|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 centres, 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.
Billund Airport had its beginning in 1961, when founder of Lego, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen established a private 800-meter long runway and hangar north of the LEGO factory in Billund. With Godtfred Kirk Christiansen as a key driver, more of the neighbouring municipalities were included in the group of owners, and it was planned that the airport should be expanded to a regular public airport.
The construction of the new airport was carried out during 1964 and the airport opened on 1 November, with one runway at 1660 meters in length and 45 meters width, a small platform where aircraft could be served, and a control tower to the controller. Hans Erik Christensen, the former chief pilot at LEGO became director, and the passengers were handled in LEGO's hangar until the first terminal building was opened in the spring of 1966. The airport was continuously expanded the following years, with new facilities, terminal buildings, lounge, tax-free area and hangars where LC Johansen's studio often participated as an architect (today called the Johannsen Architects), while other work was carried out by the airport's own studio.
In 1997 they had an architectural competition for a new 430,000 ft² (40,000 m²) passenger terminal, designed to serve 3.5 million passengers a year, north of the original airport. KHR Architects won the assignment and completed the construction in co-operation with COWI, and at the end of May 2002 the new passenger terminal was put to use, as the first phase of the future expansion, which is scheduled to take place north of the start and runway, while air cargo services, business and private aviation will continue to be served from the existing buildings south of the runway. In connection with this expansion, the largest since the beginning of the airport, it was with effect from 1 January 1997 turned into a Joint-stock company, Billund Airport A/S, with the former members Vejle County and municipalities Vejle, Kolding, Grindsted, Billund, and Give as shareholders.
In 2008, the entire runway was renovated and paved, and a new taxiway was build, nicknamed "Mike". This enormous task only took 14 hours. The runway was closed over night between the hours 23:00 and 06:00. This should not prevent a Boeing 737-800 from Ryanair to land at one end of the runway, while they worked at the other end. The same year was also a record year for the airport. 2,546,856 passengers passed through the terminals, an increase of 12.7 percent compared with 2007.
From mid-2009, the airport was served by 9 airlines flying regular flight service, whereof KLM had the largest route with over 200,000 annual passengers to Amsterdam Schiphol. In 2011, Ryanair announced that Billund Airport with effect from 25 March 2012 would be the base for two Boeing 737 aircraft. At the same time Ryanair published 5 new routes, so that they from the summer of 2012 would fly to 19 destinations.
From 1 January 2007 the owners are: Vejle Municipality (34.3%), Kolding Municipality (25.9%), Billund Municipality (15%), Horsens Municipality (10.7%), Fredericia Municipality (6.9%), Hedensted Municipality (6.1%), Brande Municipality (1.0%) and Skanderborg Municipality (0.1%).
In 2014 Lego produced a special Lego Architecture kit, which could only be bought in the departure hall of the airport.
The airport handles an average of more than two millions 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 aeroplanes, 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 Aarhus 98 kilometres (61 mi). There are airport buses to Horsens, Skanderborg and Aarhus. 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.
- "Czech Airlines Launches Connections to Seven New Destinations in 2015 Summer Season". Czech Airlines. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "WIZZ AIR ADDS 6TH AIRCRAFT TO GDANSK - New routes to Aberdeen, Brussels Charleroi and Billund". Wizz Air. 15 January 2015.
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