has since become 06/24) in an addition completely outside the original airfield boundary. This runway, completed in 1977 is 2,556 m (8,386 ft) in length, and was able to take all modern airliners including Concorde. A new terminal was built alongside the runway to cater for the additional traffic. The old terminal and hangars were converted into a cargo centre.

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