Henri Coandă International Airport
Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internațional Henri Coandă București) (IATA: OTP, ICAO: LROP) is Romania's busiest international airport, located in Otopeni, 16.5 km (10.3 mi) north of Bucharest's city centre. It is currently one of two airports serving the capital of Romania. The other is Aurel Vlaicu Airport, which no longer serves scheduled passenger traffic.
Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport
Aeroportul Internațional Henri Coandă București
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Operator||The National Company "Bucharest Airports" S.A.|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||314 ft / 96 m|
The airport is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of Coandă-1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coandă effect of fluidics. Prior to May 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internațional București Otopeni). Henri Coandă International Airport serves as headquarters for TAROM, the country's national airline. It also serves as a base of operations for low-cost airlines Blue Air, Ryanair and Wizz Air. It is managed by The National Company Bucharest Airports S.A. (Compania Națională Aeroporturi București S.A.). The military section of the airport is used by the 90th Airlift Flotilla of the Romanian Air Force.
During World War II, the airport in Otopeni was used as an airbase by the German Air Force. Until 1965, it was a major airfield for the Romanian Air Force, with Băneasa Airport serving as Bucharest's commercial airport. In 1965, with the growth of air traffic, the Otopeni airbase was converted to a commercial airport. The runway was modernized and extended to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) from the previous 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), making it one of the longest in Europe at that time.
In August 1969, when United States President Nixon visited Romania, a VIP lounge was inaugurated. A new passenger terminal (designed by Cezar Lăzărescu), with a capacity of 1,200,000 passengers per year, was opened on 13 April 1970, for domestic and international flights. An improvement program added a second runway in 1986, expanding capacity to 35 aircraft movements per hour.
In 1992, Otopeni Airport became a regular member of Airports Council International (ACI).
Expansion since the 1990sEdit
The first stage of the plan (Phase I), taking place between 1994 and 1998, involved the construction of a new departures terminal and of a new airside concourse with five jetways and nine gates (referred to as 'the Finger') as well as the extension of airport ramps and of their associated taxiways.
The second phase (labeled Phase II/IIe) of the plan led to the construction of a terminal dedicated to domestic flights and of a multi-story car park (2003), the complete overhaul of the control tower (between 2005–2007) as well as the transformation of the old terminal building in a dedicated arrivals hall (in 2000). During the same phase, two high-speed taxiways (Victor and Whiskey) were constructed. Phase II was completed in 2007.
The third stage of the plan (Phase III), which started in 2009, involved the extension of the airside concourse ('the Finger') with 15 new gates (nine of which have jetways), as well as the expansion of the Departure Hall (with 8 new gates). The airside concourse extension, designed by Studio Capelli Architettura & Associati, and measuring 17,000 square metres (200,000 sq ft), was inaugurated on 29 March 2011. It was followed, in November 2012, by the extension of the Departure Hall to a total area of 38,600 square metres (400,000 sq ft).
In March 2012, all air traffic except for business air traffic was transferred from Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (at that time Bucharest's low-cost hub) to Henri Coandă International Airport.
The airport's facilities consist of a single terminal with three main facilities (colloquially referred to as "Terminals"): the Departures Hall/Terminal, the Arrivals Hall/Terminal, and the Finger Terminal (the airside concourse). A walkway with shops connects the departures and arrivals buildings. The airside concourse is organized in two (domestic and international) passengers flows. The entire terminal has 104 check-in desks, 38 gates (of which 14 are equipped with jetways), and a total floor area of 86,000 square metres (930,000 sq ft).
Beyond Phase III, a new terminal building (Henri Coandă 2) at the eastern end of the current location is envisaged. Henri Coandă 2 will be of a modular design, consisting of four separate buildings, each capable of handling 5 million passengers annually. Each module will be built as traffic demands dictate. By 2030, Terminal 2 alone should be able to handle the expected volume of 20 million passengers per year. The terminal will be directly connected to the A3 motorway, to the railway system, and to the Bucharest Metro system through Metro Line 6. However, the plans might get delayed due to funding problems. There is a chance however that, if funds can be allocated in time, the airport can open its new terminal by 2025.
Airlines and destinationsEdit
In 2018, 13,824,830 passengers passed through the airport, an increase of 7.95% compared to 2017.
In 2018, the airport handled 13.8 million passengers (63.3% of the total number of passengers carried by Romanian airports) and 39,534 tons of cargo (81.4% of the total amount of cargo handled by Romanian airports).
|Year||Passengers (total)||Change||Passengers (domestic flights)||Aircraft movements||Cargo (tonnes)|
|Month||Passengers||Change (2017–2018)||Passengers Cumulatively|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers 2016||Passengers 2017||Passengers 2018||Carriers|
|1||Cluj Airport||Blue Air, TAROM|
|2||Timișoara Airport||Ryanair, TAROM|
|3||Iași Airport||Blue Air, TAROM|
A direct train service to the main railway station, Gara de Nord (Bucharest North), runs from the Airport railway station, about 900 meters from the airport. Shuttle buses connect this station with the departures and arrivals halls; the tickets are valid for the train and for the transfer bus. As of June 2020, works are being carried out to an overpass, that will connect the existing railway to the parking lot of the Arrivals hall. The new station will link the Gara de Nord railway station to the airport in 20 minutes. The frequency of the service is estimated to be every 10 minutes.
Henri Coandă Airport is connected to the public transport company STB system. The 780 route provides express bus service to Gara de Nord and Gara Basarab railway stations in Bucharest and the routes 783 and 784 provide express bus service to the city center (Piața Unirii). Route 783 to the city center is running 24 hours a day.
As of May 2013, taxis serving Henri Coandă Airport can be ordered using a touch screen system in the arrivals terminal, allowing the taxi drivers to enter the pick-up area. This measure was taken after many complaints from passengers who were being ripped off when using illegal, high-price taxis.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On 31 March 1995, TAROM Flight 371, an Airbus A310-324 registered as YR-LCC, stalled after takeoff and crashed near Baloteşti. All 60 people aboard were killed.
- On 30 December 2007, a TAROM Boeing 737-300 (YR-BGC "Constanța"), flying Flight 3107 hit a car on the runway while taking off for Sharm-el-Sheikh. The aircraft stopped beside the runway and was severely damaged.
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Media related to Henri Coandă International Airport at Wikimedia Commons