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Airports in Scotland

Updated on June 5, 2014


As well as the main airports in Scotland there are many regional airports located across the country. Flying to, from and between regional airports can be the quickest way to get to some locations especially the islands.

Links to maps are included to give some ideas of the areas of interest around each airport and some of the distances involved.

Detailed information on flights and facilities at each airport can be found at the relevant websites for the larger airports, or for the island airports at the Highland and Islands Airports website. Visit Scotland provides information on all Scotland's airports as well as tourist advice.

Credit: VisitScotland
Credit: VisitScotland

Aberdeen Airport

Aberdeen airport, also known as Dyce, is located five miles northwest of Aberdeen in the Highlands in northeast of Scotland.

It is known as the largest commercial heliport in the world as it provides helicopter flights to the North Sea oilfields.

Public transport to the city is either by taxi, direct bus or coach which takes around 30 minutes. There is also a bus service to Dyce railway station with a ten minute journey to Aberdeen.

There are numerous attractions in Aberdeen such as, Balmedie Beach, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Johnstone Gardens, Aberdeen Art Gallery, St Machars Cathedral and the Winter Gardens.

Further afield are, Dunnottar Castle, Loch Muick, Bramaer Castle, Haddo Country Park, Fowlsheugh Nature Reserve and Forviesands Nature Reserve.

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh airport is located five miles west of Edinburgh in east-central Scotland.

The airport is one of two serving central Scotland, the other being Glasgow, and has many internal, European and International flights. The quality and number of facilities reflect the large amount of flights and passengers handled.

Public transport to the city is either by taxi, direct bus or coach.

As you would expect for the capital of Scotland there are many major attractions and venues including, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Museum of Scotland, Arthurs Seat, Our Dynamic Earth, Murrayfield, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Inside the terminal building at Edinburgh Airport
Inside the terminal building at Edinburgh Airport

Glasgow Airport

Glasgow airport, once known as Abbotsinch, is located six miles west of Glasgow in west-central Scotland.

The airport is one of two serving central Scotland, the other being Edinburgh, and has many internal, European and International flights. The quality and number of facilities reflect the large amount of flights and passengers handled.

Public transport to the city is either by taxi, direct bus or a local bus to Paisley Gilmour station for a ten minute journey by train.

Travellers to Glasgow Airport will either be transferring to other flights or travelling to other areas in Scotland. Although there is little to see in the vicinity of the airport a visit to the City of Glasgow will be rewarded by the usual historic attractions including the Art Galleries, the Riverside Museum, the Royal Concert Hall, the Burrell Collection and the Gallery of Modern Art as well as modern and traditional shops.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Prestwick airport is located in South Ayrshire one mile northeast of Prestwick Town approximately 32 miles (51km) from Glasgow City on the west coast of central Scotland.

Locally there are numerous golf courses with the course at Prestwick being the venue for the first open golf championship and Turnberry 14 miles (22km) away and Troon 4 miles (6km) away both having hosted the championship in the past.

Ayrshire has numerous towns and villages as well as many beaches and local attractions. There are many small independent shops in the area as well as the usual well known brands.

There is a direct frequent train service to Glasgow which takes about 45 minutes.

Many people have mistakenly gone to Glasgow Airport instead of Glasgow Prestwick Airport for their flights. Anyone flying to and from Glasgow should double check which airport they are supposed to go to.

Inverness Airport

Inverness airport, once called Dalcross, is located seven miles northeast of the city of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland.

The city, which sits on the banks of Loch Ness, has numerous historic buildings including, a castle, a cathedral, a Gothic Town House, and an Art gallery and Museum.

Being quite a small city most of the attractions are within walking distance of the River Ness where there is also a Ness Island which is used by anglers trying to catch, among other things, Atlantic. Nearby is the Moray Firth where dolphins can be viewed or a boat trip taken along the Caledonian Canal to Loch Ness.

Above the city there forest walks with views of the Moray Firth and numerous species of wildlife.

Terminal building at Inverness Airport
Terminal building at Inverness Airport

Barra Airport

Barra airport is located on the foreshore of the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhor about four and a half miles north east of Castle Bay. It is most well known for having its runways situated on the beach meaning that take-offs and landings can only take place at low tide.

The Island of Barra which is connected by a causeway to Vatersay, are the most southerly inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides and the most westerly in the United Kingdom.

In the area there are opportunities for loch fishing, walking, sailing, surfing and golf. There are some archaeological sites, a castle and even a deserted village.

Barra Airport beach
Barra Airport beach

Benbecula Airport

Benbecula airport is located on the west side of the Island of Benbecula just beside the main town on the island; Balivanach.

The island of Benbecula is sometimes referred to as the stepping stone between North and South Uist as it sits between them with all three being connected by a series of road causeways. They are all part of the Outer Hebrides situated off the west coast of Scotland.

There are an abundance of tidal bays and moorland for walking or cycling with an opportunity to walk up the only hill on the island which is named Rueval and is 407 feet high.

Other local attractions around the islands include a sculptured trail, golf course, salmon fishing and a horse riding school.

Campbeltown Airport

Campbeltown airport, once called Machrihanish, is located three miles northwest of the town of Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland. To the east of the Mull of Kintyre is the Island of Arran.

Local attractions include a distillery, heritage centre, sea bird observatory, golf courses, and Davar Island which has the famous cave painting of the crucifixion of Christ.

Dundee Airport

Dundee airport, once called Riverside, is located half a mile south of the city of Dundee on the north bank of the River Tay in eastern central Scotland.

Dundee is the closet airport to the world famous St Andrews golf course being only 20 minutes away by road.

There is much to see and do in the surrounding area;

Local attractions include; Castles, Wildlife Centre, an Art Gallery and Museum, Science Centre, the Frigate Unicorn and the RSS Discovery which was Captain Scott’s ship which sailed to the Antarctica.

Countryside and Wildlife attractions include; Nature reserves, a Wildlife Centre, Parks, Gardens and open countryside.

Islay Airport

Islay airport is located four and a half miles northwest of the town of Port Elein on the Island of Islay which is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. The island is also known as the Queen of the Hebrides due to its stunning scenery, mild climate and the whisky produced locally.

Local attractions include bird watching, golf, horse riding, fishing, hill walking and a distillery.

It is also known for its many hand crafted and locally produced items such as pottery, woollen and quilted pieces and even a local brewery.

When at the airport it is worth watching out for deer and large flocks of geese which can be seen around the area especially during March and October.

Kirkwall Airport

Kirkwall airport is located two and a half miles southeast of Kirkwall which is the capital of the Orkney Islands situated off the northern coast of mainland Scotland.

There are about eighteen smaller islands that make up the Orkney Islands. Each has its own character, individuality, wildlife and other attractions. Perhaps the most well known are the Islands of Papa Westray and Westray which flying from one to the other is the worlds shortest scheduled flight lasting for two minutes.

Around the Kirkwall area are lochs such as the Loch of Tankerness where Lapwings, Curlews and Oystercatchers can be seen, the shallow waters of Scapa Flow where the German fleet was scuttled after World War One, and the Churchill barriers which as well as having some scenic beaches are also popular with divers and sea anglers.

Stornoway Airport

Stornoway airport is located two miles east of Stornoway, the main town on the Island of Lewis of the northwest coast of mainland Scotland.

Stornoway town attractions include an art gallery, boat trips, a golf course, sports facilities, swimming pool, Loom Centre and a museum.

Further afield away from Stornoway the island is sparsely populated with most of the villages hugging the coastline. There are numerous beaches, cliffs and wildlife habitats scattered around the island. There are also many sites with standing stones the most well known being around the area of Callanish.

When at the airport it is worth watching out for large flocks of geese which are in local fields all year round.

Sumburgh Airport

Sumburgh airport is located seventeen miles south of Lerwick on the Shetland Islands which are 100 miles (160km) northeast of the Scottish mainland. The islands are just 400 miles (640km) from the Arctic Circle.

A mile from the airport is the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head which has visitor facilities and a RSPB nature reserve. The area is a well known place for whale watching with regular sightings of Minke and Killer Whales as well as Harbour Porpoises and Grey Seals.

Shetland, where the ponies and sweaters come from, has more than a hundred islands with only 15 being inhabited.

It hosts many festivals including the winter fire festival held in January in the capital, Lerwick.

There are vast areas of coastline and open countryside most of which is open to walkers and hikers. It is sometimes called a bird watchers paradise as the islands are host to more than a million birds breeding in colonies.

Shetlands Islands seen from space. Credit: NASA USGS
Shetlands Islands seen from space. Credit: NASA USGS

Tiree Airport

Tiree airport is located two and a half miles north northeast of the town of Balemartine on the Isle of Tiree which is the most westerly island in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of mainland Scotland.

The Isle of Tiree is only 12 miles long and 3 miles wide and is very flat. It is well known for hosting surfing events and boasts the highest levels of sunshine recorded anywhere on the British Isles due to the influence of the Gulfstream, with frost being rare and evenings in the summer usually warm and balmy.

There are many places of interest to visit including churches, rural centres, harbours, scenic walks and pathways.

When at the airport it is worth watching out for large flocks of geese which are in the vicinity all year round.

Wick Airport

Wick, or John O’Groats, airport is located one mile north of the town of Wick in Caithness at the north-eastern limit of the Scottish mainland.

The local area which includes Thurso is well known for having the first Geopark at the Assynt Mountains. It is an important habitat for birds such as eagles and red kite and wildlife like deer and otter.

There are a variety of places to visit such as John O’Groats (the end of the walk from lands End), the Castle of Wick, a heritage museum and also sailing trips, fishing, and bird watching tours.

When at the airport it is worth watching out for deer especially at dawn or dusk.

ICAO and IATA Airport Location Codes

Glasgow Prestwick
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