|Szczytno-Szymany International Airport
Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy
|IATA: SZY – ICAO: EPSY
||Porty Lotnicze „Mazury – Szczytno” Sp. z o.o.
||463 ft / 141 m
||53°28′55″N 20°56′16″E / 53.48194°N 20.93778°ECoordinates: 53°28′55″N 20°56′16″E / 53.48194°N 20.93778°E
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport (IATA: SZY, ICAO: EPSY) is a currently inoperative Polish regional airport located in the village Szymany, some 10 km from the center of the city of Szczytno in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in the North of Poland. It is the only airport in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. As of 2007 the airport does not have any year-round scheduled service, and in fact is not open for traffic. When active, it catered mostly to general aviation, charter flights and seasonally scheduled connections in the summer. It used to have scheduled passenger service to Warsaw.
Airlines and destinations
- none (For several years now, the airport has not had any scheduled passenger traffic, and presently, serves no traffic at all.)
The airfield was built in the 1950s for use by the military. It was important for being near to the intelligence facility in Stare Kiejkuty. In 1996 the airfield was declared surpulus to military requirements and transferred to the agency responsible for selling off military property to civilians (Agencja Mienia Wojskowego). The agency leased it to the company Porty Lotnicze „Mazury-Szczytno” which planned to turn it into a civilian airport. Between 1996 and 2003, in the summer months, the airport had regular, weekly connections to Warsaw and cities in Germany. The company came close to bankruptcy in 2004 and appears to be deeply in debt. The concrete surface of the airport is sometimes rented out for various events. At present air traffic is suspended. Various sources of financing are being sought for upgrading the airport and again opening it to traffic.
Alleged involvement in extraordinary renditions and secret CIA prison
The airport gained attention in the press in 2005, when it was alleged to be a so-called black site involved in the CIA's network of extraordinary renditions. Terrorist suspects were to be secretly held, and even tortured, in violation of Polish law, by the CIA. Flight records show that an airplane leased by the CIA flying from Kabul to Guantanamo Bay made a stop in Szymany. Officials from the airport have confirmed that some of these flights bypassed normal customs-clearing procedures, and that during the time of these landings, the airport regularly received visits by cars bearing markings associated with the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence training school outside the nearby village of Stare Kiejkuty.
As recently as November, 2006, the European Parliament investigative commission led by Claudio Fava had been told, when asked for the flight logs of 11 specific flights observed to have transited through Szymany, that "[the records] have [not] been retained, have been faxed and destroyed, and finally said to have been saved in an unspecified place." The commission report also quotes Szymany officials as confirming six occasions in 2002 and 2003 when Gulfstream jets bearing civilian registration numbers had landed at the airport, bypassing customs clearance. Airport officials had been directly ordered not to approach the aircraft, and vehicles bearing military registration numbers affiliated with the nearby base at Stare Kiejkuty awaited the arrival of each aircraft.
In June 2008 a New York Times article claimed citing unnamed CIA officers that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was held in a secret facility in Poland near Szymany Airport and it was there where the he was interrogated and the waterboarding was applied before Khalid Sheikh Mohammed began to cooperate.
In February 2010 Polish officials recanted previous denials, and admitted that at least six CIA flights passed through Szymany in 2003.
See: Black site
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53° 28' 54.69" N
020° 56' 15.69" E
||004° E (01/06)
||SEE REMARKS FOR OPERATING HOURS OR COMMUNICATIONS FOR POSSIBLE HOURS
|Daylight Saving Time
||Last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October
||6562 x 197 feet
2000 x 60 meters
||Distance From Field
||Bearing From Navaid
||Avbl 48 hr PPR
||Opr 0600-1400Z++ Mon-Sat.
||PPR rqr 24 hr for domestic, 48 hr for intl air tfc.
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