Contact the press office

If you have any media enquiries, including requests to film or take photographs, please contact the press office directly by email or contact +44 1446 729311

Please note: the Press Office is for media only and we are unable to respond to general enquiries. Please call the main airport switchboard on +44 1446 711 111 for customer information.

Filming and photography

A Filming, Radio and Photography Policy is available to download from this page with information regarding commercial or other filming, recording or photography on site.

It is necessary for all media who require access to the airport site to read and comply with Cardiff Airport's policy, and media are required to fill in a filming and photography permit on arrival at the airport confirming that they have read and agree with the policy. The permit must be kept with the film, radio or photography crew at all times when on site to be used as confirmation of permission for access to the airport.

Download the filming and photography policy

Freedom of Information

Please email all FOI requests to 

Key facts

Cardiff Airport is an important part of the transport infrastructure in Wales and a major contributor to the local economy, supporting 2,400 aviation-related jobs.  As the national airport for Wales, it drives over £246m of direct economic benefit to the region every year with over 30% of passengers being visitors to the country. Prior to COVID-19 passenger growth had reached over 50% since the Airport came under public ownership in 2013. This growth reflects the Airport’s position as not only a point of departure, but also as a key international gateway for visitors to the UK.

The Airport's runway is 2,392m long and 46m wide and, on average, up to 25 aircraft can take off and land every hour. Take off and landing over either the sea or agricultural land ensures that the Airport has a low noise impact on the neighbouring community.

The Airport is situated in the Vale of Glamorgan, just 13 miles from junction 33 of the M4 and around 30 minutes from Cardiff city centre. 

In March 2013, Cardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh Government. Since then the Airport has undergone a number of changes and improvements to improve and enhance the customer journey.

Cardiff Airport forms part of the Welsh Government’s St Athan – Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone and is a key contributor to the local economy. For more information on the Enterprise Zone please visit the Business Wales website.

Airport history

The history of Cardiff Airport on its present site extends back over 70 years to the early 1940s when the Air Ministry requisitioned land in the rural Vale of Glamorgan to set up a wartime satellite aerodrome and training base for RAF Spitfire pilots.

The original Cardiff Airport operated at Pengam Moors (Cardiff Bay) from 1931 to 1954. It was the birth place of Cambrian Airways, a major Welsh Airline for many years at the Rhoose site. Construction work on the existing site commenced in 1941, and the airfield officially began life on 7 April 1942 when it was taken over by No 53 Operational Training Unit.

The commercial potential of the runway was recognised in the early 1950s with Aer Lingus starting a service to Dublin in 1952. A new terminal building followed, along with flights to France, Belfast and Cork. An escalation in holiday charter business resulted in passenger throughput exceeding 100,000 in 1962.

In 1965, control of the Airport was transferred from the Ministry of Defence to Glamorgan County Council. With the first transatlantic flight in 1971, further investment led to the development of the current terminal building and control tower. The main runway was then extended to double its length to 7,000 ft, which enabled the Airport to accommodate wide bodied aircraft.

Local government reorganisation in the 1970s resulted in the transfer of the Airport's ownership to the three County Councils of South, Mid and West Glamorgan, the successors of the former Glamorgan County Council. The growth in the popularity of charter traffic to the Mediterranean saw passenger levels soar to 250,000 in the early 1980s. New links were also established between Cardiff and Canada.

1986 saw a further 750ft extension 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. Transatlantic links were developed, with charter flights to Florida in addition to the previously established links with Canada.

The runway extension, enabling the Airport to handle 747 jumbo jets, was instrumental in attracting the British Airways Maintenance facility to Cardiff Airport. The maintenance hangar is one of the largest in the world and provides heavy airframe and engineering maintenance for the British Airways fleet and third party carriers.

The early 1990s saw a significant boost to the Airport's scheduled services when Manx Airlines established their European Air Route Hub at Cardiff, offering daily services to key business destinations within Europe and the UK. Consequently scheduled passenger levels exceeded 100,000 for the first time in a single year.

In 1992 passenger numbers soared by 22% to 743,219 by the end of the year. Additional charter and scheduled services contributed to the rise in traffic, as did major increases in aircraft capacity. 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.

A series of major expansion projects, designed to boost the capacity of the Terminal Building and enhance overall operational efficiency, commenced in early 1993. The projects 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.

In April 1995, due to planned local government re-organisation in Wales, the Airport was privatised, with shares being sold to Welsh property and development firm, TBI plc. In 2006, Cardiff Airport invested £7 million on developments to accommodate passenger growth. The Airport was part of the TBI network, which owns, operates or provides services at 13 airports in five countries.

In March 2009 Cardiff Airport revealed a revised name and brand following a brand review involving consultation with a number of key stakeholders. The name 'Cardiff Airport' and 'Maes Awyr Caerdydd' replaced Cardiff International Airport, and a new visual identity and logo was also revealed.

In March 2013, Cardiff Airport was purchased by the Welsh Government and a board of Non-Executive Directors was put in place to support the Executive team on business development and to encourage further growth. Since its purchase, Cardiff Airport has continued to operate as a limited company and has undergone a number of changes and improvements to enhance the customer journey. The improvements include welcoming new airlines and increasing route availability; re-furbishing the terminal building; opening a new landside cafe – Caffi Cwtch; updating the security search area; improving car park infrastructure and landscaping the terminal surroundings.

Local historian Geoff Jones has written a book about the history of Cardiff Airport entitled "Cardiff Airport at Rhoose - 70 Years of Aviation History". To order a copy go to:





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