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  Glasgow Airport - A Brief History
Menu Glasgow Airport 1966 - 1989: Renfrew Airport
British Midland Viscount
Pre-Civilian History


Glasgow Airport

1966 - 1989


Glasgow Airport

1990 - Present

Hawker Sidley Viscount. A regular visitor to Renfrew Airports, seen here in British Midland colours.

The civilian history of Glasgow Airport can not be expanded upon without discussing Renfrew Airport. During Abbotsinch's tenure as a military installation, Glasgow and Central Scotland was served by Renfrew Airport as its main commercial air link. The airfield first came into existence in 1916 and throughout both wars and the peacetime in-between, the airfield served the duel purpose of civil airfield and military base.

In 1946 the Government nationalized civil aviation and the running of Renfew Airport was taken over by the state. After the war, the Airport expanded considerably, now covering an area more than twice its original size, operating 2 runways, with the old Scottish Flying Club's clubhouse operating as a converted terminal. With the growing demand for air travel, many airlines now operated from the airfield, including the likes of Scottish Airways, Railway Air Services, British European Airways Corporation and subsidiary companies of BEA, offering services to other locations within Scotland, Belfast and London.

In the 1950's, air travel was a rapidly growing industry and a new terminal building at Renfrew was opened to cope with the increase in passenger numbers in 1954. Many new services were introduced by the likes of Icelandair, Sabena, Dan-Air and LOT, offering flights to locations outwith the UK. Charter airlines also started introducing routes from the airport at this time. Also, with the introduction of larger and faster commercial jet airliners, the small airport was stretched to the limit. Due to the Airports location, it was impossible to extend the airfield any further, therefore it was decided that a new commercial airport was to be constructed. It was announced in November of 1960, that the military airfield at Abbotsinch would be the site for the construction of the new Airport to replace Renfrew.

Site Last Updated: 28th May, 2003