Glasgow International Airport (GLA)
History, Facts and Overview
In the early 1930s, the RAF selected a site next to the village of Abbotsinch for their airfield, within the area of Renfrew. Strategically located close to both Paisley and Glasgow, the airfield went by the name of Renfrew Airport for many years and was used for much training during the Second World War, when many Spitfires could be seen on the runways.
The military continued using Glasgow Airport until the early sixties, when the city decided that it needed a new airport. Renfrew's airfield was quickly redeveloped and a new terminal built, opened in 1966 and cost just over £4 million. Passenger flights soon began, linking cities such as Edinburgh and mainly UK destinations, along with some services to nearby European locations.
In the late 1980s, much of the transatlantic traffic moved from nearby Prestwick Airport and the sited was officially renamed as the Glasgow International Airport (GLA). Soon after, the terminal building was extended and more recently, the no-frills airlines of both My Travel Airways and easyJet arrived.
The main facilities at Glasgow Airport include currency exchange and ATM cash machines, which can be found on both floors of the main concourse. There is also a post office and a pharmacy situated in the main concourse, as well as a play area for children and the Game Grid video arcade. Glasgow Airport is also well stocked with restaurants and bars throughout the terminal, such as Caffé Nero, the Food Village, Garfunkel's, and the Drum and Monkey, where traditional fried breakfasts and hearty pub food have become specialities.
Those planning to visit the airport's shop will find plenty of opportunities to spend. Just past security, the outlets of Dixon's Tax Free and World Duty Free are both especially popular, along with a range of Scottish gift ideas available as Ness and Tartan Plus.
Corporate passengers should note that there are good business facilities at Glasgow Airport and at nearby hotels. The Glasgow Airport Business Centre is located close by and boasts extensive facilities, while there is actually a business workstation onsite and on the first floor of the airport terminal building, offering basic amenities.