Southeast of Vienna is Vienna International Airport. In 2005, there were over 230,900 separate flights departing or arriving, and the airport was used by 15.86 million passengers. After a several year long negotiation with surrounding communities it was decided to increase the capacity of airport flights with the addition of a third runway. Currently the airport is undergoing a major enlargement (construction of several new buildings) to prepare for an expected increase in passengers.
Vienna International Airport is the leader in the number of flight destinations in Eastern Europe: 42 destinations provide optimal service for passengers (source: OAG, Official Airline Guides Inc., Nov. 2006). This OAG survey showed Vienna in first place followed by Frankfurt (39 destinations), Prague (30 destinations), Munich (29 destinations), Budapest (21 destinations), Milan MXP (21 destinations) and Zurich (16 destinations).
Originally built as a military airport in 1938, it was taken over by the British in 1945. In 1954, the Betriebsgesellschaft was founded, and the airport replaced Aspern as Vienna's (and Austria's) principal aerodrome. There was just one runway, which in 1959 was expanded to measure 3,000 metres. The erection of the new airport building starting in 1960. In 1972 another runway was built.
The airport received Olympic teams as Austria has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Pope John Paul II also used the airport during his visits to Austria. On December 27, 1985, the El Al ticket counter was attacked by Palestinian terrorists.
The airport formerly featured a Harrods, but it closed in 2003.
Presently, Vienna International Airport has three terminals. A provisory Terminal (1A) was built to offer more place for low cost carriers. In 2006, the airport started building a new terminal, SKYLINK, which will make the airport more capable of dealing with higher passenger volumes (2006: 17.3 million). This new terminal will also make the airport capable of handling bigger aircraft, such as the Airbus A380.
Because of its constant growth in passenger numbers and freight, Vienna International Airport has decided to enlarge Austria's biggest airport with several new and respectively adapted buildings.
- New Tower: A new Tower was built, directly besides the World Trade Center. With its 109 meters of height, it allows a free overlook of the entire airport area and it offers another spectacular sight: a night laser show, which should welcome the passengers even from the airplane.
- New Terminal: Due to constant passenger and freight growth, Vienna International Airport has planned to build another Terminal, SKYLINK, which should be able to compensate higher passenger rates. Construction started in 2006 and will last until late 2008. If there is still an enormous amount of passenger growth, the Masterplan 2015 sees an enlargement of SKYLINK.
- Third Runway: Due to higher aviation rates, a third runway will be necessary for the airport. A mediation process was held, and the start of the construction of the third runway will be in 2009.
- Railway station: The underground railway station will be enlarged and a connection to Bratislava will be constructed. Additionally the CAT, City Airport Train, which connects the center of Vienna with the airport in just 16 minutes, will receive a new underground railway station.
Flughafen Wien AG
Vienna International Airport
P.O. Box 1
A-1300 Vienna Airport, Austria
E-mail: v at viennaairport com
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2006.
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