Isle of Man Airport
Isle of Man Airport ( IATA: IOM, ICAO: EGNS), also known as Ronaldsway Airport and, in Manx, Purt Aer Vannin , is the main civilian airport on the Isle of Man. It is located in the south of the island at Ronaldsway near Castletown, 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) southwest of Douglas, the island's capital. Along with the Isle of Man Sea Terminal, it is one of the two main gateways to the island. The airport has scheduled services to the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Ronaldsway was first used as an airfield in 1928 with passenger services to the UK starting in 1933, operated by Blackpool and West Coast Air Services (later West Coast Air Services). Further services were established by Aer Lingus and Railway Air Services (RAS) from 1934. From 1937 RAS operations from Ronaldsway to the mainland UK were transferred to Isle of Man Air Services. In a 1936 expansion of the Ronaldsway Airport, workers discovered a mass grave believed to hold the remains of soldiers who died during the Battle of Ronaldsway in 1275.

Second World War
RAF Ronaldsway The airfield came under Royal Air Force control at the outbreak of the Second World War. Known as RAF Ronaldsway, it was one of the few airfields that continued operating civilian flights throughout the wartime period. The airfield was used by â„– 1 GDGS (Ground Defence and Gunnery School) operating Westland Wallace aircraft, the drogues from these aircraft being fired on from gun emplacements on St Michael's Isle (Fort Island) and Santon Head. RAF operations continued until 1943 when the airfield was handed over to the Admiralty for further development as a Fleet Air Arm training station. HMS Urley Now a naval air station, RNAS Ronaldsway, the airport was taken out of commission in 1943 for almost twelve months of extensive development. By the summer of 1944 the airfield had evolved from a grass landing area with a few hangars to a four runway airfield with the infrastructure to house and operate three training squadrons using Barracuda torpedo bombers. Renamed HMS Urley ( Manx for Eagle) by the Admiralty operations recommenced in the summer of 1944, the airfield's main role being that of a torpedo working-up station. â„– 1 OTU consisted of â„–s 710, 713 and 747 Squadrons, Fleet Air Arm and these operated until the cessation of hostilities in 1945.

The airport reverted to solely civilian flying almost immediately after the war, but the airfield remained in Admiralty possession until sold to the Isle of Man Government for £200,000 in 1948, far short of the £1 million that the UK Government had spent on constructing the airport buildings and runways, plus the £105,000 that was paid by the Admiralty in 1943 to purchase the site. Several Manx-based airlines were formed in the early postwar years to operate scheduled and charter services to the UK mainland. These included Mannin Airways Ltd and North-West Airlines (Isle of Man) Ltd. Both had ceased operations by mid 1951. When Manx Airlines existed, its head office was on the airport property. Manx2 has its head office in Hangar 9 at the airport. The Manx Military and Aviation Museum is situated next to the airport and has exhibits and information about the history of aviation on the island.

A project by Ellis Brown Architects began in November 1998 to extend the airport and improve the facilities available to passengers. In March 2000 the new extension was opened, providing a new landside catering outlet, arrivals area, baggage hall and departure lounge. The existing part of the airport was refurbished during this time to provide improved check-in facilities and offices, linked to the extension with a new airport entrance. During the extension and renovation period the iconic Three Legs of Man sculpture adorning the airport's façade was also refurbished. In March 2006 funding for a further extension was granted by Tynwald to increase the number of departure gates, with work due for completion in summer 2007. In April 2008 Tynwald granted a major runway extension and resurfacing project at the airport. The runway will be extended by 245 m (804 ft) out into the Irish Sea by the construction of a rock-armoured promontory. It is part of a £44m plan which will also include resurfacing of the runway during summer 2008 and the extension programme that will commence in spring 2008 and is due to be completed by December 2009. It has emerged that the actual runway take-off length was underestimated by 160 metres in the £1.5 million feasibility study. Whilst the study originally looked into the aviation marketing implication of runway length Airport management have now denied that the extension is for the use of heavier aircraft in the future, stating that the resurfacing and extension are to comply with the latest International safety standards. There has been a significant overspend on the project due to poor forex management of the Euro denominated components of the costs. It is thought that the Manx Treasury Minister may have been referring to the expense of the runway and the additional £6,515,000 control tower project when he stated in his 2009 Budget speech that the Isle of Man could no longer afford "Rolls Royce" projects.

Accidents and incidents
  • On 26 January 1935, Hillman's Airways de Havilland Dragon Rapide G-ACPO, operating a mail flight from Aldergrove Airport, Belfast to Stapleford Aerodrome, Abridge, Essex via Speke Airport, Liverpool, Lancashire crashed at Derbyhaven, Isle of Man, whilst attempting to divert to Ronaldsway during bad weather.
  • On 23 March 1936, United Airways Spartan Cruiser G-ADEL crashed at Ronaldsway. The aircraft was operating a mail flight from Hall Caine Airport, Ramsey. The aircraft was dismantled and departed the island on board SS Conister of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. It was repaired by its manufacturers and returned to service.
  • On 9 May 1938, de Havilland Express G-AENR of Isle of Man Air Services crashed on landing at Ronaldsway Airport. The aircraft was operating a mail flight from Speke Airport, Liverpool, Lancashire. Despite substantial damage to the port lower wing and both port engines, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service.
  • On 14 September 1938, de Havilland Express G-ADVK of Isle of Man Air Services lost the starboard inner propellor in flight whilst operating a flight from Speke to Ronaldsway. The propellor embedded itself in the fuselage of the aircraft. A successful landing was made at Ronaldsway.

Airlines and destinations


In 2010, 675,871 passengers travelled through the airport, a 4.6% reduction on the 2009 total of 708,127. Air freight at the airport peaked in the late 1990s at over 4,000 tonnes per annum, however the collapse of Emerald Airways significantly reduced cargo throughput and in 2010 only 404 tonnes passed through the airport.

Ground transport
Bus services are provided by Isle of Man Transport and routes 1 and 2 serve Douglas, Castletown, Port Erin and other destinations from the airport with hourly frequency, half hourly at peak times. The Isle of Man Railway also stops at the nearby Ronaldsway request stop, making possible a unique opportunity in the British Isles to travel to an airport behind a steam locomotive.

Security is provided by Aviation Security Officers of the Isle of Man Airport Police.

Airlines Destinations Aer Arann Dublin, London-City Blue Islands Guernsey, Jersey EasyJet Liverpool Flybe Bristol, Birmingham, Jersey, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester Seasonal: Brussels, Geneva, Southampton Seasonal charter: Ibiza, Máhon, Palma de Mallorca Flybe operated by Loganair Edinburgh, Glasgow-International Manx2 Belfast-City, Blackpool,Gloucestershire, Jersey, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle upon Tyne Seasonal: Anglesey, Galway Airlines Destinations DHL Express operated by Atlantic Airlines East Midlands FedEx Feeder operated by Air Contractors Dublin 10 Busiest Routes to and from Isle Of Man Airport (2009) Rank Airport Passengers handled % Change 2008 / 09 1 Manchester 142,142 10.8 2 London Gatwick 126,462 14.2 3 Liverpool 117,492 12.2 4 London City 60,521 107.6 5 Birmingham 46,932 5.1 6 Dublin 34,594 6.3 7 Blackpool 29,673 31.5 8 London Luton 27,322 28.2 9 Belfast City 17,662 35.4 10 Gloucestershire 16,872 2.5 Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority


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