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Nottingham East Midlands Airport

Nottingham East Midlands International Airport

Airport Code: EMA

Serving Derby, Leicester, Nottingham...

East Midlands Airport started life with the basic requirements of a 5,850ft runway, 60ft taxiway, new hangar floor and aprons and parking for 850 cars.

Financially it was not an instant success. However the picture quickly changed with the increased volume of freight traffic soon demanding further development. In 1970 agreement was reached on creating a new freight complex and both the runway and the terminal were extended.

Further changes were made as East Midlands Airport  continued to grow. The late 70s saw another runway extension, soon to be followed by another upgrade for the terminal building. In 1985, a million passengers passed through the Airport for the first time and a year later HRH Princess Anne was opening a £3million terminal extension.

Significant change in the running of East Midlands Airport  came about in 1987 when it became a public limited company following Government legislation demanding that local authorities ran the operation as an ‘arms length’ public sector enterprise.

In 1992 another major terminal extension was proposed but the owning local authorities, who had eagerly supported all the previous changes could not fund the development. So in 1993 and in the face of Government pressure to reduce public spending, the local authority shareholders took the bold decision to become the first major regional airport to enter the private sector.

East Midlands Airport  was purchased for a price of £24.3 million by the National Express Group, who recognised the superb potential of this growing regional Airport. During the 8 year period in which they owned East Midlands Airport  they invested an additional £77 million in the Airport infrastructure and passenger facilities.

One of the major developments during that period was the completion of a £20 million runway extension. 600 metres were added to the existing strip, opening up huge opportunities for the Airport to be marketed as a long-haul operation. £3.5 million was also invested in a new air traffic control tower. The second highest in the country, the tower has been built to serve the needs of the Airport for the next 50 years.

Tenant companies too showed their faith in the future growth of East Midlands Airport . In April 2000, international parcel courier DHL unveiled a new £35 million purpose-built facility on the Airport site - a clear statement of its intention to grow and prosper at East Midlands Airport .

Alongside the Airport’s growth, Wilson Bowden and East Midlands Airport  embarked on a joint venture for a new business park. On-site work at the new 62-acre Business Park, named Pegasus, commenced in March 1999 and within its first 12 months spectacular results were achieved.

The first completed building was a new regional headquarters for Powergen which was followed shortly after by an Express by Holiday Inn hotel and a Regus office block. Planning permission has also been granted for a Radisson Hotel which will include conference, business and leisure facilities.

However, National Express Group made the decision in 2000 that it wanted to concentrate on its core transport business of buses, coaches and trains and put East Midlands Airport , together with its sister Airport, Bournemouth, up for sale.

In March 2001, the Manchester Airport Group completed the purchase of East Midlands Airport and Bournemouth International for £241 million.

Since then East Midlands Airport  has continued to perform well. Passenger figures in 2001 soared 7% to 2.38 million and low cost carriers Go and bmibaby commenced operations from East Midlands Airport in March 2003.

Cargo operations too have continued to grow and East Midlands Airport  is now widely recognised as the UK’s largest pure cargo airport. As well as DHL, TNT and UPS both have bases here and the Airport is also one of Royal Mail’s primary hubs


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