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Happy Birthday Aberdeen Airport

18/03/2009

More than 2,500 people who work across Scotland's third biggest airport are celebrating today (Tuesday 28th July) as the Dyce terminal marks its 75th birthday.

The airport officially opened on the 28th July 1934 and since then has been through many guises, from a World War II Air Force base to its current position as a lifeline service for the oil and gas industry, business and tourism across the North-east.

Aberdeen Airport's story began on a much smaller scale, with the operation based in the original terminal on the east side of the runway. The current terminal building was opened just over 30 years ago - as the North Sea oil and gas boom saw a dramatic increase in the airport's fortunes. Now around 500,000 people are transported on and offshore each year from Dyce, and more than three million people pass through the terminal annually.

Airport Managing Director Kevin Brown said “It is fascinating to look back over the long history of this airport, and I am proud that we have all played our part. I am also proud of the role being undertaken by the current team in shaping the airport's future.”

Ken Massie, the VisitScotland Regional Director, said: "We are delighted to be part of the 75th birthday celebration for Aberdeen Airport. The airport is a key hub for bringing in UK and international visitors for both leisure and business tourism, which are vital contributors to the local economy. As the airport continues to attract new international and domestic routes and increasing numbers of flights, opportunities are there to attract new visitors and also encourage those who have been to come back and experience more of what Aberdeen City and Shire has to offer.”

Bob Collier, Chief Executive at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said “The airport is a pivotal part of the infrastructure of the North of Scotland and it has grown, especially over the past four decades, alongside our oil and gas industry. The challenge which it faces now is to continue to expand to meet the needs of one of Scotland's truly global industries. It has been really encouraging therefore - and very welcome by business - to see the record levels of investment which are bringing about the much needed improvements.”

Rita Stephen, who is Development Manager with ACSEF said “Aberdeen Airport is a major contributor to the economy of the North East of Scotland, an economy which is very dependent on international business, particularly in food and drink exports and the oil and gas industry. The globalisation of oil and gas means that a successful and expanding airport is absolutely essential not only for Aberdeen City and Shire but also for the UK generally. The investment in Aberdeen Airport, particularly over the past ten years, has made Aberdeen City and Shire more accessible for both leisure and business travellers. “Aberdeen Airport works pro-actively with ACSEF to expand business activity locally, nationally and internationally. We look forward to the next 75 years of continued expansion and prosperity for this vital link in the connectivity and therefore economic development of our region.”

Graeme Ross, Eastern Airways' Scotland director, said: “We would like to congratulate Aberdeen Airport on reaching a truly magnificent milestone. Aberdeen Airport has played a hugely significant part developing its facilities into a first class hub for the energy sector, enabling airlines like ourselves to build a comprehensive network over the last decade. Our relationship with the airport has been key in helping to attract new destinations and increase connectivity to benefit the regional economy.”

Stewart Adams MD bmi Regional said: “bmi has enjoyed a long and positive relationship with Aberdeen Airport and today operates to six destinations from Aberdeen including Esbjerg, Groningen, Manchester and Norwich, also flying to London Heathrow and beyond to a variety of destinations within Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. The only carrier with it's headquarters in Aberdeen as well as being the UK's most punctual airline, bmi Regional continues to grow and in March this year launched the Aberdeen to Birmingham route. We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the city of Aberdeen and its airport - and look forward to maintaining and growing this positive collaboration in the future.

The airport is not resting on its laurels at this milestone anniversary either as Kevin Brown explained “There is a lot of work going on just now, with our new parking deck close to completion, the start of an investment in international arrivals well underway, and major works continuing to re-surface our runway.

“Just a few years ago a study was carried out by the Fraser of Allander Institute, which concluded that the airport contributes around £500 million a year to the Scottish economy. Approximately 2,500 people are employed across the campus by a whole range of companies and more than three million passengers a year pass through the terminal annually. It is their future that we are investing in.”

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