Flying home for Christmas - the get-away is well underway

Aberdeen Airport is gearing up for one of it’s busiest days of the year – as the festive get-away starts.

An estimated 29,000 people are due to have passed through the terminal between Monday and Friday (21st- 25th Dec 2009).

Passengers are heading to all corners of the globe – with some of the top destinations including the major international hubs, Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris, and Manchester.

Recent bad weather has impacted on the holiday plans of many passengers, however staff from all teams right across the airport have been working flat out to keep things as operational as possible.

For many passengers however, strict rules on the carriage of certain items through airport security could see it becoming an even more expensive trip.

Back in November 2006, the Department for Transport introduced stricter guidelines, only liquid containers of up to 100ml, packed in clear, re-sealable plastic bags, have been permitted through airport security search areas.

For passengers travelling this Christmas it means gift sets could be removed if they include liquid containers over the 100ml limit. Bottles of spirits and even homemade foods could also be rejected if they exceed the 100ml rule.

Security restrictions prevent other gift sets from being carried in hand luggage including multi-tools and corkscrews, or wrapped Christmas presents, as they may have to be opened by airport security or customs staff.

The Airport’s security manager George Cowie said he hopes passengers take time to prepare this festive season.

He said, "Every year we are faced with disappointed passengers whose presents we have been forced to un-wrap – or worse confiscate altogether. Often expensive gifts have to be abandoned, and in the current economic climate that is something that few of us can afford.

"Just a few minutes of planning ahead can help speed up the time it takes to get through security – but can also help protect some precious Christmas gifts."

2009 has been an exciting year at Aberdeen Airport. It was a year of record capital spend which saw investment across huge parts of the airport campus. Along with a major runway and taxiway resurfacing project, this year has also seen a new car park opened creating extra short stay parking spaces, and the opening of a new international walkway.

Unfortunately it has been a tough year for the aviation industry with the recent collapse of Flyglobespan. In Aberdeen this affected a number of passengers but there is good news on the horizon, according to the airport's MD Kevin Brown.

He said, "We were clearly disappointed to hear about the collapse. However, since that moment we have been holding very intense talks with a number of operators to make sure that passengers in the north east can continue to fly from the north-east. Much of what we are negotiating is at a very delicate stage - but we are confident that there will be some great announcements to come just after the New Year.

"Our advice to passengers is that from Aberdeen there are still a lot of travel opportunities right on your doorstep - with more in the pipeline to your favourite holiday destinations.

"Of course, 2009 has been difficult as the credit crunch has kept its grip on the UK. Despite a decline in passenger numbers, we have not suffered as much as some airports. Hopefully by the end of 2010, we may see the aviation industry coming out of its current gloomy position and making some real headway again. In short, there is a lot to look forward to in 2010".


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