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Glasgow Airport History

In the 1930s, the current site of Glasgow airport, Abbotsinch, was home to the Royal Air force 602 Squadron (City of Glasgow) Auxiliary Air Force.

Following the removal of the air force it was a Royal Navy base, and in the early 1960s plans were made for this site to replace Renfrew Airport.

1960s to 21st Century

Glasgow Airport was opened in 1966, with the first commercial flight landing in May and the official opening by her Majesty the Queen taking place in June. In the first year of operation, 1.5 million passengers passed through Glasgow Airport.

The ownership of Glasgow Airport was transferred to the British Airport Authority in the 1970’s, and the international area of the airport was expanded to deal with increased demand.

Towards the end of the 1980s, with passenger numbers at 4 million, a 70 percent increase in the size of the terminal started construction.

The new International Pier was opened in 1994 and international airlines such as Air Canada began to fly out of Gatwick Airport.

The 21st Century

From 2000 to 2004 passenger numbers continued to increase, reaching 8 million. The second terminal was opened in June 2004, and in the next month Glasgow Airport handled over a million passengers, the first airport in Scotland to do so in a single month.

Plans for the expansion of the airport continued, with a 25 year Master Plan launch in 2005 followed by the 2006 announcement of a world-class gateway for Glasgow and the 2007 unveiling of a planned £30 million expansion.

In 2007, Glasgow Airport overtook Edinburgh Airport to become the second largest airport in Scotland.

By June 2007, Glasgow Airport was attacked by terrorists who drove a flaming Jeep Cherokee into the entrance of Terminal 1. The two attackers were quickly apprehended by police, security officers and bystanders.

Glasgow Airport’s off-airport car parks came under the Airparks brand in 2007, who now offer 28,000 car parking spaces at airports across the UK. Today, Airparks provide a great range of Glasgow Airport parking options at the airport.

In 2008, a new terminal extension opened with a new single security area, purpose-built to replace the previous three separate such facilities.