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Inverness Airport

This article is about the international airport in the Scottish Highlands. For the airport in Florida, United States, see Inverness Airport (Florida).

Inverness Airport
Port-adhair Inbhir Nis
Airport type Private
Owner/Operator Highlands and Islands Airports Limited
Serves Inverness, Scotland
Location Dalcross, Highland
Elevation AMSL 31 ft / 9 m

57°32′33″N 004°02′51″W / 57.54250°N 4.04750°W / 57.54250; -4.04750Coordinates: 57°32′33″N 004°02′51″W / 57.54250°N 4.04750°W / 57.54250; -4.04750{{#coordinates:57|32|33|N|004|02|51|W|type:airport_region:GB-HLD |primary |name=

Location in Highland Council Area
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Direction Length Surface
m ft
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 612,725
Passenger change 13-14 11px0.7%
Aircraft Movements 28,495
Movements change 13-14 11px1.6%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Inverness Airport (Scottish Gaelic: Port-adhair Inbhir Nis) (IATA: INVICAO: EGPE) is an international airport situated at Dalcross, Script error: No such module "convert". north east of the city of Inverness in Scotland. It is owned by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL).

The airport is the main gateway for travellers to the north of Scotland with a range of scheduled services throughout the United Kingdom, and limited scheduled service to Continental Europe. Limited charter and freight flights operate throughout the UK and Europe. Around 610,000 passengers passed through the airport in 2014.[2]


Early years

The airfield was built by the Air Ministry in 1940 as Royal Air Force station Inverness, or RAF Inverness, or RAF Longman, and was in use during World War II from 1940-45. The airport was opened for civil operations in 1947. British European Airways, one of the predecessors to British Airways, commenced flights to London Heathrow Airport in the mid-1970s using a combination of Hawker Siddeley Trident jets and Vickers Viscounts. By the late 1970s and early 1980s there were two daily flights between Inverness and Heathrow, however the route was discontinued in 1983 on the grounds of poor financial performance. Dan-Air inherited the service and offered a three-times daily service. The airline sustained the route adding links to London Gatwick and Manchester in the late 1980s, however these new services proved not to be successful and were discontinued.[citation needed]

When Dan Air was bought by British Airways in 1992, the flag carrier retained the service for a further five years, adding a fourth daily frequency shortly before withdrawing the link, amid considerable controversy and public anger,[citation needed] in autumn 1997. British Airways transferred the London service to Gatwick, operated by its subsidiary on a three-times daily basis using lower capacity BAe 146 regional jets. The emergence of EasyJet as a force in UK aviation coincided with the launch of a daily service to London Luton in 1996. Other destinations and airlines were added (Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle), particularly after 2003, where HIAL's marketing efforts were assisted by route development fund support from the Scottish Executive. The London Heathrow link was re-instated in 2004, by BMI on a daily frequency, however the service was discontinued in March 2008, the airline citing rising costs at Heathrow as the reason.

Development since 2009

File:Inverness Airport Concourse.JPG
Check-in area at Inverness Airport

In 2009 Ryanair cut its last routes to East Midlands Airport and Liverpool in June, 2009, this was during a review of routes in which Inverness was ranked as one of the worst in the network. The runway is too short to allow a fully laden B737-800 to take off. Eastern Airways launched services to Manchester and Birmingham using a mix of Jetstream31,Jetstream41 and SAAB2000 turboprops, however, when Flybe started flying the same routes in 2008 Eastern decided to withdraw.

International scheduled services proved difficult to successfully establish until the late 2000s, when a weekly seasonal service between Düsseldorf and Inverness commenced in Summer 2009, operated by Lufthansa CityLine, and in 2011 when Flybe commenced daily operations to Amsterdam. The now defunct Snowflake (a low cost subsidiary of SAS) operated a twice weekly service to Stockholm in the summer of 2004, however the service was withdrawn after a short period of operations due to lack of demand. KLM UK operated a daily service to Amsterdam via Edinburgh in 1997 but this was short-lived, lasting only a few months. ScotAirways launched a service to Amsterdam in 2001, however this was withdrawn following the events of 11 September. A four times weekly service to Dublin was operated by Aer Arann between 2006 and 2008 using ATR 42 aircraft before being withdrawn due to the effects of escalating fuel prices.

In 2004 Thomson Holidays launched a short series of peak season charter flights to Palma (Mallorca), Ibiza and Lanzarote using a Spanair A320, flights to Palma were maintained (and Costa Dorada (Reus) was added for a couple of seasons) through to 2010. Newmarket Holidays still operates various charters from Inverness on selected dates throughout the year.

The airport terminal is notable as an early example of the Public-private partnership favoured by the UK Government. HIAL was criticised for a PFI deal signed to build a new terminal at Inverness Airport. The deal signed by HIAL meant it had to pay £3.50 for every passenger flying from the airport to the PFI operator. In 2006, the PFI deal was cancelled, costing the Scottish Executive £27.5 million.[3]

The airport is a hub on the Highlands and Islands network where flights between the islands, and other UK and European destinations connect. Flybe (and franchise partner Loganair) is currently the largest operator at Inverness, followed by EasyJet.

The south apron, the main parking area for aircraft, was upgraded in May 2012 to improve access to the terminal by long-range aircraft.[4] In November 2013 the airport’s mile long runway was resurfaced and the taxiway extended, providing a link to the site of the Inverness Airport Business Park.[5]

Jet2 introduced new destinations from Inverness in 2015, with all due to start in April and finish in November.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations

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Seasonal: Geneva, Jersey

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Traffic and Statistics

Inverness airport had 612,725 passengers in 2014, which was an increase of 0.7% from 2013. Gatwick Airport was again the most popular destination with just under 200,000 passengers. Yet even though this was a drop of more than twelve percent from 2013, this route still accounts for more than thirty percent of all passenger traffic at Inverness Airport. Shown below are the top fifteen destinations in 2014, each with more than 1,500 passengers or more than 0.25% of total traffic. There are four international destinations (including Jersey) and eleven domestic or local destinations.
Busiest international routes (2014)
Rank Destination Passengers  % Change
2013 / 14
1 23x15px Amsterdam 36,414 11px 13.7
2 23x15px Dublin 3,601 11px New Route
3 23x15px Jersey 1,790 11px 3.2
4 23x16px Geneva 1,552 11px 150.7
Busiest domestic or local routes (2014)
Rank Destination Passengers  % Change
2013 / 14
1 London Gatwick 193,713 11px 12.4
2 London Luton 90,577 11px 2.7
3 Bristol 77,594 11px 4.5
4 Manchester 70,462 11px 26.3
5 Birmingham 41,234 11px 18.0
6 Stornoway 34,732 11px 2.6
7 Belfast City 27,376 11px 16.8
8 Kirkwall, Orkney 19,111 11px 0.5
9 London City 7,613 11px New Route
10 Benbecula 5,985 11px 274.8
11 Sumburgh, Shetland 3,401 11px 4.2
Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Ground transportation


Bus services operate between Inverness Airport, Inverness and Nairn. Stagecoach in Inverness run between the airport and Inverness city centre close to the railway station.


There is no station at Inverness Airport, although the Aberdeen to Inverness Line runs along the southern perimeter of the airfield. A new station at the airport has been proposed recently, however at present the nearest stations are Nairn or Inverness, both about Script error: No such module "convert". away.


The airport is Script error: No such module "convert". northeast[1] of the city of Inverness just off the main A96 Aberdeen-Inverness trunk road.

Taxis are available directly in front of the terminal building.

Highland Aviation Museum

This museum is situated in the Dalcross Industrial Estate immediately adjacent to the airport. It has four complete aircraft and several aircraft noses on display. The museum is open to the public at weekends and bank holidays.


  1. ^ a b Inverness - EGPE
  2. ^ a b c UK Annual Airport Statistics
  3. ^ "Deal to buy out airport terminal". BBC News. 20 January 2006. 
  4. ^ "Work to start on Inverness Airport upgrade". BBC News. 9 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Munro, Alistair (5 November 2013). "Inverness Airport upgrade gets underway". The Scotsman. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 

External links

16x16px Media related to Inverness Airport at Wikimedia Commons

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