Dundee Airport Photographic Souvenirs

Dundee Airport has become unrecognizable from its humble origins when it was originally fitted with a grass runway in the 1960s.

Over the years the airport has been enlarged, modernized and improved and provided Dundee with a link to cities in the UK and Europe.

The Tay Road Bridge played its part in the development of air services from Dundee.

Willie Logan of Duncan Logan, the main contractors, used a light aircraft to fly to and from Dundee during the bridge construction, but sometimes the aircraft “rested” at Riverside.

Geoffrey Hoyle, then director of Mackay Brothers travel agents, and MAS Dow of Dundee Parks Department, which owns Riverside, persuaded Willie to allow his plane to be used on charter flights when not needed.

The first booking was made by the late Maurice McManus, then Lord Provost, and Mr. Dow, who traveled to London via Renfrew for talks with Parliamentary Aviation Secretary Mr. Neil Martin on the need for ‘an air service from Dundee.

Our next photo is from October 1963 and we see two painters refreshing the paint on the white fence of the airstrip.

The 1,100 yard strip has so far only been available for charter aircraft under 6,000 tonnes.

The Civil Aviation Licensing Authority eventually granted the airstrip official status, which meant that regular services could now be set up.

A windsock floats with Dundee in the background in this January 1965 photo.

The Riverside Air Strip control tower is pictured in 1966, which was a simple square wood and glass construction on the second floor.

The airport would become a vital transportation link for Tayside and North Fife, serving both business and leisure travelers.

The British Eagle Dove aircraft made the first scheduled passenger air flight from Riverside Airport in July 1966.

Its services to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick were short-lived due to the poor financial performance of British Eagle and the closure of the airfield in 1968.

The grass runway was replaced by an asphalt runway after the airfield reopened in 1970 and Loganair operated various services between 1971 and 1975.

The airport was granted “customs airport” status in 1982 and runway edge lights were added in 1983 with a new terminal extension.

Tayside Aviation began pilot training in Dundee in 1978 and during the 1980s Air Ecosse flew to various locations using Short 330 and 360 aircraft.

Currently, the only flight destinations available from Dundee Airport are London and Belfast, but services to Shetlands will be available from May 2022.

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