|IATA: BLL – ICAO: EKBI|
|Operator||Billund Lufthavn A/S|
|Location||Billund Municipality, Denmark|
|Elevation AMSL||247 ft / 75 m|
Billund Airport (Danish: Billund Lufthavn) (IATA: BLL, ICAO: EKBI) located 1 nautical mile (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) northeast of Billund, Denmark, serves as one of Denmark's busiest air cargo centers, as well as a charter airline destination, although some regular airlines also offer flights there.
The proximity of the airport to the Legoland theme park in Billund arguably makes it easier for the airport to attract passengers, and to lure more airlines into operating to the airport. However, the majority of the passengers live in western Denmark, and this is their main airport for international travel.
With the advent of the jet era, travel to Europe on the rise and such airlines as Air France, BOAC, Iberia, and United States airlines, particularly Pan Am and TWA making international advances, it was decided that an airport was needed in Billund during the 1960s. To build the airport, the Billund Airport Cooperative Society was formed, with the administrative officer of the county of Vejle, A.M. Wamberg, appointed as chairman of the board.
Assigned construction workers spent most of 1964 building the airport. On November 1 of the same year, the airport was inaugurated.
The first airline to have regular flights out of Billund Airport was SAS, with daily domestic operations to Copenhagen. The first international flight took some sailors to a ship waiting for them in Italy.
The first cargo flights began to arrive during the late 1960s. When the Boeing 747s began operating in 1970, cargo airlines from both the Americas and from Asia began to see Billund airport as a good stop-over point for their flights between the United States and the Far East, and vice-versa. Billund airport officials, seeing that the city and the airport would benefit from the extra fees that the newer carriers would have to pay for landing rights, agreed to make Billund a cargo center, and the airport's main runway was expanded in 1971, to 3,100 m (10,171 ft), enough for the largest jet of the era, the aforementioned 747, to land. Other measures, such as preparing the air tower with new technology to accommodate the new flights and busier schedule, were also taken.
Directors at Billund already envisioned non-stop, regular passenger flights to international destinations. But the European Economic Community provided a rather unlikely obstacle, preferring to have only one international airport in Denmark instead. By 1984, however, the EEC officials changed their minds, and Billund airport was finally allowed to have its first regular, non-stop airline service to another country. Maersk Air provided with the first such service, when the airline began a weekly service to Southend, England. Soon after, Concorde, flown by British Airways, made a stop at the airport.
With the growth of the city of Billund as a favourite destination among charter passengers, a new terminal became a necessity, and, in 2002, the airport's Terminal Two was opened, which allowed officials to close Terminal One to passengers and turn it into a cargo-only terminal.
On 15 September 2010 a Lufthansa Airbus A380-800 did a flyby at Billund Airport.
On 6 December 2011, Michael O'Leary announced Billund as a future base for Ryanair. The new base started in March 2012. Following the bankruptcy of Malév, Ryanair started flying a new route to Budapest in May 2012.
On 3 May 2012, Cimber Sterling – one of largest operators out from Billund – was declared bankrupt. Shortly after Sun Air announced new routes to Stockholm-Bromma and Oslo, while Skyways announced a route to Stockholm-Arlanda. On 22 May 2012 Skyways was declared bankrupt terminating the new route to Stockholm-Arlanda.
In April 2013, Billund Airport was awarded the 4th best regional airport in the world at 2013 World Airport Awards.
The airport handles an average of more than two million passengers a year, and millions of pounds of cargo.
The airport's main runway can handle airliners as large as the aforementioned Boeing 747, although most passengers arrive on smaller airplanes, such as ATR-42s, Boeing 737s and Boeing 757s. Boeing 747 activity at this airport is almost exclusively limited to cargo flights.
In the 2011–12, many charter airlines began long-haul operations out of Billund with following destinations: Colombo, Phuket, Sharjah, St. Croix in the winter and Cancún, Punta Cana in the summer. The flights are operated by Boeing 737 to Sharjah, but 767 and A330 are operating the service to the others by Jetairfly, TUIfly Nordic and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia.
Airlines and destinations
In addition to above mentioned scheduled flights, several airlines also operates charter flights.
Public And Road Transport
The road distance is to Billund 3 kilometres (2 mi), to Vejle 28 kilometres (17 mi), to Kolding 41 kilometres (25 mi), to Esbjerg 61 kilometres (38 mi) and to Århus 98 kilometres (61 mi). There are airport buses to Horsens, Skanderborg and Århus. Eight additional bus services operate from the airport.
There are six parking zones named after countries of the world, USA, Australia, Kenya, Spain, Egypt and Greenland. Three of the zones are connected by a shuttle bus, the other three being within walking distance. There is also a multi-storey carpark next to the terminal which is connected by two walking bridges. A self-service Petrol station is also open 24 hours.
- "EKBI – Billund" (PDF). AIP Denmark. Copenhagen: Trafikstyrelsen/Danish Transport Authority. 28 June 2012. part AD 2 – EKBI. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
Media related to Billund Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Current weather for EKBI at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for BLL at Aviation Safety Network