Park and Go: Cardiff Airport Parking - Airport History

Please find below a brief history of Cardiff Airport which we hope that you will find useful. If you wish to make a booking then please click on the appropriate link on your left. Alternatively you can call our office, where one of our helpful staff will only be happy to help.

Since being privatised in April 1995 after Local Government re-organisation, Cardiff International Airport has become one of the UK’s most successful regional airports. Cardiff International Airport started life as a wartime satellite aerodrome and training base for RAF Spitfire pilots in 1942. The commercial potential was not recognised until the early 1950’s when Aer Lingus started a service to Dublin in 1952, this was to be followed by a new terminal building and flights to France, Belfast and Cork.

  • Number of terminals: 1
  • Number of passengers: Over 1.6 Million
  • Number of destinations: Over 45
  • Number of runways: 1

By 1962 and an escalation in holiday charter business had resulted in passengers exceeding 100,000 and by 1965 control of the airport was transferred from the Ministry of Defence to Glamorgan County Council.

The first transatlantic flight took place in 1971. And in subsequent years, the main runway had to be doubled in length to 7,000 ft, to accommodate wide bodied aircraft and the growth in popularity of charter traffic to the Mediterranean saw passenger levels soar to 250,000 in the early 1980’s.

1986 saw a further extension of 750 ft to the runway, costing in the region of £1 million, thus attracting more business to the Airport in the form of new generation jet aircraft.

The Airport’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary was celebrated in 1992 and a programme of special events to mark 50 years of flying from Cardiff culminated in a Royal visit, with Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra unveiling a commemorative plaque.

In early 1993 there was a series of major expansion projects. These included re-development of the landside forecourt area, expansion and modernisation of the International Departures Lounge, plus modification of the roadway access to the Terminal, and construction of a new security access point. And in August 1994, well ahead of traffic forecasts, the Airport celebrated attaining the 1 million passenger mark for the first time in its history.

In April 1995, due to planned Local Government re-organisation in Wales, the Airport Company was privatised, Cardiff International Airport’s success has continued, ranking as one of the UK’s most successful regional airports.