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Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu International Airport

Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu International Airport picture

Bucharest "Aurel Vlaicu" International Airport


The first flights in Baneasa area took place in 1909 and they were done by the French pilot and aviation pioneer Louis Blériot. In 1912 the first flight school in Romania was opened on Baneasa airfield. This makes Baneasa airport the oldest continuously operating airport in Eastern Europe, and among the oldest five airports in the world. In 1920, the airport headquartered the first aviation company in Romania, and one of the earliest in the world, the CFRNA (The French - Romanian Company for Air Navigation), the precursor of the Romanian national airline, TAROM. In 1923 the CFRNA built the industrial facilities for aircraft maintenance in Baneasa; on that base the aerospace company Romaero was created in the 1960s.

The current terminal building was designed in the late 1940s and opened in 1952. At that time it was considered one of the finest architectural features of Bucharest. The building consists of a central dome with three distinct wings which represents an airplane propeller with three blades.

During the communist period, Baneasa Airport was TAROM's domestic hub, while Otopeni Airport was used as an international hub. In the early 2000s, TAROM moved all its activities to Otopeni (renamed Henri Coanda International Airport). Today, the airport is becoming an increasingly important hub for business aviation and for low cost airlines, being the main hub of Blue Air.

City Access

Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu International Airport picture

The airport is situated only 8 km north of the Bucharest city centre and is accessible by RATB buses 131, 335 and Airport Express 783, RATB tramway 5 and taxi. An extension of Line M4 of the Bucharest Metro to Aurel Vlaicu International, which will link it to the Main Train Station and the larger Henri Coanda International Airport, was approved in June 2006 and is currently in its planning stage.

From as low as 20-30 passengers per month in 2001-2002, BBU grew to 40.000 passengers in 2004 and to about 385.000 passengers in 2005, representing a 330% increase from the previous year. The increase is the largest recorded during one year in the history of modern air transport. Over 700.000 passengers and more than 8000 flights have used the airport in 2006.

The 2007 low cost "invasion"
The first low cost airline established at BBU was Blue Air in 2004. Starting January 2007 many other European low fare airlines (Sky Europe, Wizz Air, Germanwings) have started new routes from Bucharest BBU to popular European destinations. Thus, the airport traffic could double in 2007 (compared to 2006) raising a question mark regarding airport's outdated infrastructure being able to keep up with the traffic growth. The airport was closed for almost two months in the summer of 2007 for modernization, with further improvement, as well as enlargements, planned in the following years.

EasyJet was set to launch services to Milan and London Gatwick from 29 October 2007. However as Easyjet was not satisfied with the operational requirements of Baneasa, it has temporarily moved services to Otopeni. Easyjet will continue to fly from Otopeni after March as they are still not satisfied with the operational requirements at Baneasa. They were set to start services on the 30 March 2008.


Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu International Airport picture

The building is a late 1940s design, and was not built to cope with 800.000 passengers per year and departures every 25 minutes. As such, the facilities are extremely undersized and get crowded.

The airport just about copes with the amount of traffic it receives, however on arrival there is only one tiny conveyor belt and there is often a large queue for passport control.

The main concourse in the airport is the centre of the airport, long queues can form for check in as there are only six check in desks for the whole airport. There is also a kiosk selling refreshments, a car hire desk, an ATM, Bureau De Change and ticket counters for the airlines using the airport. There is also a bar in the centre of the concourse.

Departures consists of one tiny lounge which fills up quickly and a tiny duty free shop. There is also another duty free shop selling tobacco which also sells refreshments.

There is basically no arrivals waiting area or lounge. Passengers pass through passport control, reclaim their bags, then pass through a door, and they find themselves on the lawn in front of the airport.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the airport and there are no desiginated smoking areas anywhere.

The building cannot be expanded, because of it's status as a city landmark, and because of sheer lack of space in the airport area, therefore, any further increase in traffic will have to be done on another airport.

2007 renovation works
The Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (Baneasa) was closed from 10 May to 19 August during renovation works. All flights during this period were moved to the main airport of Bucharest. Renovations included commercial areas, restaurants, a VIP lounge and a 300 space car park. The runway and lighting systems were also completely overhauled. The estimated cost is €20m. A new departure terminal is planned at the airport subject to approval. The current departure terminal will be used for arrivals and a new glass-structure departures terminal will be added to the existing arrivals terminal, thus raising the capacity of the airport to 3 million passengers/year. Construction is expected to begin at the end of September, with the new building expected to be complete in spring 2008.


Bucharest "Aurel Vlaicu" International Airport

Address: Soseaua Bucuresti Ploiesti Nr 40 Sector 1,
Bucuresti 013695 - OP 18, ROMANIA
IATA: BBU – ICAO: LRBS Tel.: ( +40 ) (21) 230.56.07
Tel.: ( +40 ) (21) 232.36.87
Tel.: ( +40 ) (21) 232.00.20
E-mail: airport [at] baneasa aero
URL: www.baneasa-airport.ro

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General Info
Country Romania
Time UTC+2(+3DT)
Latitude 44.503194
44° 30' 11.50" N
Longitude 26.102111
026° 06' 07.60" E
Elevation 297 feet
91 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 004° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Alternate Name BANEASA
Near City Bucuresti

TWR 120.8
GND 129.95
APP 118.25

Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
07/25 10499 x 148 feet
3200 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid

FUEL (NC-100LL, A1, A1+)

Thanks to: www.worldaerodata.com

The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2008.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
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