Cardiff Airport (CWL)
History, Facts and Overview
(Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales, UK)
The history of the city's airport dates back to the beginning of the 1940s, when a site close to Cardiff and in the Vale of Glamorgan was chosen as a wartime airfield. Sited next to the small village of Rhoose, the aerodrome soon became known as 'Glamorgan Rhoose Airport' and in the 1950s, commercial flights to Dublin commenced, together with further Irish and French cities.
By the late sixties, Cardiff Airport began to handle thousands of passengers each year with popular European charter flights enjoyed by many package holidaymakers. The runway was extended in the mid-1980s and at this stage, the airport began to serve over 250,000 every year, with routes offered to many Mediterranean resorts and even parts of Canada.
Now named 'Cardiff Wales Airport', many ambitious expansion plans were realised and included a huge maintenance hangar, an extended forecourt, terminal extensions, general modernisation and also much improved access by road. In 1995, the airport was privatised and sold to TBI Plc, being relaunched as the Cardiff International Airport (CWL).
Facilities at Cardiff Airport include three bureaux de change outlets and ATMs scattered around the terminal, while duty-free shopping is available in the departures lounge. Duty-free merchandise includes electronics goods, confectionery and perfumes, available at Travel Retailing outlet, with two branches of World News also nearby, along with the games zone with the latest arcade games.
A food court area offers snacks and hot food, and there is also a traditional pub with real ales on tap. Particularly popular is the rugby themed Scrum Half Bar, Café Ritazza and the Echo Bar, which enjoy views of the actual aircraft. Also at Cardiff Airport you will find baby care rooms, an information counter and the 51° Lounge, a spacious executive lounge open daily between 05:00 and 21:00, with inexpensive membership fees.