East Midlands Airport (IATA: EMA, ICAO: EGNX) is an international airport in the East Midlands of England, close to Castle Donington, Leicestershire, between Loughborough (10 miles (16 km)), Derby (12.5 miles (20 km)) and Nottingham(14 miles (23 km)); Leicester is (20 miles (32 km)) to the south. The airfield was originally built as a Royal Air Force station known as RAF Castle Donington in 1943, before being redeveloped as a civilian airport in 1965. Until 1982, British Midland had its head office on the airport property. BMI also had its maintenance base at the airport. Go Fly established a hub at East Midlands, and the operation has been strengthened since the airline's absorption by easyJet. The majority of BMI operations were ceded to a new low-cost subsidiary, bmibaby, in 2002.
In 2004 the airport was controversially renamed Nottingham East Midlands Airport. The name change, however, did not last long, and on 8 December 2006 the airport's name was reverted to East Midlands Airport.
Today the airport has established itself as a hub for low-fare airlines such as Jet2.com and Ryanair and tour operators like TUI Airways, which serve a range of domestic and European short-haul destinations. It is also a base for Flybe and Thomas Cook Airlines. Passenger numbers peaked in 2008 at 5.6 million but had declined to around 4.5 million in 2015, making it the 11th-busiest airport in the UK by passenger traffic. A major air cargo hub, it was the second-busiest UK airport for freight traffic in 2016, after London Heathrow.
The airport is owned by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the largest British-owned airport operator, which is controlled by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, with Manchester City Council retaining the controlling stake.
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