Airports we didn’t know existed in Glasgow
An airport in Glasgow has been replaced – there is hardly any evidence left of it – and there is an airport in Cumbernauld!?!
Glasgow has two domestic airports, and if you’ve ever been abroad you’ll be familiar with them – Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport. But did you know of these other airports in and around Glasgow?
The new town of Cumbernauld is home to many things – ancient Roman ruins, the worst town center known to man and, apparently, an airport too. Cumbernauld Airport is located just on the border between North Lanarkshire and the city of Glasgow
The airport is mainly used for the training of “fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilots”, which means that it is reserved for small light aircraft. It also has a helicopter charter company and a light aircraft charter operation, as well as an aircraft maintenance facility. This means that if you really wanted to and had enough money, you could fly out of the bright lights of Cumbernauld yourself.
Opened by the Cumbernauld Development Corporation in the late 1980s, the airport had its own air show for a time, featuring the Red Arrows and a mock dogfight between two World War II aircraft. You can even see a live stream from the Cumbernauld Airport runway here.
Glasgow Seaplane Terminal
Glasgow Seaplane Terminal is a seaplane terminal located in Glasgow. It is the newest airport in the city, which only opened in August 2007.
Unlike Glasgow’s other airports (Prestwick and Glasgow International), this airport is actually in the city. The terminal is located in ‘Princes Dock’ in the Pacific Quay area of the city, just across the Clyde from the Glasgow Science Center
The terminal is the only commercial inner-city seaplane service in operation in Europe. The terminal is operated by Loch Lomond Seaplanes – with flights taking Glasgow residents to the skies to see the city from above.
The Seaplane Terminal also offers ‘Island Discovery’ and ‘Island Explorer’ packages which allow you to experience the natural beauty of Scotland’s Western Isles from the air.
Glasgow City Heliport
Glasgow City Heliport is at Govan on Linthouse Road, close to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The heliport is owned and operated by Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore Ltd and is the base of operations for the Police Scotland Air Support Unit.
Prior to May 2014, the heliport was located about a mile and a half east of its current location – close to Glasgow Seaplane Terminal – within the grounds of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center and directly across side of the River Clyde from the Glasgow Science Centre. The planned future development of the SECC area necessitated the move.
The heliport can also handle a fair amount of passenger traffic – although facilities are limited to the small heliport – with priority given to the police. The ground facilities consist of a maintenance hangar and parking for six small and medium sized helicopters.
Renfrew Airport is the predecessor of Glasgow International Airport, a domestic airport which served the city of Glasgow before its demolition in 1966.
It was located in the Newmains area of Renfrew, just over a mile from where Glasgow’s new airport would be built. Renfrew was much smaller than Glasgow Airport – consisting only of a main terminal and a few ancillary buildings – with a main runway that ran west southwest from the terminal.
It became apparent in the mid-20th century that the airport was not going to be able to cope with the ever-increasing demand for domestic air travel in the 1960s. The final departure was on May 2, 1966 – its destination being Glasgow’s new airport, just a few hundred meters away.
The site is now a Tesco supermarket and was partly paved for the M8 motorway – the flat straight section of this part of the M8 at Renfrew is actually paved on the original track. The whole airport was demolished in 1978. Arkleston Primary School (1972) and a Tesco hypermarket (1980) were built on the former site of the terminal, and the whole surrounding area is now covered in accommodations.
The only trace that remains of the airport is the Flying Scotsman pub, which was the Hertz car rental building, opposite the terminal building.