On the land of the Gai suburb there already was an infrastructure with a runway, hangar and a terminal, from the military campaign from 1917. Here, on 14 July 1912, a big meeting took place when Aurel Vlaicu, a pioneer in Romanian aviation, returned from Aspen Vienna and he was seen by his co nationals as a hero of all the Romanians. As a result of some negotiations that took place in order to build a new airport, on 30 May 1935 the civil municipal aviation give the land from the Ceala suburb where the constructions will start for building the infrastructure. The construction work ended in 1936 and the official inauguration of the new airport took place on 14 November 1937. From that moment all the air traffic was conducted on this location and the landings and taking off happened on a grass runway. In 1953 a concrete runway, 2000 meters long, was built, as the increased traffic demanded it. The A and D taxiway were build in the same time as the runway. The lightning system was rebuilt in 1954 and was endowed with Elba lamps. Nowadays, the runway, made of concrete with dimensions 2000 X 45 m orientated on East – West direction, is endowed with a state of the art IDMAN lighting system consisting of marginal and axial light, threshold lights, approach lightings on both direction of operation and Category II instrument landing system.
The Arad Airport Cargo Terminal, the largest of its kind in western Romania, is a major component of the Arad International Airport and is located nearby the Arad Free Zone, being able to take the air freight traffic that connects Western Europe to the Middle East. It’s located close to the Hungarian border.
The Arad International Airport Cargo Terminal and platform seen from the A1 motorway.
It's location permits easy access for the companies operating in the counties near Arad (Bihor, Alba, Hunedoara – Romania and Békés, Csongrád – Hungary) for transporting cargo.
This objective can take over the air freight traffic, with all the facilities on the air-road transport, by making use of the operating - parking Cargo type platforms, the covered area for depositing the cargo that permits also the customs checking, the parking platform for the airplanes, and it provides the specific units for both the air and land transporters. The apron is 16020sqm, 41/R/C/W/T and offers the possibility of parking 3 class „C” and „D” ICAO airplanes at the same time. The terminal has a total surface of 5000 sqm, 13 access gates to the auto loading/unloading ramp and 4 access gates to the airplane loading/unloading ramp. Its capacity for depositing (arrival, departure) is 300 to/day and the traffic capacity (arrival, departure) is 50 to/hour. The parking area of a surface of 8430 sqm can offer parking spaces for 32 cars and 5 cargo trucks, having also 2 oil separators.
A runway extension to 2500m (8202ft) has been proposed for the past couple of years, however no viable financial solution has been found. The extension would allow heavier cargo aircraft to operate, making better use of the cargo terminal's capabilities. Recent projects have taken into consideration the conversion of an unused part of the cargo terminal into a passenger departures terminal to attract more airlines to the airport. A passenger terminal extension or overhaul is deemed absolutely necessary for the development of the airport.