The Newcastle Airport is the ninth largest airport in the United Kingdom. It is located about 6 miles from Newcastle city centre. Newcastle Airport is owned by seven local authorities (51%) and Copenhagen Airport (49%). The seven local authorities are: Durham County Council, Gateshead MBC, City of Newcastle, North Tyneside MBC, Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside MBC and City of Sunderland.
Newcastle Airport has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The CAA recently named Newcastle as the fastest growing regional airport in the UK. The Airport handled 5.19 million passengers in 2005. It was also voted the North’s favourite airport in a survey by Wanderlust.
The Newcastle Airport was first opened on the 26th of July, 1935 by the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Phillip Cunliffe-Lister. At the time the Newcastle Airport cost £35,000 to build.
In the early 1950s more than 5,000 people were using the Newcastle Airport each year to travel to destinations such as Jersey and the Isle of Wight. The 1960s saw tremendous growth in passenger numbers at the Newcastle Airport. This was mainly due to Brits taking foreign holidays.
In the 1970s, with passenger figures approaching one million per year, the Newcastle Airport status was changed to Cat egory B, making it a regional international airport. The 1980s saw further investment in check-in, catering and duty free facilities. In 2000 a new £27 million extension was opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair and the first low-cost airline arrived at the airport, with Go-Fly inaugurating a service to London Stansted. 2001 saw the acquisition of a 49% stake in the Airport by Copenhagen Airports.
The Newcastle Airport is connected to the Tyne and Wear Metro service linking it directly with both Newcastle and Sunderland. The Newcastle Airport is connected to the A1 by the A696 dual carriageway. A regular bus service also runs from the airport to Newcastle and South East Northumberland.