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Aeroporto de Beja
|IATA: BYJ – ICAO: LPBJ|
|Owner||Government of Portugal|
|Operator||ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, SA|
|Elevation AMSL||636 ft / 194 m|
|Sources: Portuguese AIP|
Beja Airport, located 9 km (5.6 mi) northwest of Beja, is 150 km (93 mi) away from Lisbon, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from Faro and less than 60 km (37 mi) from Spain. Beja (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɛʒɐ]) is a city in the Beja Municipality in the Alentejo Region, Portugal. The municipality has a total area of 1,147.1 km2 (442.9 sq mi) and a total population of 34,970 inhabitants. The city proper has a population of 21,658.
An airbase was established on 21 October 1964, originally built to serve as a training facility for the West German Air Force, due to airspace limitations within West Germany. Until 1993 it was used particularly for weapons training, and in 1987 the Portuguese Air Force's 103 Squadron and its Lockheed T-33 and Northrop T-38 aircraft was relocated from Montijo. After their arrival, the base started to host a mixed array of fixed and rotary-wing trainers, as well as maritime patrol aircraft. The airbase has also served as one of the Space Shuttle landing sites.
Along with the airports in Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Flores, Santa Maria, Ponta Delgada and Horta, the airport's concessions to provide support to civil aviation was conceded to ANA Aeroportos de Portugal on 18 December 1998, under provisions of decree 404/98. With this concession, ANA was also provided to the planning, development and construction of future infrastructures.
In 2011 a new civilian terminal was built and Beja became a dual-use military-civilian airport, aiming to attract low cost carriers. The inaugural flight to Praia, Cape Verde, took place on 13 April 2011. There were also charter flights to the United Kingdom.
In spite of being the only Portuguese airport in Alentejo—the biggest Portuguese region, with an area comparable to the size of Belgium—the airport failed to attract the attention of low-cost carriers and has never had any scheduled regular flights. As of September 2012, plans to reconvert it into cargo use are under discussion. It may possibly be a logistics platform between the goods that are shipped to the nearby Port of Sines and the whole of Europe. On September 2013, it was announced that Aigle Azur would start seasonal flights from Paris to the airport. As of September 2012, the future of the airport remains uncertain. The authorities are studying the possibility of reconverting the airport to cargo use.
Airlines and destinations
|Europe Airpost||Seasonal charter: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Nantes|
- AIP Part 3 - AD 2 Aerodromes
- ANA Aeroportos: Relatório de Gestão e Contas (2011), Lisbon, Portugal: ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, SA, 2011, p. 1115, retrieved 2 January 2014
- Aeroporto de Beja: voo inaugural é hoje Governo Civil de Beja, April 2011. Retrieved June 2012
Media related to Beja Airport at Wikimedia Commons