East Midlands Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorManchester Airport Holdings
ServesBirmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln, Sheffield,
LocationCastle Donington, Leicestershire, England, UK
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL306 ft / 93 m
Coordinates52°49′52″N 001°19′40″W / 52.83111°N 1.32778°W / 52.83111; -1.32778Coordinates: 52°49′52″N 001°19′40″W / 52.83111°N 1.32778°W / 52.83111; -1.32778
Location in Leicestershire
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,893 9,491 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passenger change 16-17Increase4.8%
Aircraft movements77,067
Movements change 16-17Increase4.6%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

East Midlands Airport (IATA: EMA, ICAO: EGNX) is an international airport in the East Midlands of England, close to Castle Donington in northwestern Leicestershire, between Loughborough (10 miles (16 km)), Derby (12.5 miles (20 km)) and Nottingham (14 miles (23 km)); Leicester is (20 miles (32 km)) to the south and Lincoln (43 miles (69 km)) north east. It serves the whole East Midlands region of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire. The airfield was originally built as a Royal Air Force station known as RAF Castle Donington in 1943, before being redeveloped as a civilian airport in 1965.

East Midlands Airport has established itself as a hub for low-fare airlines such as Jet2.com and Ryanair and tour operators like TUI Airways, which serve a range of domestic and European short-haul destinations. Passenger numbers peaked in 2008 at 5.6 million but had declined to around 4.5 million in 2015, making it the 11th-busiest airport in the UK by passenger traffic. A major air cargo hub, it was the second-busiest UK airport for freight traffic in 2016, after London Heathrow.[2]

The airport is owned by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the largest British-owned airport operator, which is controlled by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, with Manchester City Council retaining the controlling stake.[3]


RAF Castle Donington

RAF Castle Donington was opened as a Royal Air Force station in 1943, during the second world war. The airfield was equipped with three concrete runways, together with two hangars, and was a satellite airfield to RAF Wymeswold, situated some 9 miles (14 km) to the south-east. Initially the airfield was used by 28 Operational Training Unit, training RAF Bomber Command crews on the Vickers Wellington, and subsequently by 108 Operational Training Unit, later renamed 1382 Transport Conversion Unit, training RAF Transport Command crews on the Douglas Dakota. The airfield closed and the air force station was decommissioned in 1946.[4][5][6]

East Midlands Airport

Britannia Airways Boeing 737 operating holiday charters in 1982
Britannia Airways Boeing 737 operating holiday charters in 1982

In 1964, the site of the former RAF station was purchased by a consortium of local government authorities, when a major programme of building work and runway investment was begun. The airfield was renamed East Midlands Airport to reflect the area it served, and it opened for passengers in April 1965.[4][5]

Until 1982, when the head office moved to Donington Hall,[7] British Midland had its head office on the airport property.[8] BMI also had its maintenance base at the airport.

Go Fly established a hub at East Midlands, and the operation has been strengthened since the airline's absorption by easyJet. The majority of BMI operations were ceded to a new low-cost subsidiary, bmibaby, in 2002.[citation needed]

In 1993 National Express purchased the airport from the local councils.[9] With Bournemouth Airport, it was sold to Manchester Airports Group in February 2001.[10][11] In 2004 the airport was controversially renamed Nottingham East Midlands Airport.[12] The change, however, did not last long, and on 8 December 2006 the airport's name was reverted to East Midlands Airport.[13]

A major development towards the long-haul programme came in 2005 with the introduction of holiday flights to the Dominican Republic, Orlando and Cancún by First Choice Airways.[citation needed] Following increasing overcrowding at the terminal building, the airport facilities were extended and remodelled. There are new short-stay car parks, but there are charges for drop-off outside the terminals. The arrivals hall has been extended, a new transport interchange has been created and a new pier has been built to reduce across-tarmac walking to aircraft.[citation needed]

EasyJet ceased operating from the airport on 5 January 2010.[14] However, it was announced on 13 April 2011 that Bmibaby would close its Manchester and Cardiff bases, moving an additional service to East Midlands Airport with increased frequencies and new routes for summer 2012. It was announced only just over a year later, on 3 May 2012, that Bmibaby would close down and cease all operations in September 2012, with a number of services being dropped from June. The parent company, International Airlines Group, cited heavy losses and the failure to find a suitable buyer as the reasons for the decision.[15] In light of the announcement, Flybe and Monarch Airlines announced they would establish a base at the airport, and low-cost airline Jet2.com confirmed they would also expand their operations from the airport, with new routes and an additional aircraft from summer 2013. From 2015, the airport announced jet2.com would base a seventh aircraft at East Midlands Airport in the summer period. Monarch Airlines shut down its base at East Midlands as well by spring 2015.[citation needed] Ryanair expanded its East Midlands base with a series of new routes and frequency increases on existing routes. It now serves the airport with 9 based aircraft, 41 destinations, over 320 weekly flights and roughly 2.3 million passengers a year[citation needed], making it the largest airline at the airport, accounting for about 50% of passenger traffic, with East Midlands now being Ryanair's third-largest UK airport, after London–Stansted and Manchester, both now also owned by MAG.

In 2016 Heathrow handled 1.54 million tonnes of freight and mail, compared with 300,100 tonnes at East Midlands.[2] DHL Aviation have a large purpose-built facility at EMA, and courier companies United Parcel Service (UPS) and TNT use the airport as a base to import and export freight.

On 4 March 2020 Flybe entered administration,[16] with EMA announcing that all flights were cancelled with immediate effect, the following day.[17]

Airlines and destinations


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from East Midlands Airport:[18]

Aurigny Guernsey
BH Air Seasonal: Burgas
Blue Islands Jersey
easyJet Seasonal: Belfast–International[19]
Jet2.com[20] Alicante, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Budapest, Burgas, Copenhagen (begins 6 December 2021),[21] Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Geneva, Girona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Izmir, Jersey,[22] Kefalonia, Kos, Larnaca, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Prague (begins 2 December 2021),[23] Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Skiathos,[24] Split, Verona, Zakynthos
Ryanair Alicante, Berlin, Bergamo, Budapest, Dublin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Knock, Kraków, Lanzarote, Limoges, Łódź, Malaga, Malta, Riga, Rome–Ciampino, Rzeszów, Tenerife–South, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław
Seasonal: Barcelona, Bergerac, Carcassonne, Chania, Corfu, Girona, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Reus, Rhodes, Treviso, Valencia
TUI Airways[25] Alicante, Fuerteventura, Hurghada, Lanzarote, Málaga, Sharm El Sheikh (resumes 7 February 2022),[25] Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Antalya (begins 25 May 2022),[26] Chambéry, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Enfidha, Faro, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kefalonia, Kittilä, Kos, Larnaca, Menorca, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Santorini, Skiathos, Zakynthos


East Midlands Airport is a major hub for freight operations throughout Europe due to its central location within the United Kingdom. It serves as a hub for DHL Air UK and UPS Airlines and sees flights by several of their sub-contractors to domestic, European and intercontinental destinations.


The air traffic control tower at East Midlands airport, located at the south of the airfield, next to the terminal.
The air traffic control tower at East Midlands airport, located at the south of the airfield, next to the terminal.
The terminal buildings in 2009.
The terminal buildings in 2009.
The check-in hall at the airport.
The check-in hall at the airport.

See source Wikidata query and sources.

Busiest routes to and from East Midlands (2018)[27]
Rank Airport Total
2017 / 18
1 Alicante 401,789 Increase 0.2%
2 Palma de Mallorca 326,367 Decrease 6.8%
3 Tenerife–South 326,095 Increase 1.8%
4 Málaga 297,758 Decrease 2.4%
5 Faro 244,844 Decrease 1.1%
6 Dublin 204,772 Decrease 6.4%
7 Lanzarote 197,317 Decrease 4.8%
8 Belfast–City 150,497 Increase 1.0%
9 Fuerteventura 117,558 Decrease 10.3%
10 Ibiza 101,587 Decrease 7.5%

Ground transport


East Midlands Parkway railway station.

The airport has excellent connections to the motorway network, as it is near the M1, M42 and A50, bringing the airfield within easy reach of the major population centres of the Midlands. The A46 is also within reach for journeys to the rest of the East Midlands.

Drop-off fees

The airport introduced a charge of £1 to drop car passengers near the departure lounge in 2010. In May 2016, the charge was doubled to £2, with any stay in the area above ten minutes being charged at £1 per minute. Drivers needing longer can stay free for one hour in the long-term carpark, a five-minute bus ride from the terminal. The short-term parking is closer but charges £3.50 for 30 minutes.[28][29]


The airport has no direct access to the rail network or the Nottingham Express Transit tram network.[30] The nearest railway station is East Midlands Parkway, 4 miles (6.4 km) away, with regular services to Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham and London St Pancras. The original shuttle bus service linking the station and the airport ceased not long after it was introduced,[31] but in 2015 an hourly minibus service was re-introduced by Elite Cars, restoring scheduled shuttle services to and from the airport.[32] Connections to the airport via taxi are also available.

A dedicated railway station at the airport is proposed, which would be connected to the existing network via a spur from the Midland main line. If the project goes ahead, it is expected to be complete by 2040 and will offer direct services to nearby cities as well as the existing East Midlands Parkway railway station and the proposed East Midlands Hub at Toton, which lies on the High Speed Two route. A new line to the airport on the Nottingham Express Transit network is also proposed, planned to be open by 2045.[33]


Skylink services are operated by Kinchbus and trentbarton with buses operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week at frequent intervals, trentbarton also operate my15 buses to the airport[34]

Kinchbus operate buses on the service between Leicester and Derby via Loughborough, Kegworth/Long Whatton and Shardlow[35]

trentbarton operate buses on the Skylink Nottingham route which also operates up to every 20 minutes from Nottingham to the airport via Long Eaton with hourly extensions to Loughborough or Coalville.[36]

Skylink Express was introduced in 2016 which operates every 30 minutes between Nottingham and the airport via Clifton then directly along the A453 Remembrance Way[37]

Midland Classic operate Airway 9 between Burton Town Centre and the airport at hourly intervals 7 days a week.[38]

East Midlands Aeropark

The Aeropark at East Midlands Airport
The Aeropark at East Midlands Airport

The East Midlands Aeropark to the north west corner of the airport has a large number of static aircraft on public display, the majority of which are from British manufacturers. The museum and its exhibits are managed and maintained by the Aeropark Volunteers Association (AVA). It also offers two viewing mounds for watching aircraft arriving and departing from the main runway. AVA Members are allowed free access to the Aeropark. Exhibits include:[citation needed]

Other facilities

Pegasus Business Park, an office complex, is on the airport grounds. The now-defunct airline flybmi formerly had its head office at Pegasus Business Park.[39]

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ "East Midlands – EGNX". Nats-uk.ead-it.com. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Aircraft and passenger traffic data from UK airports". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 3 March 2017. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  3. ^ "AGMA to consider Manchester Airport restructure in takeover bid". Manchester Evening News. 15 February 2012. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b Historic England. "East Midlands Airport (1390986)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Our History". East Midlands Airport. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  6. ^ Care, Adam (9 November 2018). "This is the moving way the fallen are being honoured at East Midlands Airport". Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  7. ^ "the eighties Archived 10 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine." British Midland International. Retrieved on 28 December 2011.
  8. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 July 1980. 295 Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. "Head Office: East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Derby, Great Britain. 37172."
  9. ^ History of East Midlands Airport East Midlands Airport
  10. ^ Manchester Airports Group Annual Report 31 March 2001[permanent dead link] Manchester Airport Group
  11. ^ Manchester Airport spreads its wings BBC News 19 February 2001
  12. ^ "Row over airport name change". BBC News. BBC. 20 January 2004. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  13. ^ "It's back to East Midlands Airport". bbc.co.uk. BBC. BBC News. 8 December 2006. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  14. ^ "easyJet announces network redeployments". EasyJet. 3 September 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2009.
  15. ^ "BMI Baby to be grounded by BA owner IAG". BBC. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016. BMI Baby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m in the last four years,
  16. ^ "Advice to UK consumers following Flybe entering administration | UK Civil Aviation Authority". www.caa.co.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Flybe has ceased trading and all future flights from the UK cancelled". Flybe has ceased trading and all future flights from the UK cancelled. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  18. ^ eastmidlandsairport.com - Flight Timetables Archived 6 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 5 October 2016
  19. ^ "EasyJet's last throw of the dice? Jet flights from Liverpool to Bournemouth". 17 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Flight Timetable". jet2.com.
  21. ^ "Eight European Christmas Market holidays unveiled by Jet2 for post-pandemic trips". lancs.live. 7 March 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Jet2.com launches five new routes to Jersey for Summer 2021". aviation24.be. 30 October 2020.
  23. ^ "Eight European Christmas Market holidays unveiled by Jet2 for post-pandemic trips". lancs.live. 7 March 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  24. ^ https://www.jet2.com/
  25. ^ a b "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Flight Timetable | TUI Airways".
  27. ^ "Airport Data 2018". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 3 March 2019. Tables 12.1(XLS) and 12.2 (XLS). Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  28. ^ "East Midlands Airport 'drop-off' charges double". 3 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Pick Up & Drop Off | East Midlands Airport". www.eastmidlandsairport.com. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  30. ^ "Tram Train proposals for East Midlands Airport and East Midlands Parkway news". RailUK Forums. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  31. ^ ((cite web | title = Train services to and from East Midlands Parkway – East Midlands Trains | publisher = East Midlands Trains | url = https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/routes-destinations/airports/east-midlands-airport
  32. ^ "Access to Toton, the HS2 East Midlands Hub" (PDF). Midlands Connect. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Welcome - my15 - run by trentbarton".
  34. ^ "Welcome - skylink Derby - run by trentbarton".
  35. ^ "Welcome - skylink Nottingham - run by trentbarton".
  36. ^ "Welcome - skylink express - run by trentbarton".
  37. ^ http://www.midlandclassic.com/timetable/route-9-from-28-oct-2019/
  38. ^ "Contact Us." Flybmi. 12 July 2017. retrieved on 18 February 2019. "Head Office bmi regional Pegasus Business Park Herald Way East Midlands Airport Castle Donington DE74 2TU"
  39. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  40. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Shorts 360-100 EI-BEM East Midlands Airport (EMA)". Aviation-safety.net. Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  41. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Fokker F-27 Friendship 200 G-BMAU East Midlands Airport (EMA)". Aviation-safety.net. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  42. ^ "Terrorist Bombers May Have Targeted Aircraft". Fox News Channel. 7 April 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  43. ^ Rayner, Gordon (31 October 2010). "Cargo plane bomb plot: al-Qaeda terrorists 'threatened another Lockerbie'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  44. ^ "Al-Qaida claims responsibility for cargo bombs". NBC News. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.

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