Parking at Inverness

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    At least 2 hours prior to plane take off
    Minimum of 30 minutes after plane lands

    Inverness Airport Parking

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    Inverness Airport parking

    There are three on-site car parks at Inverness Airport: two short-stay and one long-stay. Disabled parking spaces are available in both car parks. You can find parking deals for both short-stay and long-stay parking at Inverness Airport by searching here on Looking4Parking.com.

    Inverness Airport operates a ticketed parking system, so it is important to remember to take your ticket with you and keep it safe whilst you’re away. Parking can be pre-booked online or paid for at the payment facilities located inside and outside the terminal building.

    Long-stay parking

    The long-stay car park at Inverness Airport is located 2,625 feet (800 metres) away from the terminal building. Access to it can be found to the right of the terminal building and cars parked there are charged at a standard daily rate for stays of up to 72 hours, with a reduced rate applicable thereafter.

    Short-stay parking

    The short-stay car parks at INV are named Car Park 1 and Car Park 2. The furthest short-stay parking bay from the terminal building is conveniently located just 525 feet (160 metres) from the entrance to the airport.

    You will not be charged for your first 10 minutes of parking in either of the two short-stay parking facilities, but there are various rates for stays of 10 minutes to an hour, one-three hours, three-12 hours and 12-24 hours.

    There is no limit on how long you can spend in the short-stay car parks, but various charges apply depending on how long you leave your car there.

    Disabled parking

    Inverness Airport provides disabled car parking spaces at the points nearest to the terminal building in all three of its car parks. There are 10 disabled parking bays in the short-stay car park nearest to the terminal building (Car Park 1) and 18 disabled bays in the long-stay car park. Call points are in place to allow anyone using the disabled parking bays to contact the airport's information desk to request special assistance.

    Long-stay parking rates apply to Blue Badge holders using the short-stay car parks, as long as badges are presented at the airport information desk at the point of payment.

    Pick-up and drop-off

    The first 10 minutes of parking in either of the short-stay car parks at Inverness Airport are free of charge, making them ideal for anyone dropping off passengers at the airport or waiting to pick people up from the airport.

    The short-stay car parks are located close enough to the terminal building for the airport's WiFi to be accessible to most devices, should you need access to online messaging services when waiting for friends or family members to arrive.

    Guide to Inverness Airport

    Urquhart Castle along Loch Ness lake in Scotland

    The city of Inverness is known as the capital of the Highlands, so Inverness Airport (INV) is a vital hub that connects the north of Scotland with the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe. It regularly serves more than 600,000 passengers per year, making it one of the country's 25 busiest airports in terms of traffic.

    Flybe and easyJet are the largest airlines operating at Inverness, running scheduled domestic flights throughout the year and a limited number of international services. The airport is a key connection point on the Highlands and Islands network that allows people to travel throughout the remote areas of northern Scotland and its surrounding islands.

    The airport has two runways, the longest of which is 6,191 feet (1,887 metres) in length and can accommodate short-to-medium haul aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and 757 and the Airbus A319 and A321.

    The airport celebrated its 75th birthday in 2015 and was named Scottish Airport of the Year in the 2017 Scottish Transport awards following the opening of a number of new routes, which led to record passenger numbers.

    Location of Inverness Airport

    Inverness Airport is located 8.1 miles (13 kilometres) outside the city centre in an area of the Scottish Highlands known as Dalcross. The journey to the airport by car from Inverness city centre takes around 19 minutes, via the A96 and B9039 roads heading east out of the city.

    There is a bus service operated by Stagecoach that runs every 30 minutes from Inverness Bus Station and drops passengers within a three-minute walk of the terminal building. There is currently no direct rail link to the airport, but Inverness Railway Station is only 16 minutes away from the airport by taxi and there are regular rail services into Inverness from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as a daily service from London.

    INV is 161 miles (259.1 kilometres) away from Edinburgh, 174 miles (280 kilometres) away from Glasgow and 564 miles (907.7 kilometres) away from London.

    History of Inverness Airport

    Inverness has a long history of aviation and its story began in 1933, when Captain Ernest Edmund 'Ted' Fresson, OBE, established Highland Airways and, in doing so, created the first passenger service from the city, connecting it with the town of Wick in the far north of Scotland and also with Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands. Fresson was a trained engineer who volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps in World War I and later went on to design and build his own aircraft. After spending six years running a business that provided people with private flights around the United Kingdom, he garnered the support of local businesses for his Highland Airways venture. The first flights from Inverness took place in May 1933 from the Longman aerodrome, but the site was soon deemed unsuitable by Fresson, who identified Dalcross as an ideal spot for relocation.

    Before Highland Airways had the chance to become properly established at its new home, the site was given over to the Royal Air Force and the Air Ministry built the airfield in 1940 for use during World War II. New runways were constructed during that war and RAF Dalcross is said to have been among the first UK airports to have tarmac runways, which enabled the launch of warplanes to far-flung destinations.

    The site was renamed Inverness Airport at the end of the war and flights from INV became available to the public in 1947. Commercial services developed over the next three decades and flights from Inverness to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) commenced in the mid-1970s, before routes to Manchester (MAN) and London Gatwick (LGW) were added in the 1980s.

    The arrival of low-cost carriers in the 1990s helped to open up access to Inverness and elevate the city’s status as well as its prospects for business and tourism. Budget airline easyJet began running daily flights from Inverness to London Luton Airport (LTN) in 1996 and the Scottish Executive helped to fund additional routes to places like Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands and Leeds after the turn of the century.

    The airport is owned by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited; plans for a new terminal building and a railway station on-site have been in the pipeline since 2015.

    Airport facilities

    Inverness Airport might be small but it has a long, proud history. The Highland Aviation Museum, located on the Dalcross Industrial Estate adjacent to the airport, pays tribute to that history and ensures that all who pass through INV are made aware of the important role it played in turning Inverness from a remote Highland city to an international tourist destination.

    The facilities inside the terminal building are of a good standard and provide passengers with a surprisingly wide selection of food and drink options for such a small airport. There are two cafés, a restaurant and bar, a whisky cellar, a shop selling local products such as Highland tweed and ceramics, a traditional Scottish pub and even a candle shop.

    An executive lounge and a business suite make the offering at Inverness Airport just as suited to people travelling for work as it is for anyone heading off on holiday. The terminal building is open from 5am to 10:30pm, seven days a week.

    Facilities at Inverness Airport include:

    • ATMs
    • Business suite
    • Car rental
    • Chapel (multi-denominational)
    • Disabled access
    • Food and drink
      • Restaurant
      • Cafés
      • Pub
    • Information desk
    • Lost property
    • Lounge
    • Parking facilities
    • Shopping
      • Newsagent
      • Souvenir shop
      • Whisky cellar
      • Candle shop
    • Smoking area
    • Toilets
    • WiFi

    Inverness Airport hotel and parking

    There are no on-site hotels at Inverness Airport, but there is one located within a seven-minute drive of the terminal along with a number of local guesthouses.

    The Gun Lodge Hotel dates back to 1769 and offers visitors to Inverness Airport a slice of Scottish history. High-ranking officers in King George II's army stayed there during the Jacobite uprising, but today it provides a blend of original features and comfortable en-suite accommodation, with free WiFi, an inclusive continental breakfast and a parking spot for the duration of your stay.

    Just one minute's walk down the road from the Gun Lodge Hotel is Inchyre Guest House, which offers bed and breakfast in a Victorian house that was built in 1901. Hosts Jess and Dougie offer a range of double and twin rooms, all with en-suite facilities and free on-street parking available nearby.

    If you happen to be looking for a rural escape in the Highlands in the vicinity of Inverness Airport, Leanach Farm Bed and Breakfast is only 13 minutes' drive away from the terminal. This four-star guesthouse is set on a working farm and boasts modern, luxurious facilities as well as demonstrations of live sheepdog trials and all the sights and smells of the farm. Parking at Leanach Farm is free for the duration of your stay.

    Top things to do in Inverness Airport

    Sample the local ale

    The only organic brewery in Scotland is located just north of Inverness, but you can taste its produce without leaving the terminal building at INV. Black Isle Brewery draws its water from sources deep in the Highlands and uses ingredients that are not treated with chemicals to create its unique beers. You can try them for yourself at the Stag and Thistle Bar and Kitchen, which is located just after the security turnstiles at Inverness Airport.

    If you're just arriving at Inverness and you enjoy the Black Isle Brewery's produce, you can head into the city and sample a few more of its ales at its city centre bar or, indeed, head to the brewery itself for a tour.

    Get down to business

    The Exchange at Inverness Airport is a business suite that comes fully equipped with everything you need to get on with some work, whether you're alone or travelling with colleagues.

    The Exchange has been designed to accommodate one-to-one meetings, people seeking some privacy while they work and conferences of up to 50 people, with facilities in place such as projectors, flip charts, conference telephones and fast WiFi.

    Refreshments can be provided throughout the day, with local suppliers catering for all manner of dietary requirements and stipulations.

    You can book The Exchange at the information desk inside Inverness Airport, email or call (+44) 01667 464000.

    Dine with the family

    Inverness Airport's terminal building features two family-friendly eateries where you and your loved ones can enjoy a bite to eat while watching the planes take off and land on the runway. Café Rapide claims to serve French Food, Fast and the menu includes croissants, baguettes, croquettes, salads and hot and cold drinks. This bright and breezy eatery is open from 5:30am until the last flight of the day.

    If you fancy taking a bit more time over your food, you might want to try D'Lish, where the menu is full of homemade dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Like Café Rapide, D'Lish provides views of the runway to keep the kids entertained and serves famous Walkers shortbread if you're after a taste of the region whilst you admire the resplendent scenery of the Cawdor Hills and the Highlands beyond.

    Discover handmade Scottish candles

    While Scotland is known for its traditional tweed and whisky production, the Buth Bheag Candle Company produces handcrafted Scottish gifts that might surprise your loved ones back home.

    The company's shop at Inverness Airport stocks a bewildering range of 100 per cent soy wax candles that are poured by hand in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

    Hebridean candles make for wonderful souvenirs of a trip to Scotland. The shop also sells locally made glass and Harris Tweed jewellery, all of which can be taken onboard your flight or collected on your return to Inverness Airport if they won't fit in your luggage.

    Power up and recharge

    The aforementioned Stag and Thistle Bar and Kitchen is not just a great place to drink beer; it also serves fresh filter coffee every morning, along with hot bacon rolls.

    If you're feeling a bit bleary-eyed upon an early arrival at INV, you can choose your breakfast from the Stag and Thistle's extensive range of deli items and hot drinks and take advantage of the charging points available throughout the bar to charge up your mobile devices. In the meantime, you can sit back and enjoy the sights of planes taking off and landing against the backdrop of the beautiful Highland landscapes.

    Top things to do near Inverness Airport

    Ruins of Scotland Urquhart Castle near Loch Ness

    Tour the Black Isle Brewery

    If you're a fan of real ales or if you just fancy a glimpse inside the workings of a unique Highland brewing company, a visit to the Black Isle Brewery is a great way to spend your layover at Inverness Airport.

    Run by a Canadian, an Italian and two Scots, Black Isle has been creating unique beers that have gained popularity throughout the UK and across the world since David Gladwin founded the brewery in 1998 and it brews up to 10,000 litres (2,200 gallons) of entirely organic beer each day before packing it all into bottles and barrels.

    The brewery sits on its own 125-acre (50.6-hectare) farm, where organic barley is grown for use in the beer and 200 black Hebridean sheep roam the fields.

    Brewery tours at Black Isle offer a chance to taste the beer and chat to the brewers and are available from Monday to Saturday all-year-round, as well as Sundays from Easter through to September.

    The brewery is just 13.8 miles (22.2 kilometres) from the airport and takes less than 25 minutes to reach by car.

    Explore an ancient Scottish castle

    Cawdor Castle was built in the late-14th century and has since become home to a vast array of intriguing objects, historic tapestries, fine furniture and unique artworks.

    Located just 12 minutes' drive from Inverness Airport, the castle is an ideal place to head during your layover if you fancy absorbing a bit of Scottish history. It is a place that children will enjoy, too, with three spectacular gardens to explore around the castle itself and even a nine-hole golf course for sporty types to enjoy.

    Tours of the castle run throughout the year and private group tours can be booked in advance.

    Go dolphin-spotting

    The city of Inverness sits on the banks of the Moray Firth, an area of water that is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including some of the largest bottlenose dolphins in the world. It is thought that around 220 dolphins live in the Inner Moray Firth, close to Inverness, growing up to 13 feet (four metres) in length.

    A number of companies offer boat trips around the Moray Firth; a ride out on the water is a great way to clear your head after a long flight to Inverness. Phoenix Boat Trips runs cruises that provide views of popular tourist attractions such as Culloden Moor and Fort George, as well as spectacular views of the Great Glen.

    Most importantly, though, every cruise around the Moray Firth offers the chance to see some of the local wildlife, including various combinations of dolphins, seals, porpoises, whales and even basking sharks, depending on the time of year, with gannets, guillemots, herons, osprey and peregrine falcons flying overhead.

    Go on a Highland adventure

    If you've got some time to spare when you arrive at Inverness Airport and you have a thirst for the great outdoors, there are plenty of experienced adventurers you can contact who will be only too happy to take you out into the Highlands for some high-octane fun.

    Whether you fancy scaling a mountain, taking a kayak down a river, climbing a rock face or walking through a gorge, you can get in touch with companies like Kushi Adventures, who specialise in outdoor adventure activities for small groups, families and individuals. Kushi Adventures provides training and safety equipment for all the activities it offers and its team of adventurers have decades of experience between them.

    You can contact them by emailing or by phoning (+44) 07833 462707 to arrange your adventure in the beautiful surroundings of the Scottish Highlands.

    Become a Scottish history buff

    If you decide to head into Inverness city centre during your layover at INV and you fancy some peace and quiet while you learn about the history and heritage of the region, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery might be just the place.

    It’s free to enter and contains a number of permanent collections as well as a year-round programme of varied exhibitions. The art you'll see on display features something to suit all tastes, with local artists being profiled alongside old masters. When your legs get tired from exploring the collections, you can settle down to a cup of tea and a piece of shortbread in Cobbs Tea House.

    The museum is open all-year-round from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. The opening hours are slightly reduced between November and the end of March.

    Which terminal?

    The majority of flights into and out of Inverness Airport each day are domestic services to destinations such as London, Manchester, Belfast and Birmingham, but the handful of airlines operating at Inverness also operate routes to European destinations throughout the year.

    INV is an important gateway for travellers heading to the outer reaches of Scotland, with regular flights running to Stornoway (Isle of Lewis), Kirkwall (Orkney) and Sumburgh (Shetland).

    British AirwaysMain terminal
    easyJetMain terminal
    FlybeMain terminal
    KLMMain terminal
    LoganairMain terminal
    Newmarket HolidaysMain terminal
    ThomsonMain terminal
    Airline Terminal

    How to get to Inverness Airport

    Car

    If you're travelling to Inverness Airport by car and you're using a sat nav system, the post code you’ll need is IV2 7JB.

    The journey from central Inverness is relatively straightforward and takes around 17 minutes. Starting in the city centre, you need to drive along Old Edinburgh Road/B853 and follow signs for the A96. After three miles (4.8 kilometres) of driving on the A96, you will see signs for the airport telling you to turn left onto the B9039. The terminal building is a 2.5-mile (four-kilometre) drive down this road and is on your right.

    Bus

    Stance 4 at Inverness Bus Station is the place to catch the number 11 service operated by Stagecoach, also known as the JetBus. The services run every 30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes during the evening, with journeys from the bus station to the airport taking around 30 minutes.

    Train

    There is no direct rail link to Inverness Airport, but Inverness Train Station is only 15 minutes away by taxi.

    Taxi

    The terminal concession at Inverness Airport is operated by Inverness Taxis. For pre-bookings, phone (+44) 01463 222222 or email.

    Useful tips

    Pop round to the aviation museum

    The Highland Aviation Museum is located at the Dalcross Industrial Estate just over the road from Inverness Airport. Even if you've only got a short layover at INV, you can pop round to see the collection of aircraft and parts gathered there and even climb inside some of the open cockpits to get a sense of what it's like to be a pilot. You can even strap yourself into a real ejector seat – but don't worry, the museum doesn't perform live ejections.

    Keep an eye on the airport website

    Live flight information is displayed on the official Inverness Airport website. If you want to make sure your flight is running on time before heading to the terminal, you can check its status by visiting www.invernessairport.co.uk.

    Use your 10 minutes of free parking

    If you're not staying at Inverness Airport for long, don't loiter in your car outside the terminal building or on the roads coming into the airport; just head straight into one of the short-stay car parks (Car Park 1 or Car Park 2) and take advantage of the 10 minutes of free parking available there.

    Inverness Airport FAQs

    What are the size restrictions on hand luggage at INV?

    The maximum dimensions of carry-on luggage for all flights departing from INV are set by the Department for Transport at 22 inches (56 cm) x 17.7 inches (45 cm) x 9.8 inches (25 cm). These measurements include all handles, external pockets, wheels and straps.

    Some airlines will have more restrictive hand luggage rules, so it is best to check your booking information if you are unsure.

    Can I take liquids on board my flight to or from Inverness Airport?

    The policy on liquids at Inverness Airport security is similar to that of most UK airports: all liquids must be in a container with a maximum volume of 100 ml (100 grams) and all the liquids you are taking with you must be able to fit inside a clear, sealable plastic bag with a volume of one litre (1,000 grams). Any liquids with a volume of more than 100 ml need to be checked into your hold baggage.

    Before you pass through the security checks at INV, make sure you've got your liquids out of your hand luggage and into a sealed plastic bag, ready for the security staff to inspect. This will reduce the likelihood of delays due to extra baggage inspections.

    Can I smoke in Inverness Airport?

    Smoking is not permitted in the terminal building at INV, so it is advisable to smoke before you pass through security. You can do so at the designated smoking area outside the southern end of the terminal.

    If you are on a flight arriving at INV, you will need to go through passport control and the arrivals area to the designated smoking area outside the building before lighting up.

    What is the geographic location of Inverness Airport?

    The coordinates for INV are as follows:

    57.5422 N

    4.0496 W

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