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Glasgow Airport Information

Glasgow International Airport, also known by the airport code GLA, provides commercial air service to the Glasgow area from its location near Paisley, Scotland. The airport provides facilities for international, domestic, and regional travelers as well as airfreight handling facilities. As with many of Europe's commercial airports, its history begins during World War II. English officials originally utilized an airstrip at Glasgow for training flights but latter in the war stationed a squadron of RAF fighter pilots there utilizing the Spitfire aircraft in actions against German forces. The Royal Air Force still maintains a base and training center at the airport.

The civilian history of Glasgow International Airport is varied. Glasgow had two airports during the 1960s with Prestwick Airport handling international flights. In the late 1980s Glasgow Airport was renamed Glasgow International Airport and expanded to handle the new passenger loads. Prestwick is now a regional airport still serving the Glasgow area and to budget airlines serving a wider area.

The airport operates three terminals referred to as the West, Central, and East piers. Most international travelers pass through West Pier with domestic flights within the United Kingdom utilize the Central Pier. Regional carriers serving Scotland and Ireland work from the East Pier facilities.

Glasgow International Airport utilizes two runways. The principle runway is 8,700 feet or 2,700 meters long and can accommodate a Boeing 747. The second runway is about 3,600 feet or 1,100 meters long and serves smaller aircraft. The combination of the two runways accommodates about 100,000 take offs or landings each year carrying about 7 million passengers. Only Edinburgh Airport handles larger volumes of passengers in Scotland.

The airport also serves as an air cargo handling facility with about 9 million tons of freight moving through annually. Freight facilities include refrigerated and frozen storage as well as animal quarantines and inspections services. The airport also is a service center for British Airways.

Officials recommend travelers making connecting flights at Glasgow Airport allow plenty of times. Passengers arriving on an international flight and planning to depart on an international flight should allow three hours. Passengers arriving on an international flight and departing to a destination within Scotland should allow two hours. Passengers arriving from and departing for Scottish destinations should allow at least one hour to make connections.

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