Aberdeen airport opens pre-flight smoking zone

Aberdeen Airport Building

The chief at Aberdeen International Airport has decided to establish a special airside smoking zone at the busy airport to enable smokers to use a cigarette before boarding their planes.

The smoking zone was opened to the travellers on May 9, along with the major departure area, for customers who have been processed through security and are awaiting their flights. The smoking zone was set up after over 400 people who participated in a review in 2012 said they would like to see an airside facility established at the airport.

An airport spokeswoman mentioned: “It is created to lower the number of full terminal evacuations. Many such evacuations are created when travellers smoke in prohibited areas, activating the smoke alarms at a cost of a lot of money per evacuation and leading to major disruption and delays.

“Unexpectedly, even 59% of non-smokers who participated in the study said they backed an airside smoking zone.”

She added: “Since that review was done the airport team have been working on the task, to guarantee it is accessible, compliant and secure, and on May 9 the facility was presented to the passengers for the first time – before the planned timescale. It is hoped that the smoking zone will also, as an added benefit, encourage travellers to spend more of their airport visit staying in the departure area, reducing instances of smoking before the terminal building.”

But the spokeswoman also explained: “Those people who try, they will pay a fee of £1, with the money being used to support the maintenance and servicing of the facility.”

Kevin Douglas, the Terminal Operations Manager at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “The smoking zone was created in accordance with Scottish legislation, and of course is compliant from a safety and security viewpoint. We are a securely controlled and regulated business, and establishing smoking airside area must agree with it tight controls.

“We hope that the facility will be well received by our clients and will minimize or remove the difficulty related to smoking in a restricted area, such secondhand smoke.”

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