About Us

Welcome to Kirkwall airport – the gateway for the Orkney Islands

Kirkwall airport is the main airport on Orkney and is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL). It provides services to the Scottish mainland including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness as well as to Sumburgh Airport in Shetland.

History of Kirkwall Airport

The airfield was built and commissioned as RAF Grimsetter in 1940. The airfield formed part of the defences for the main fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow.

In 1943 the RAF handed over control of RAF Grimsetter to the Royal Navy, when it became HMS Robin.

The airfield came under civil control in 1948, owned by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
In 1986 control was passed to Highlands and Islands Airports, which was then a wholly owned subsidiary of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Ownership of HIAL passed to the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1995 and, subsequently, passed to Scottish Ministers, who are the current owners.

More Tourist Information
For the latest tourist information, what is on and places to visit and accommodation please visit our Visitors Section within Kirkwall airport. Or contact the local tourist board on www.visitorkney.com or www.visitscotland.com.