Boryspil International Airport (Ukrainian: Міжнародний аеропорт «Бориспіль») (IATA: KBP, ICAO: UKBB) is an international airport in Boryspil, 29 km (18 mi) east of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is the country’s largest airport, serving 65% of its passenger air traffic, including all its intercontinental flights and a majority of international flights. It is one of two passenger airports that serve Kiev along with the smaller Zhulyany Airport. Boryspil International Airport is a member of Airports Council International.
On 22 June 1959, the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR ordered the establishment of regular civil air traffic to the then military airfield near Boryspil. On 7 July 1959, the new airport (named Kiev-Tsentralnyi) received its first scheduled flight. It was Aeroflot’s Tupolev Tu-104 en route from Moscow, carrying 100 passengers and about 1,600 kg of cargo. The first routes served were Moscow–Kiev-Moscow and Leningrad–Kiev–Leningrad.
In November 1960, the first permanent air group, consisting of Tu-104 and Antonov An-10 planes, was assigned to the airport. Until then it had been served only by aircraft based in Moscow and other cities of the Soviet Union. A new passenger terminal was opened in 1965. Later that year, an automatic landing assistance system was installed.
In 1963, the Ukrainian Territorial Administration of Civil Aviation formed its Boryspil subdivision consisting of the airport and its air group. The air group grew significantly in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974 it consisted of four fleets of turbojet aircraft (Tu-104 planes), turbofan aircraft (Tu-134, Tu-154 planes) and two fleets of turboprop aircraft (Ilyushin Il-18 planes).
Toward the final decades of the Cold War, the Soviet Air Force maintained a presence at Boryspil Airport with 1 VTAP (1st Military Aviation Transportation Regiment) flying Ilyushin Il-76 cargo jets.
By the 1980s, Boryspil had begun receiving limited international flights. Additional passenger services and customs/border control groups were established for that purpose. However, ordinary Soviet citizens were not allowed to depart abroad from Kiev, being restricted to fly only from Moscow airports.
Development since the 1990s
In 1993, the Ministry of Transportation of the newly independent Ukraine reorganized the airport into the Boryspil State International Airport and created a local subdivision of Air Ukraine to serve it. The airport was opened for any passengers and flights. The number of air and passenger traffic has been growing ever since.
Early in the 2000s, Boryspil became a hub airport serving destined and transit flights of foreign airlines. Its development strategy stresses the hub role since domestic passenger demand is growing insufficiently compared to the possible transit traffic. In 2001, a new runway was completed, and the airport carried 1.5 million passengers. It is certified for Category III A ILS approaches. In 2002 Boryspil airport was certified under the ISO 9001 quality management system.
It is one of Eastern Europe’s largest airports with over 6 million passengers traveling in 2008. It consistently accounted for between 60% and 70% of Ukraine’s air travel demand and, despite a drop of 13% in 2009, it handled 5.8 million passengers, more than it handled in 2007.
The airport survived the 2012 European cold wave without major flight delays or cancellations. According to the media and industry experts, in 2013 once underdog in-city Zhulyany Airport has rapidly grown into a major, and more efficient, competitor to the still-leading Boryspil Airport.
Boryspil International Airport handles most of Ukraine’s international traffic. Terminal B, with only eleven gates, two of which were air bridges, was not enough to handle all international flights. This was the reason for the expansion of that terminal, which started in 2005. The first-stage expansion of Terminal B was opened on 27 January 2006. In 2008, passport control within Terminal B Departures was moved further east (along with the entrance to the main duty-free shop so that it remains airside).
There are plans to expand the airport further by building several new terminals. The government has been having meetings with the owners of nearby land, trying to buy more land for expansion. The construction of Terminal D was approved on 28 July 2008 and was completed in 2012 at a cost of UAH 1.661 billion (US$208 million). The terminal will have a capacity of 1,500 passengers per hour and cover an area of 44.9 hectares. Platform M, which is connected to Terminal B and requires redevelopment, was to be reconstructed in 2009-2010. The reason for the delay in its reconstruction was the fact that Terminal B needs to be fully operational first. Now that Terminal D has opened (building began on 24 October 2008), platform M can be reconstructed without having a major impact on traffic.
The construction of Terminal D was completed in 2012, with the terminal opening to passengers on 28 May 2012, increasing passenger handling facilities significantly. As of June 24, 2016, Terminal A, B, and F are out of operation. By 2020, if all plans proceed, the airport should have a capacity of 18 million passengers per year.
Terminals and infrastructure
Boryspil International Airport has one operational passenger terminals (D), one cargo terminal (F) and a VIP terminal. The largely overcrowded former domestic Terminal A was closed on 15 September 2011, in favor of transferring all domestic operations to nearby Terminal B. In 2013, all domestic and international operations were transferred from Terminal B to Terminal D.
Terminal B, the original Soviet-constructed building, used to serve domestic and international flights. It has undergone extensive, long-term reconstruction. The terminal hosted shops, cafes, travel agencies and banks, as well as offices of airlines and a business center. The ground floor features luggage storage, waiting-area, and check-in desks, whilst security and passport (immigration) control, the main departure lounge and the terminal’s boarding gates are on the second floor. After passport control, passengers wait in the departure lounge where there is a business lounge, a number of cafes, restaurants and duty-free shops. There is free Wi-Fi access in the building. The terminal has two jetbridges and several bus-boarding stands. It is now used for charter flights for Hasidic Pilgrims participating in Rosh Hashanah kibbutz in Ukraine.
Terminal D, construction of which began on 24 March 2008, was opened on 28 May 2012 with an initial capacity of 3,100 passengers per hour. It received its first arrivals passengers on 29 May 2012.
Terminal D serves domestic and international flights. It is also a hub and a home base of Ukraine International Airlines. It has been designed to support an integrated system for monitoring and directing arriving and departing passengers; this has been ensured by implementing a scheme of movement based on the principle of multi-level zoning — departing passengers use the airport’s upper floors, whilst those arriving and yet to pass through immigration are processed on a lower level. The ground and first floors are used for airside service and the sorting of baggage. Airside, the first floor is used for arrivals zone and baggage hall. The fourth floor is reserved for airlines’ lounges. The terminal can be accessed from the airport’s central access road for arrivals and in the same way but via a ramp for departures level. The building features both jetbridges and bus boarding stands and is equipped to handle wide-body aircraft such as Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ERs.
The Ukrainian Border Guard and State Customs Service maintain control points for arriving and departing passengers (40 passport booths for arrivals and 28 for departures). The terminal has 11 gates equipped with jetways and additional ‘bus gates’.
Terminal D regularly features Ukrainian art exhibitions by such notables as Maria Prymachenko and Yuriy Khimich, organised by the art fund «Artaniya».
Terminal F is a passenger terminal mostly used by low-cost carriers and was opened on 21 September 2010 as a home base for Ukraine International Airlines. Terminal F started handling regular flights as of 31 October 2010, with an initial capacity of 900 passengers/hour. The terminal is not equipped with jetways as it was originally meant to serve low-cost airlines. However, the higher level of service offered led to the transfer of many scheduled European and Asian carriers to the terminal.
The opening of Terminal F greatly reduced the overcrowding at Terminal B, which had previously been Boryspil’s only operating international terminal. Upon opening of Terminal F and expansion/reconfiguration of Terminal B’s airside departures to serve domestic flights, the airport was able to close the largely outdated domestic Terminal A.
Terminal used to serve UTair-Ukraine, airBaltic, Adria Airways, Armavia, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, British Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, Georgian Airways, Germanwings, Libyan Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, KLM, S7 Airlines, Turkish Airlines and others. All of them were transferred to Terminal D. Ukraine International Airlines transferred all of its regular flights to Terminal D on 30 May 2013 but UIA’s charter flights stayed in Terminal F. It was expected that Terminal F would be also used for low-cost carriers. In October 2013, the terminal was used for charter flights and low-cost airlines; it serviced three or four, sometimes eight, flights a day. On 15 October airport management decided that terminal F will be used as a cargo terminal in the future. On 27 October 2013, all flights were transferred from terminal F to terminal D.
Terminal F was reopened on 31 March 2019, and is used as a passenger facility for low-cost carriers, especially Ryanair. The following airlines have confirmed their move to Terminal F: Ryanair, Laudamotion, Yanair, Bravo Airways, Iraqi Airways, SkyUp, Aigle Azur and Air Serbia.
Boryspil airport has two runways, with the terminals occupying a center-field location.
In the long term, there are plans to build a third crosswind runway.
Short-stay car parking facilities at are provided in the immediate vicinity of terminals B and F, whilst long term parking facilities are in the vicinity of the airport’s access road and ‘station square’. In addition to these facilities, the airport is, in connection with the construction of Terminal D, building its first multi-storey car park; this will be a combined long- and short-stay car park.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter services to and from Boryspil International Airport:
Boryspil International Airport Passenger Totals 2004–2019 (millions)
VIP and governmental facilities
A new VIP facility (named ‘Boryspil 2’) is under construction at the northern end of the east runway. This facility is expected to serve deputes (Members of Parliament) of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian president, high-ranking members of the Ukrainian government and other domestic and foreign officials and delegates. The terminal will serve Ukrainian officials at a rate of UAH180 per person, whilst others wishing to use its facilities will be expected to pay a minimum of 1100 UAH. Plans for the new VIP terminal show that it will cost around 350 million UAH and will have the capacity to serve around 150 passengers an hour. Unlike Boryspil’s other terminals, the new government/VIP facility will not be accessible from the airport’s centre-field access road. Instead, it will have controlled access from the town of Boryspil which will thus allow access to the Boryspil-Kiev highway.
Terminal D is equipped to cater for other non-government VIP passengers, for whom it provides a separate check-in area, departure lounge, and boarding area.
The Ukrainian government’s air fleet (Ukraine Air Enterprise) is based at Boryspil. This fleet compromises one Airbus A319 for the use of the President of Ukraine, two long-haul Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft and a number of smaller aircraft and helicopters for general government use. Currently, these aircraft are based near the covered hangars to the north of Terminal F. However, with the completion of Boryspil 2, it is expected that the government’s dedicated aircraft will move to that facility’s apron, thus allowing officials to board/disembark their aircraft with minimum adverse effects on other civil operations.
Catering and cargo facilities
At Boryspil Airport, for almost 20 years, operates company Aero Catering Services Ukraine and its airline catering facility is a part of the regional and global catering services network — LSG Sky Chefs.
On 16 May 2012, a greatly expanded, modern catering facility was opened at the airport. The complex, which is managed by Kiev Catering, cost around US$25 million to build and is capable of producing up to 25,000 flight-packaged meals a day. The new catering centre was built entirely with private funds supplied by investors, thus making it one of the first investments at Boryspil not part-funded by the state.
Cargo facilities are available at Boryspil airport and located close by is a large logistics center operated by DHL and housing other logistics providers. The Ukrainian Post (Ukrposhta) is a major company operating at Boryspil, whilst the airport can provide cold storage and standard cargo transport.
The airport also houses the 15th Transport Aviation Brigade.
Public transport connections
On 30 November 2018, Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) launched an express train from the Kyiv-Passazhyrskyi Railway Station to Boryspil airport via Darnytsia. Trains run every hour (non-peak) and about every 30 minutes (peak). Journey time one way is about 40 minutes.
Boryspil airport is connected to Kyiv and its wider metropolitan area through the road network. Its entrance is at the dedicated branch of the M03.
Several bus and minibus lines serve the airport, connecting it to the closest stations of the Syretsko-Pecherska Line and the central railway station. The Sky Bus (No. 322) provides regular shuttle services between Kiev’s main railway station and Terminal D of the airport.
Many intercity bus routes to or from Kiev make dedicated stopovers to cater for airline passengers from other cities. E.g., a Kiev-Mariupol (southeast-bound) bus would travel from Kyiv Central Bus Station through the airport, while a Kiev-Lviv (southwest-bound) bus would start in the airport and then proceed to Lviv through the Central Bus Station in Kyiv. Overall, at least 35 intercity bus routes transit Boryspil Airport. All long-distance and Kyiv-bound buses arrive at the airport’s bus station near the «B» terminal.
Boryspil has a number of long-stay guarded car parks as well as designated drop-off points and taxi stands. Taxis can be booked for a set price at counters inside the terminal buildings. Uber operates in Ukraine since 2016.
Accidents and incidents
Airport in pop culture
The airport is mentioned in «Provence» by Ukrainian female singer Yolka.
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