Glasgow Airport Movements 2019
Happy New Year! As expected, January was a quiet month movement-wise especially with regard to biz-jets and general aviation. Also, just two military aircraft called in. The weather was clear and frosty for the first couple of days but then returned to the more common mild and grey conditions which have become the norm here in recent winters. It wasn`t until Tuesday 22 January that the snow appeared. Operations at Glasgow, Manchester, Belfast and Stornoway airports were among those adversely affected and Police Scotland received 125 reports of road incidents by mid-morning. Despite only a moderate fall of snow here, Glasgow Airport closed for a time with most incoming flights redirected to Edinburgh. An easyJet plane from Luton diverted to Prestwick and Aberdeen took that day`s Icelandair Boeing 757.
Things were even more wintry by the end of the month with Scotland experiencing its coldest night of the winter so far over 30/31 January with the country`s lowest temperature of -11C (12.2F) recorded at Braemar. Most disruption occurred in parts of England and Wales, however, with heavy snow closing both Manchester and Liverpool John Lennon airports for a time on Wednesday 30 January. Glasgow took one of the former`s re-routed flights in the shape of a TUI Dreamliner.
Once again, the geese taking their winter holidays here were being a nuisance, often straying too close to the airfield boundary and flight paths. Air-side Ops were kept busy most days, firing off bird scaring flares in an attempt to have the birds relocate to a safer position and avoid any conflict. This batch of shots was taken on January 31st when Lapwings joined the large flock of Greylags and some Whooper Swans in the fields beside the Black Cart Water.
Below: Pending the inauguration of the Emirates A380 service between Dubai and Glasgow in April this year, work continues apace on the West Pier extension. The new oversized airbridge is required for passenger transfers between the double-decker airliner and terminal. The following shot was taken on 7 January.
An economic impact study produced by economists York Aviation, has confirmed the valuable contribution that Glasgow International Airport, which welcomed 9.7 million passengers in 2018, makes to the Scottish economy. The study has been produced ahead of the publication of Glasgow Airport’s 2040 Master Plan which will become available for public consultation later this year.
As well as a vital passenger hub Glasgow is also a major gateway for global exports and imports with the airport handling more than £3.5bn in goods in 2017. Since 2011, Glasgow Airport has invested over £130 million in upgrading and improving facilities and currently generates in excess of £1.44 billion (GVA) annually, supporting more than 30,000 jobs across Scotland in the process. The Master Plan optimistically envisions Glasgow becoming a 17-million passenger airport by 2040, by which point it would also support a further 13,000 jobs and generate an additional £1.1 billion annually.
In contrast to Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow`s passenger numbers have begun to decline following a long period of growth. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stats for December show that 1,026,129 travellers passed through Edinburgh which is up +11.1% on the same period last year. The 12 month total was 14,292,131, a rise of 6.6%.
I don`t have December 2018`s numbers for Glasgow yet but November`s overall passenger total was 617,481, which is down 10%. The capital`s airport seems to be attracting new carriers or encouraging existing operators to expand their operations while, apart from the major coup of the Emirates A380 service launching at Glasgow later this year, there doesn`t appear to be much on the horizon.
The Master Plan for the airport is obviously intended to link in with the large-scale regeneration outlined in the Clyde Waterfront & Renfrew Riverside Project. This will enable the airport to expand and create an external business park alongside, currently referred to as the Glasgow Airport Investment Area. The Yorkhill Aviation study proposed the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) next to the airport which I assume is their name for the new business park and is intended to provide up to 10,000 additional jobs. To date, two anchor tenants have been confirmed – the £56-million Medical Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) and the £65-million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS).
In addition to a new bridge over the Clyde at Renfrew, plus the upgrading and realignment of roads, footpaths and cycle ways, it now seems that Scottish opposition parties have united to revive plans to link Glasgow Airport with the main railway line from Glasgow Central Station as part of a £1.13bn Glasgow City Region deal. A rail link which would take the form of a spur line from Paisley was first proposed in the early 2000’s but plans were shelved in 2009 due to budget cuts. Plans were then resubmitted in 2016 to connect the two transport hubs but have so far struggled to gain traction. Glasgow is the largest UK airport without a rail connection and if constructed the city to airport transfer time would be around 16 minutes. Rather than a traditional train or tram service, a rapid shuttle pod system has been suggested as the best solution. This article in Rail Technology Magazine has more information. Another benefit of a fast rail connection would be a reduction in the number of cars and buses travelling along the M8 Motorway between Glasgow and the airport, a fairly short section which is currently used by around 16,000 vehicles each day.
Even excluding the uncertainties surrounding the UK`s pending departure from the European Union (Brexit), many people will find it hard to believe that money for all these major projects can be sourced. Glasgow City Council's failed attempt to eliminate gender pay inequality saw it facing a £548m settlement which may be addressed by selling off its most-popular venues, including Emirates Arena, Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo, Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, City Halls, and Bellahouston Leisure Centre. A council report proposes transferring ownership to City Property Glasgow Investments LLP (CPGI), an arms-length company wholly owned by Glasgow City Council, which would pay for the buildings by taking out long-term loans. Venues such as the Riverside Museum and the Emirates Arena would then be leased back to the council.
Resplendent in Loganair`s new tartan livery, Embraer ERJ-145EP G-SAJC flew in to Glasgow on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 January having received its make-over courtesy of Airbounre Hangers paint shop at East Midlands Airport. The aircraft was scheduled to operate the Glasgow - Stornoway service which kicked-off on the 23rd.
As yet I`ve still to get a decent snap of the new addition to the Loganair fleet which has already become a familiar sight at Glasgow. It`s pictured above on stand, on Thursday 31 January shortly after the mist which blanketed the area for most of the morning started to lift, Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) were still in place. Alongside is the British Airways Engineering tent.
Space in the BA Maintenance Hangar is obviously at a premium so the large tent has been erected to protect the workers from the worst of the winter weather as they carry out essential maintenance and servicing. The temporary structure shows the need for more permanent indoor room here so it may be the case that an additional BA engineering hangar will be included in the airfield expansion plans.
Following the announcement in November last year that UK regional airline Flybe had put itself up for sale less than a month after issuing a dramatic profit warning, it has now been confirmed that the Exeter-based carrier is being bought for £2.2m by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and venture capital firm Cyrus.
A combination of falling consumer demand, a weaker pound due to the uncertainties around the UK`s imminent departure from the EU and higher fuel costs, all had a drastic impact on Flybe`s finances but the fleet will now operate under the Virgin Atlantic brand, marking a return by Virgin to domestic flights following a failed attempt five years ago. The deal apparently needs shareholder approval, but has already been backed by the board. To support the on-going operations of the airline, the consortium, known as Connect Airways, will initially lend £20m to Flybe. A further £80m will eventually be invested. Flybe's rescue comes after the collapse of Monarch Airlines and Primera Air.
Not many unusual Jet airliners visiting this month but the following get a mention: Boeing 737-86N(WL) YR-BMG Blue Air (King Ferdinand I of Romania livery) and Airbus A320-214 OE-INP easyJet Europe (f/v) (3rd); Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-RSN Ryanair Sun (4th); Condor Airbus A321-211(WL) D-ATCE (f/v) worked a Thomas Cook flight to Tenerife, plus Airbus A319-114 D-AILU Lufthansa (`Lulu Stork` livery) (5th); Embraer ERJ-145EP G-SAJC Loganair (9th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENI Emirates (Expo 2020 Blue livery) and Airbus A320-271N D-AINN Lufthansa (new colour scheme) (12th); Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-LLX Icelandair (Manchester > Keflavik medical diversion) and Airbus A320-214(WL) OE-IZQ (f/v) easyJet Europe (Berlin colours) (13th); Boeing 757-223(WL) TF-ISK Icelandair (another Manchester > Keflavik medical diversion), Boeing 737-8 MAX TF-ICU Icelandair and Airbus A320-214(WL) OE-INB (f/v) easyJet Europe (14th); Boeing 737-8 MAX TF-ICU Icelandair returned (15th)...
Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EGZ Emirates (Year of Zayed 2018 livery) and Airbus A320-271N D-AINO Lufthansa (new livery) (17th); Airbus A320-271N D-AINC Lufthansa (18th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENG Emirates (Expo 2020 orange livery), Boeing 737-8 MAX TF-ICE Icelandair, plus Embraer ERJ-195LR D-AEMD and Airbus A320-271N D-AINI, both Lufthansa (19th)...
Airbus A320-214 OE-INM (f/v) easyJet Europe (22nd); Embraer ERJ-145EP G-SAJC Loganair (kicked-off the new Glasgow to Stornoway service) (23rd); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ECU Emirates (Expo 2020 orange livery), Airbus A320-251N G-UZHL (f/v) easyJet, plus Embraer ERJ-190AR EI-GHK (f/v) Stobart Air / BA Cityflyer (24th)...
Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENM Emirates (Expo 2020 orange livery). Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIR Icelandair (80 years of Aviation Livery) and Boeing 777-336(ER) G-STBH (f/v) British Airways (London Heathrow > Austin, Texas, USA. Medical diversion) (26th); Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-RSE Ryanair Sun and Airbus A320-271N D-AINM Lufthansa (new scheme) (27th); Boeing 777-21H(LR) A6-EWC Emirates, Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EPL (Expo 2020 green livery) and Boeing 737-8 MAX TF-ICU Icelandair (28th); Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-TUIL (f/v) TUI (Manchester diversion - both it and Liverpool John Lennon Airport were closed for a time due to snow), Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-RSA Ryanair Sun, Airbus A320-251N G-UZHS (f/v) easyJet, plus Airbus A320-214(WL) D-AIZR Eurowings (Borussia Dortmund Livery) (30th).
Above: Icelandair Boeing 757 flights to Glasgow will gradually be replaced by the Boeing 737 Max, examples of the new type appearing on several days this month. This is TF-ICU which was snapped on short finals for Runway 23 on Monday 14 January. It also returned the next day followed by TF-ICE on the 19th.
Just the usual crop from the Loganair, Flybe and Stobart Air fleets this month. In these views, Loganair Twin Otter G-BVVK lifts off from Runway 23 on a chilly morning while the following shot of G-SGTS, about to land on the same runway, was taken from the opposite direction. Mountblow Road which runs alongside Dalmuir Golf Course rises steeply just left of centre.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.
A Stobart Air ATR begins its take-off run on 23 January. The Campsie Fells including the rugged volcanic plug of Dumgoyne form a fine backdrop.
Four corporate jets stopped over from December 2018, namely Global Express N980CC (below right) which had parked up on the northside, NetJets` Embraer Phenom 300 CS-PHM (not photographed), plus a pair from the Austrian register: Global 5000 OE-INL (above) and Challenger 300 OE-HLL (below left).
January 2019`s visiting biz-jets kicked-off with Bombardier Challenger 300 N184BK and Air Hamburg`s Cessna 560 Citation XLS+ D-CAHO (3rd); Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy 650 G-WIRG, Citation Excel CS-DXT and Learjet 35 D-CTWO (5th); Dassault Falcon 900B N115ZN (f/v) (6th); Falcon 2000LX C-GJKI (f/v), Cessna Citation Excel CS-DXJ and Cessna 525A N411CJ (f/v) (9th); Citation Excel CS-DXZ (11th); Cessna CitationJet CJ2 G-LFBD (13th); Gulfstream IV-SP N156WJ, Learjet 60 D-CSLT and Learjet D-CTWO (14th): Hawker Beechcraft 750 9H-BSA and Cessna Citation Bravo G-CMBC (f/v) (15th)...
Bombardier Global 5000 OE-INL (16th); Global 5000 OE-INL again, Challenger 300 OE-HLL, Cessna Citation X D-BLDI and Citation XLS+ D-CANG (f/v) (17th); Embraer Phenom 300 F-HEVL (f/v) (18th); Citation Excel OO-MMT (f/v) (19th); Gulfstream G650ER N6D (f/v) and Citation XLS D-CCVD (f/v) (20th); Learjet 45 G-OICU (21st); Gulfstream G280 OE-HGP (f/v) and Hawker Beechcraft 750 9H-BSA (22nd); Citation Latitude CS-LAS (23rd); Dassault Falcon 900 C-GGBC (24th); Beechcraft 400XTi Nextant G-FXPR (f/v) Flexjet Ltd (25th); Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign D-CAWS (26th); CitationJet CJ2 D-IOHL (27th); Hawker Beechjet N497XP and Learjet 31 D-CGGG (28th); Citation XLS+ D-CSUN of Air Hamburg rounded off January`s corporate visitors on the 29th.
French Embraer Phenom 300 F-HEVL (f/v) was a visitor from Edinburgh on Friday 18 January.
German-reg Cessna Citation X D-BLDI arrived on the 17th from Riga. According to the manufacturer, this long-range medium-sized business jet, powered by two turbofan engines, is currently the fastest civilian aircraft in the world with a top speed of 1,127 km/h and a range of 5,956 km. D-BLDI left late morning on 20 January bound for Moscow Vnukovo.
Additional shots of aptly registered Gulfstream 6 N6D departing on the 22nd.
Not much of interest this month: King Air 200s G-FLYK and G-IASA (4th); King Air 200 G-BGRE (9th); King Air 200s G-DXTR and G-WNCH (11th); King Air 200 G-CWCD (15th); King Air 200 G-NIAB (16th); Pilatus PC-12s M-YBLS and OY-EUR, plus King Air 200 G-BGRE (17th); King Air G-FLYK (20th); King Air 200 G-FPLD (21st); Pilatus PC-12 G-FLXI (f/v) (24th); AgustaWestland AW109SP Grand New G-HLCM (25th); Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS and Grand New G-HLCM returned (27th); King Air 200 G-BGRE (28th); Pilatus PC-12 2-DARE (29th).
No stranger to Glasgow, RAF BAe 146-200QC CC.2 ZE708 called in late morning on Tuesday 8 January making it the airport`s first military visitor of 2019. The only other this month was German Air Force Bombardier Global 5000, serial number 14+04 (f/v), call-sign `GAF 689` which paid a visit on Wednesday 30 January.
Down at Prestwick...
A brief stop at Prestwick on a sunny but breezy Thursday 17 January produced Boeing 737-46J N468VX (D-ACLG) of Cargologic Germany, which I presume was on delivery and a couple of USAF KC-135R tankers. They were 64-14828 and 58-0106.
Fairchild Swearingen SA.226TC Metroliner of Spanish outfit Flightline also called in and I caught the departure of Jodel DR-1050 Ambassadeur G-CEIS and Druine Turbulent G-BUKH.
I managed another short visit, this time on the morning of Sunday 27 January to find Kuwait Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, serial number KAF 343, which had arrived mid-afternoon on the 24th, and Canadian Air Force Airbus CC-150 Polaris 15004. A US Navy C-130T Hercules departed as I was driving round to the mound viewing area. USAF C-17 06-6165 had already left before first light.