M. R. Štefánik Airport (Slovak: Letisko M. R. Štefánika) (IATA: BTS, ICAO: LZIB), also called – especially in English – Bratislava Airport (Slovak: Letisko Bratislava), located approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of the city center of Bratislava, spanning over the area of three municipalities (Bratislava-Ružinov, Bratislava-Vrakuňa and Ivanka pri Dunaji). It is the main international airport of Slovakia. Shortly after the independence of Slovakia in 1993, it was named after general Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880–1919), whose aircraft crashed near Bratislava in 1919. The airport is owned and run by Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS). As of September 2014 the company is fully owned by the Slovak Republic via the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development.[1]

Bratislava Airport

Letisko M. R. Štefánika
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorAirport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS)
ServesBratislava, Slovakia and
Vienna, Austria
Opened1951
Hub forAirExplore
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL436 ft / 133 m
Coordinates48°10′12″N 17°12′46″E / 48.17000°N 17.21278°E / 48.17000; 17.21278
Websitebts.aero
Map
BTS is located in Slovakia
BTS
BTS
Location of the airport in Slovakia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 2,900 9,515 Concrete
13/31 3,190 10,466 Concrete
Statistics (2023)
Passengers1,813,660 Increase 28%
Movements26 386
Cargo11 082
Source: Bratislava Airport press release [2]

Bratislava is a base for the Slovak Government Flying Service as well as Ryanair, AirExplore, and Smartwings Slovakia. During a brief period in 2011, the airport was also a secondary hub for Czech Airlines. Two maintenance companies, Austrian Technik Bratislava and East Air Company are also based at the airport. Air Livery has one painting bay for aircraft at the airport. The airport is category 4E for aircraft, and category 7 or 8 on request in terms of potential rescue.

Bratislava is also served by the Vienna International Airport located 49 kilometres (30.4 mi) west of the city centre. Conversely, Bratislava Airport serves as a low-cost alternative for people from Vienna and the neighbouring areas.

Location

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Bratislava Airport is located 9 km (5.6 mi) to the north-east of the city center, covering an area of 4.77 km2 (1.84 sq mi). It is within a one-hour drive of Vienna (Austria), Brno (Czech Republic) and Győr (Hungary), covering a catchment area of four countries. The nearest large international airport is Vienna International Airport approx. 50 kilometres (31 mi) to the west.

History

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Early years

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The first regular flight between Prague and Bratislava started in 1923, by the newly formed carrier Czechoslovak Airlines. At that time the airport for Bratislava was in Vajnory, about 3 km away from the current airport. That airport is now closed. Preparation for the current airport started in 1947 and construction began in 1948. Two runways were constructed (04/22, 1900 m and 13/31, 1500 m) and the airport opened in 1951.

Development since the 1990s

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The number of passengers served at Bratislava Airport decreased temporarily in the early 1990s due to competition from the nearby Vienna International Airport (which is only 55 km (34 mi) away from Bratislava Airport), but passenger numbers have been quickly increasing since, partly since Ryanair started traffic in 2004 marketing it as serving both Vienna and Bratislava. In 2005, the airport served 1,326,493 passengers; and in 2008, 2,218,545 passengers. Nevertheless, due to the economic downturn and the collapse of Slovak Airlines, SkyEurope, Air Slovakia and Seagle Air, the number of passengers has declined to just over 1.4 million in 2012, increasing again after 2014, and in 2018, the airport recorded the highest number of passengers in its history (2,292,712). In January 2019, the only domestic route of Slovakia Bratislava–Košice, and the Prague–Bratislava route were closed down by Czech Airlines.[2]

Facilities

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Departures area
 
Check-in hall

Terminals

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The airport has one terminal serving arrivals and departures, completed in July 2012 and replacing the original Terminal A, built in 1970 and demolished in January 2011. Terminal B, built in 1994 and designated to serve the non-Schengen arrivals and departures and Terminal C, built in 2006, are both currently out of service.

The current terminal includes 29 check-in desks located on the ground floor of the departures terminal, one of them designated for oversized baggage. In the non-public zones of the waiting area targeted at departing passengers, there are 13 gates, 8 in the Schengen and 5 in the non-Schengen area.

The airport is also home to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), where passengers on private, business and VIP flights are handled, as well as passengers of emergency flights and crew.

Other facilities

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A new control tower was added in the 1990s. The parking lot near the terminal has 970 parking spots and is used for short- and long-term parking. The current capacity of the airport is over 5 million passengers per year. The offices of the Slovak Civil Aviation Authority are on the airport property.[3]

Runways

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The current runways enable the landing of virtually all types of aircraft used in the world today (except for Airbus A380, Boeing 747-8 or another aircraft of similar size). The airport features two perpendicular runways (04/22 and 13/31), both of which underwent a complete reconstruction in the 1980s. Runway 13/31 is equipped for the ICAO category IIIA approach and landing, while 04/22 is category I. Runway 04/22 is 2,900 metres (9,500 ft) long and 60 metres (200 ft) wide. Runway 13/31 is 3,190 metres (10,470 ft) long and 45 metres (148 ft) wide.

Airlines and destinations

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The following airlines operate regular scheduled, seasonal, and seasonal charter flights to and from Bratislava:[4]

AirlinesDestinations
Aegean Airlines Athens[4]
Air Cairo Hurghada
Seasonal: Marsa Alam
Seasonal charter: Marsa Matruh[5]
Air Montenegro Seasonal: Podgorica [6]
Seasonal charter: Tirana
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Antalya [7]
Neos Seasonal charter: Mauritius (begins 30 October 2024),[8] Phuket (begins 07 November 2024)[9]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul[10]
Seasonal: Antalya[11]
Ryanair Bergamo, Charleroi, Dalaman, Dublin, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Kaunas, Lanzarote, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Malta, Manchester, Rome–Ciampino, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Alghero, Burgas, Corfu, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Sofia,[12] Trapani
Sky Express Seasonal charter: Athens (begins 25 June 2024),[13] Heraklion,[13] Rhodes [13]
Smartwings[14] Seasonal: Burgas, Catania, Corfu, Heraklion, Larnaca, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Zakynthos
Seasonal charter: Almería, Antalya, Aqaba, Araxos-Patras, Bahrain,[15] Boa Vista, Bodrum, Djerba, Hurghada, Izmir, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kos, Marsa Alam, Marsa Matruh, Menorca, Monastir, Olbia, Preveza, Sal, Salalah, Tirana
Wizz Air London–Luton, Skopje
World2Fly Seasonal charter: Holguín (begins 17 December 2024),[16] Punta Cana (begins 23 October 2024),[16] Cancun (begins 23 October 2024),[16] Phu Quoc (begins 27 October 2024)[16]

Statistics

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Control tower
 
Caproni Ca.33 in the departure hall
Year Passengers Change Cargo (tonnes)
1997 285,983 1,641
1998 324,219 +13.4% 1,443
1999 276,092 -14.8% 1,605
2000 283,714 +2.8% 2,878
2001 293,326 +3.4% 3,171
2002 368,203 +25.5% 4,831
2003 480,011 +30.4% 10,883
2004 893,614 +86.2% 6,972
2005 1,326,493 +48.4% 3,633
2006 1,937,642 +46.1% 5,055
2007 2,024,142 +4.5% 1,969
2008 2,218,545 +9.6% 6,961
2009 1,710,018 −22.9% 11,903
2010 1,665,704 −2.6% 17,717
2011 1,585,064 −4.8% 20,530
2012 1,416,010 −10.7% 22,563
2013 1,373,078 −3.0% 21,271
2014 1,355,625 −1.3% 19,448
2015 1,564,311 +15.4% 21,098
2016 1,756,808 +12.3% 22,895[17]
2017 1,942,069 +10.6% 26,246[18]
2018 2,292,712 +18.1% 24,458[19]
2019 2,290,242 -0.1% 20,449[20]
2020 405,097 -82.3% 24,739[21]
2021 480,152 +18.5% 19 623[22]
2022 1,406,284 +192.9% 18,042[23]
2023 1,813,660 +28.4% 11,082[24]

Ground transportation

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Bratislava Airport bus stop terminal

Buses and coaches

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  • Bratislava – Public transportation trolleybus No. 61 connects the airport to the city centre and the central railway station during the day. At night the airport is served by bus N61 from the central railway station.
  • Vienna – FlixBus[25] and Slovak Lines (jointly with Postbus) operate bus lines (25 services a day – approximately once every 45 minutes) to Vienna which stop also at the Vienna International Airport. The journey to Vienna city centre takes between 75 minutes and 90 minutes.
  • Other destinations – Slovak Lines also operates to destinations around Slovakia.

BUs No 61 in front of the terminal direct goes to Hlavna Stanica (Main bus station) from there one can take Bus No. 93 to city center (just two stops) to the presidential palace, also No. 44 will go to city center (but travel through the village and the castle)

from Airport its better to take Bus ticket for one hour (there is a machine in the bus stop, select for one hour, the machine will accept coins and card only)

Roads

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Bratislava Airport can be reached by private car from the city centre, which is 9 km (5.6 mi) away, or from D1 highway. There is also a taxi stand just near the entrance to the airport with Taxi Slovakia company (taxi of other companies can be called by telephone but rates for the airport are usually higher). Long-term and short-term car parking is provided at the airport, in front of the terminal building.

Accidents and incidents

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  • On 24 November 1966, an Il-18 on multi-leg TABSO Flight 101 from Sofia to East Berlin via Budapest and Prague crashed into the forested foothills of the Little Carpathians west of the airport, shortly after take-off from Bratislava Airport, where it had been grounded due to bad weather in Prague. All 74 passengers and eight crew members died.[citation needed]
  • On 28 July 1976, an Il-18 on ČSA Flight 001 from Prague crashed into the Zlaté Piesky lake just north-west of the airport while executing a go-around. 69 of 73 passengers and six crew members died in the crash. Two passengers later died in the hospital.[citation needed]
  • On 6 June 1999, a BAE Hawk 200 aircraft crashed during the SIAD '99 air show, killing the pilot and one female spectator on the ground who was swept off the roof by the explosion.[26]

References

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  1. ^ "Bratislava Airport Annual Report 2014" (PDF).
  2. ^ a.s, Petit Press (20 December 2018). "Czech airlines will stop flights between Prague and Bratislava". spectator.sme.sk. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Contacts Archived 18 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine." Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 1 January 2013. "Letecký úrad Slovenskej republiky Letisko M. R. Štefánika 823 05 BRATISLAVA Slovenská republika"
  4. ^ a b "Flight schedule SUMMER 2023". Letisko Bratislava (BTS) – oficiálna stránka. 26 March 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Marsa Matrouh Airport receives 1st charter flight from Slovakia". Egypt Today. 8 June 2023.
  6. ^ "AIR MONTENEGRO ADDS BRATISLAVA / BRNO SERVICE IN NS23". AeroRoutes. 5 December 2022. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Corendon Airlines booking engine – 04APR24".
  8. ^ "Z Bratislavy sa bude lietať na dovolenku do exotiky už aj do Thajska a na Maurícius". 16 April 2024.
  9. ^ "Z Bratislavy sa bude lietať na dovolenku do exotiky už aj do Thajska a na Maurícius". 16 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Istanbul z Bratislavy – 27MAR24".
  11. ^ "Pegasus NS24 Antalya Network Expansion – 08NOV23".
  12. ^ "Ryanair NW23 Network Changes – 17SEP23".
  13. ^ a b c "SKY EXPRESS NS24 BRATISLAVA CHARTER SERVICE EXPANSION". AeroRoutes. 8 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Official Smartwings website". Smartwings.com. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Smartwings Adds Bratislava – Bahrain Charters from Oct 2023".
  16. ^ a b c d "Z Bratislavy sa poletí v zime aj priamo do Mexika / SLOVAKIA CHARTERS". bts.aero.
  17. ^ "V r. 2016 najvyšší počet cestujúcich za posledných 8 rokov" (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Letisko Bratislava dosiahlo 3. najlepší výsledok vo svojej histórii" (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  19. ^ "BTS vybavilo vlani najviac cestujucih" (in Slovak). Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Letisko v Bratislave vybavilo vlani 2,29 milióna cestujúcich" (in Slovak). Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Letisko M. R. Štefánika vybavilo vlani 405-tisíc cestujúcich".
  22. ^ "Štatistické údaje" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Štatistické údaje" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Bratislavské letisko v roku 2023 prepravilo vyše 1,8 milióna cestujúci". 18 January 2024.
  25. ^ "FlixBus". Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  26. ^ [1] Archived 2 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
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