It was located in the Newmains area of Renfrew, approximately 2 kilometres east of Abbotsinch Airfield which would eventually replace it. It consisted of a main terminal building and ancillary buildings, and a main runway which ran west south-west of the terminal.
Already in existence as a military facility during the First World War, it first handled scheduled flights in 1933 with the first regular destination being Campbeltown. In World War II it served as RAF Renfrew.
Despite the construction of a new terminal building (with a parabola arch) in 1954, it became evident that the airport was unable to cope with the increasing demands for domestic air travel in the 1960s. The final departure took place on 2 May 1966 - its destination being the new Glasgow Airport a few hundred metres away.
The site is now occupied by a Tesco supermarket and the M8 motorway; this straight and level section of motorway occupies the site of the runway. Opened in March 1968, the M8 connected the new Glasgow Airport to Bishopton in the west and Glasgow city centre (via Hillington) in the east. The entire airport was demolished in 1978. Arkleston Primary School (1972) and a Tesco superstore (1980) were built on the former terminal site, and the whole of the surrounding area is now covered with housing.
The only trace left of the airport is the Flying Scotsman pub which was the Hertz car rental building, opposite the terminal building.
The airport handled 138,146 passengers in its first year of operations. By the end of the decade, the airport was handling more than half a million passengers annually; one million passengers passed through the airport for the first time in the year 1964. In the year of the airport's closure, it handled 1.4 million passengers.
|Year||Number Of Passengers||% Change|
The airport features briefly in the second novel of a space opera series by Angus MacVicar, Return to the Lost Planet. One of the characters is about to fly back from Scotland to Berlin, but the hero and his companion join him at the last minute on the bus from St. Enoch, Glasgow, to the airport, and persuade him to stay and help them.