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Sarajevo International Airport

Sarajevo International Airport (Bosnian: Međunarodni aerodrom Sarajevo/Међународни аеродром Сарајево); (IATA: SJJ, ICAO: LQSA), also known as Butmir Airport, is the main international airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located 3.3 NM (6.1 km; 3.8 mi) southwest of the Sarajevo railway station and some 6.5 NM (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) west of downtown Sarajevo in the Ilidža municipality, suburb of Butmir. In 2019, 1,143,680 passengers traveled through the airport, compared to 323,499 in 2001.

Sarajevo International Airport
Međunarodni aerodrom Sarajevo
Међународни аеродром Сарајево
Međunarodna zračna luka Sarajevo
Sarajevo International.PNG
Sarajevo International Airport
  • IATA: SJJ
  • ICAO: LQSA
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation (BHDCA)
Serves Sarajevo,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location Butmir
Hub for FlyBosnia
Elevation AMSL 1,708 ft / 521 m
Coordinates 43°49′29″N
018°19′53″E
Website sarajevo-airport.ba
Map
SJJ is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina

SJJ
Location within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 2,700 8,858 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
Passengers 1,143,680 (+9,3%)
Aircraft Movements 13,671 (+1,8%)
Freight (in tons) 2.523 (+0,61%)

History

Early years

First regular flights to Sarajevo using an airfield in the suburb of Butmir begin in 1930 when the domestic airliner Aeroput opened a regular route linking Belgrade to Podgorica via Sarajevo. A year later, Aeroput opened a new route which linked Belgrade and Zagreb via Sarajevo, Split, and Rijeka. In 1935, Aeroput operated three times weekly the non-stop route Belgrade – Sarajevo, which was extended to Dubrovnik a year later. In 1937, Aeroput included regular flights linking Sarajevo to Zagreb, and 1938 was the year when first international flights were introduced when Aeroput extended the route Dubrovnik – Sarajevo – Zagreb to Vienna, Brno, and Prague.

The airfield in Butmir remained in use all the way until 1969. The need for a new airport in Sarajevo, with an asphalt-concrete runway, was acknowledged in the mid-1960s when JAT, Yugoslav national carrier at that time, began acquiring jet planes. The construction of the airport began in 1966 at its present location, not far from the old one.

Sarajevo Airport opened on 2 June 1969 for domestic traffic. In 1970, Frankfurt became the first international destination served. Most of the time the airport was a ‘feeder’ airport where passengers embarked for flights to Zagreb and Belgrade on their way to international destinations. Over time, the traffic volume steadily grew from 70,000 to 600,000 passengers a year. The first renovation came for the 1984 Winter Olympics, when the runway was extended by 200 meters, the navigation system was improved, and a new terminal building was built, designed for 1 million passengers a year.

At the beginning of the Bosnian War, the airport was put under control of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA). When the regular flights were stopped, the JNA evacuated some 30,000 people, mostly women and children, who were spouses and children of JNA officers fleeing the siege of Sarajevo; the first humanitarian aid from the US and France arrived in this period too. After JNA left, the airport was for a while under control of Bosnian Serb forces and in June 1992, they handed over the airport to the UN to use it for humanitarian purposes (UN Security Council Resolution 757). In the biggest humanitarian operation in history of the UN that followed, during the Bosnian war, some 13,000 flights were carried out and over 160,000 tons of international humanitarian aid was delivered to the besieged city of Sarajevo.

The airport re-opened to civilian air traffic on 16 August 1996 and has since been renovated and slowly restored. Since the Dayton Agreement in 1996, the airport has a commercial flight business which includes Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and others.

Development since the 2000s

On 18 October 2005, Paddy Ashdown, the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, suspended a decision by Bosnian authorities to name the airport after Alija Izetbegović, the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The High Representative stated that such a renaming might undermine the reconciliation process by alienating non-Bosniak citizens. In 2005, the European branch of the Airports Council International awarded Sarajevo the award of Best Airport Under 1 Million Passengers.

In 2013, Sarajevo International Airport had 665,638 passengers which is more than all of the other airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina had together and a 14.7% increase from 2012, this is the highest number of passengers per year since the reopening of the airport. On 26 December 2014, the airport welcomed its 700,000th passenger on Austrian Airlines flight OS758 to Vienna.

In May 2015, work has started on expansion of Sarajevo International Airport. Current work is undergoing on expansion of arrival area, adding more passport control check stands and rearranging whole arrival area to make it more passenger friendly. Next to follow is expansion of check in area which will include three more check in counters making it total of 15 check in counters. By the end of the year the airport will begin with platform expansion and the construction of rapid exit taxiway with scheduled completion by mid of the next year. 2017 should be the year in which airport will enter into the reconstruction of the runway and the maneuvering areas. Expansion of the airport at the current level is financed by Sarajevo Airport own funds. On 6 June 2015, Pope Francis visited Sarajevo arriving on an Alitalia Airbus A320-200 from Rome. Welcome ceremony was held at Sarajevo International Airport.

The airport served as the home base for the country’s flag carrier, B&H Airlines, until July 2015 when the airline ceased operations. During December 2015, Sarajevo Airport experienced very low visibility and fog. About 40% of flights were canceled which impacted passengers growth and financial loss to the airport. Airport handled only 28.167 passengers of 50.000 planned (last year in December 43.079 passengers were handled). For Sarajevo International Airport one of major restrictions is a mountain terrain that requires a high approach precision and a big inclination angle in a procedure of unsuccessful approach and landing. Mr Vlado Jurić, Head of the Office for aviation safety at Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency (BHANSA), presented the information about problems caused by reduced minimums at Sarajevo Airport. For the implementation of ILS categories (CAT II or CAT III), the terrain in front of the runway start should be free of obstacles for at least 1,000 meters. It means that the RWY 12 threshold should be moved for additional 200 meters which would reduce the runway length and as such is unacceptable. From the point of view of procedure design, the reduction of minimums is not an option and therefore it is necessary to find other solutions for improvement of landing conditions at Sarajevo Airport. The biggest problem at Sarajevo Airport is fog. The representative of Sarajevo Airport, Mr Nermin Zijadić informed that there is a relevant plan regarding this problem. He also presented the information about future projects of Sarajevo Airport among which the most important one is a reconstruction of the runway including its lighting system.

In 2016, Qatar Airways announced a new route from Doha to Sarajevo. However, the start of this service was first postponed and then moved to 10 October 2017. with four weekly flights. On 5 December 2016, the airport welcomed its 800,000th passenger on Air Serbia flight JU113 to Belgrade.

In 2017, Sarajevo International Airport welcomed six new airlines and seven destinations: AtlasGlobal (Istanbul), Wizz Air (Budapest), Wataniya Airways (Kuwait City), Nesma Airlines (Riyadh), TUI fly Belgium (Charleroi), flydubai (Dubai), Qatar Airways (Doha).

On 28 November 2017, Sarajevo International Airport has welcomed its 900,000 passengers of the year, representing a record number of passengers in one calendar year. On 5 December 2018, Sarajevo International Airport has welcomed for first time its 1,000,000 passenger of the year.

On 3 May 2017, the airport announced a major terminal expansion. The project is worth 20 million Euros and scheduled to be completed in 2020. A new, 10.000 sqm building on four levels will be built as an addition to the current terminal building. The new terminal will have capacity to handle 2 million passengers per year and will be equipped with three jet bridges. On 9 April 2019, the airport announced expansion of the VIP area into a new VIP building as part of the expansion project for the new main terminal with a separate check-in, customs and arrival section for VIP travellers. During June–July 2019, Sarajevo Airport has seen its largest destination expansion. Total of 10 new destinations have been added. FlyBosnia started flights from Sarajevo to Riyadh, Kuwait, Jeddah, Gassim and Bahrain. Flynas started flights from Riyadh and Jeddah. Norwegian started flights from Göteborg and Eurowings started flights from Berlin Tegel Airport. In October and November 2019, FlyBosnia started flights to London Luton and Rome Fiumicino Airport.

Sarajevo International Airport

Sarajevo International Airport

Sarajevo International Airport

Sarajevo International Airport

Airlines and destinations

Passenger

Apron view

Apron view

Main building

Main building

Check-in hall

Check-in hall

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Sarajevo International Airport:

Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Seasonal: Sharjah
Air Serbia Belgrade
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Croatia Airlines Zagreb
Eurowings Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart
Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel
FlyBosnia Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino
Seasonal: Bahrain, Gassim, Ha’il (begins 15 June 2020), Jeddah, Kuwait, London–Luton, Muscat
Seasonal charter: Antalya (begins 25 May 2020), Hurghada (begins 25 May 2020), Monastir
flydubai Dubai–International
flynas Seasonal: Gassim (begins 3 June 2020), Jeddah, Riyadh
Kuwait Airways Seasonal: Kuwait (begins 25 July 2020)
Lufthansa Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo–Gardermoen
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Seasonal charter: Antalya
Wizz Air Budapest

Cargo

Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation Ancona, Bergamo, Sofia

Statistics

Traffic figures

Passenger numbers

Year/

Month

Janu-ary Febru-ary March April May June Year total Change
2020
58.397
51.969
28.249
138.615
-20,5%
2019
53,485
53,130
67,893
89,843
74,178
119,205
1,143,680
+9,3%
2018
54,113
48,986
65,991
86,995
81,026
92,997
1,046,635
+9,2%
2017
43,377
41,122
57,381
79,796
84,137
78,170
957,971
+14,2%
2016
41,208
42,567
53,438
68,085
85,738
66,429
838,968
+8.5%
2015
43,700
39,908
50,273
63,064
80,143
74,855
772,904
+8.8%
2014
36,114
35,435
45,789
56,611
71,513
74,976
709,901
+ 6.6%
2013
33,437
30,399
44,631
56,918
65,495
72,949
665,638
+14.7%
2012
33,247
26,278
36,765
49,709
55,107
62,491
580,058
– 3.3%
2011
30,484
34,148
40,803
49,489
56,812
62,994
599,978
+ 6.5%
2010
+
+
+
+
51,398
59,636
563,266
+ 6.2%
2009
+
+
87,257
+
+
143,906
530,391
+ 4.7%
2008
23,909
27,121
34,896
38,052
46,974
55,391
506,398
+ 0.2%
2007
32,235
28,028
35,168
42,297
43,633
53,281
505,269
+ 8.4%


Passenger numbers

Year/

Month

July August Septe-mber Octo-ber Nove-mber Dece-mber Year total Change
2020
138.615
-20,5%
2019
180,929
178,943
105,370
95,628
67,358
57.718
1,143,680
+9,3%
2018
159,380
159,506
98,227
83,660
62,253
53,417
1,046,635
+9,2%
2017
140,025
144,330
100,923
80,769
57,887
50,218
957,971
+14,2%
2016
109,141
118,350
91,123
71,360
47,352
44,183
838,968
+8.5%
2015
89,319
101,307
79,120
71,255
51,793
28,167
772,904
+8.8%
2014
74,948
88,591
71,168
64,844
46,833
43,079
709,901
+ 6.6%
2013
69,699
79,796
66,721
64,387
44,446
36,760
665,638
+14.7%
2012
69,346
60,787
60,323
52,115
38,612
35,278
580,058
– 3.3%
2011
81,042
59,042
59,074
52,957
39,785
33,348
599,978
+ 6.5%
2010
72,615
60,475
54,753
51,137
40,912
563,266
+ 6.2%
2009
+
+
177,762
+
+
121,427
530,391
+ 4.7%
2008
62,524
61,560
42,752
46,094
34,089
32,913
506,398
+ 0.2%
2007
59,436
57,381
45,113
43,980
31,952
32,735
505,269
+ 8.4%

Statistics archive: Passengers, Cargo and Movements

Year Passen-gers Change Cargo (t) Change Aircraft move-ments Change
2002 310.126 -4,1% 7.401 +% 1.686 +%
2003 364.512 +17,5% 9.877 +33,4% 1.648 -2,2%
2004 399.607 +11% 9.982 +1,0% N/A N/A
2005 433.222 +8,4% 11.309 +13,2% N/A N/A
2006 455.626 +5,1% 13.433 +18,7% N/A N/A
2007 496.756 +9,0% 13.891 +3,4% N/A N/A
2008 510.396 +2,7% 13.599 -2,1% 1.837 N/A
2009 533.915 +4,7% 13.824 +1,6% 1.815 -1,1%
2010 563.266 +6,2% 13.347 -3,4% 1.753 -3,4%
2011 599.978 +6,5% 11.633 -12,8% 1.607 -8,3%
2012 580.058 -3,3% 10.635 -8,5% 1.526 -5,0%
2013 665.638 +14,7% 11.026 +3,6% 1.603 +5,0%
2014 709.901 +6,6% 12.074 +9,5% 2.060 +28,5%
2015 772.904 +8,8% 11.107 -8,0% 4.235 +105,5%
2016 838.966 +8,5% 11.399 +2,6% 2.865 -32,3%
2017 957.971 +14,2% 12.773 +12,0% 2.957 +3,2%
2018 1.046.635 +9,2% 13.432 +5,1% 2.508 -15,1%
2019 1.143.680 +9.3% 13.671 +1,8% 2.523 +0,6%

Access

Bus stop in front of the terminal building

Bus stop in front of the terminal building

By car

Sarajevo Airport is connected to the Sarajevo–Zenica–Mostar highway (A1) via nearby Stup Interchange and Brijesce Interchange.

By bus

Centrotrans Eurolines, in cooperation with Sarajevo International Airport, provide a bus service Airport – Baščaršija City Center – Airport. Bus stand is just outside of arrivals area in main terminal. The price of a one-way ticket is €2.50. WiFi internet is available on board.

By trolleybus

Airport is connected with Sarajevo city center with trolleybus number 103 operated by GRAS transport company

Accidents and incidents

  • 18 January 1977: Džemal Bijedić, then prime minister of Yugoslavia, and his wife were among the eight people killed when their Learjet 25 crashed on the Inač mountain near Kreševo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The plane took off from Batajnica Air Base in Belgrade and was en route to Sarajevo when it crashed, ostensibly due to poor weather conditions. Conspiracy theorists have suggested that the crash was not an accident but rather the result of foul play at the hands of his Serbian rivals.[citation needed]
  • 31 December 1994: Belair cargo plane Ilyushin 76TD, registration EW-76836 was operating flight from Luxembourg to Sarajevo on behalf of the United Nations. At the time of landing Sarajevo airport runway was flooded and the aircraft overran runway and struck a ditch with the nose gear. There were no fatalities in crash-landing but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
  • 23 December 2001: A Crossair Avro RJ, registration HB-IXH, skidded 100 meters off the runway when it tried to land at Sarajevo airport under snowy conditions. Nobody was injured in the accident, nor was there any damage. By next Monday afternoon, the aircraft had been recovered and was parked on the apron. The French Air Detachment (DETAIR) and local aeronautical authorities have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. It was snowing on the afternoon of 23 Dec.. The airport snow plough had just cleared the runway, a 20-minute job, when an HB-IXH from Zürich requested authorization to land.» In those circumstances, the air traffic controller cannot give authorization. He only informs the pilot and the pilot is the one who has the responsibility to take the decision to land,» said Maj. Olivier Mrowiki, air deputy commander. «The pilot (captain) decided to land and began the IFR approach procedure. The maneuver was correct and the touch down (landing) was perfect. The problem arose when the aircraft did not stop on the runway and went beyond it and stopped just in front of the ILS (instrumental landing system) antennas more than 100 meters beyond the end of the runway,»


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General Info
Country Bosnia & Herzegovia
ICAO ID LQSA
Time UTC+1(+2DT)
Latitude 43.824583
43° 49' 28.50" N
Longitude 18.331467
018° 19' 53.28" E
Elevation 1708 feet
521 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 003° E (05/06)
Operating Agency CIVIL GOVERNMENT, (LANDING FEES AND DIPLOMATIC CLEARANCE MAY BE REQUIRED)
Operating Hours SEE REMARKS FOR OPERATING HOURS OR COMMUNICATIONS FOR POSSIBLE HOURS
Daylight Saving Time Last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October


Communications
TWR 118.25
GND 121.9
GCA 119.4
APP 136.45


Runways
ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
12/30 8666 x 150 feet
2641 x 46 meters
ASPHALT - YES


Navaids
Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VORTAC SAR SARAJEVO 025Y 108.85 At Field -
VOR-DME KEB SARAJEVO 114X 116.7 8.3 NM 215.5
NDB KG KOBILJACA - 357.5 7.5 NM 114.3


Supplies/Equipment
Fuel Jet A1+, Jet A1 with icing inhibitor.


Remarks
CAUTION Bird haz. No backup electric power supply.
FLUID De-icing avbl.
FUEL A1+ (O/R 24 hr PN.)
MISC Opr H24 O/R for AIREVAC and special Mil OPS, 60 min PN for F/W, fone RAMCC, VICENZA, IT, C39 444 931 888.
OPR HOURS Opr 0600-2000Z++ or 48 hr PPR.
RSTD NATO CAOC5 regs, regarding ldg auth and pro, still in force UFN. PPR, acft rqr SLOT TIME fr RAMCC VINCENZA, IT, 72 hr PN fone C39 444 931 888. PPR for copters 24 hr PN fone C387 33 463 295 extn 213. Before ldg at afld after closing hrs, allaircrews are rqr to ctc Archer Base Twr and Sarajevo Twr or OPS prior to closing and report time of ldg. Ldg Rwy 12 only, tkof Rwy 30 only.
RWY Rwy 12/30 covered with anti-skid in total.



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