Cluj International Airport
|Cluj Avram Iancu
"Avram Iancu" Cluj
|IATA: CLJ – ICAO: LRCL
|Owner||Cluj County Council|
|Operator||Romanian Civil Aviation Authority|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||1,036 ft / 315 m|
|Sources: Romanian AIP at EUROCONTROL, airportcluj.ro, Aircraft movements data for 2011|
Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport (IATA: CLJ, ICAO: LRCL) is an airport serving the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Initially known as Someşeni Airport, it is located 9 km (5.6 mi) east of the city centre, in the Someşeni area, which is now within the Cluj-Napoca city limits. The airport is named in honour of Romanian revolutionary Avram Iancu.
In terms of traffic, it is the third airport in Romania, after Bucharest Henri Coandă and Timișoara Traian Vuia. Its size and location (on the European route E576 and close to A3 Transylvania Motorway) makes it the main airport in the historical region of Transylvania.
Cluj Airport was founded on 1 April 1932 by the Romanian Ministry of Industry and Trade. Until the civil airport was built, the first operations used the Someşeni Military Aerodrome that was founded by the Romanian National Service of Air Navigation (Romanian: Serviciul Naţional de Navigaţie Aerianǎ SNNA) in 1928. The SNNA was set up by the Romanian Ministry of War for opening an air transportation line between Cluj and Bucharest. The first aircraft used was the Farman-Goliath aircraft, a twin-engine plane with space for ten passengers built by the Farman Aviation Works.
In 1933, Cluj Airport was declared an International Airport by the Romanian Government. The first international flight, a CSA Czech Airlines Prague-Cluj-Bucharest flight, took place on 11 September 1933. The aircraft used on this route were eight-seat Avia-Fokker aircraft. In the following years, several new routes were opened, such as the Aeroflot Moscow-Cluj-Prague flight, opened on 15 November 1935, which was operated with 14-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-2 twin-engine aircraft, registered as USSR-M25 and USSR-M26. Internal flights were also operated in this period, such as Cluj-Satu-Mare and Cernăuţi-Cluj-Arad using Lockheed Model 10 Electra ten-passenger aircraft and de Havilland Dragon Rapide aircraft. In the late 1930s the airport recorded a steady growth and the employees number rose from 6 in 1934 to 16 in 1939. The passenger terminal was also built in this period, being inaugurated in 1939.
During World War II, the airport became a military airport, as it was considered to be the most important in Transylvania. In 1940, as a result of the Second Vienna Award, Northern Transylvania (including Cluj) was ceded to Hungary and thus the airport was used by the Hungarian Air Force and German Luftwaffe. Malert airline also operated flights to Budapest during these years. In October 1944, the Hungarian forces in the city were defeated by the Romanian and Soviet armies. By the time of the reconquest of the airport by the Romanian No. 4 Fighting Squadron Focşani, in late September 1944, the airport was completely destroyed.
After the war, the airport's operations were resumed with TAROM internal flights connecting Cluj to other major Romanian cities. The aircraft used were the Lisunov Li-2 / Douglas DC-3 and Ilyushin Il-14 aircraft.
In the 1960s, an extensive modernization of the airport began. In 1969, a new passenger terminal was opened. By 1970, the airport was fully equipped with all of the safety facilities.
The airport remained a domestic airport until September 1996, when it was once again opened to both international passenger and cargo traffic. The extension of the terminal building was also started in 1996 and since August 1997 it is run by the Cluj County Council. By 2001, the extension of the airport building was finished, the runway lighting system was modernized, and an Instrument Landing System (ILS) CAT I equipment was implemented.
In 2007 and 2008, the Cluj airport had the most spectacular evolution in recent years, with a year-over-year growth of 60% and 93% respectively, reaching over 750,000 passengers in 2008.
The construction of a new terminal, capable of handling 2 million passengers annually, started on 26 June 2007. The 10,812 m2 (116,380 sq ft) arrivals hall was inaugurated on May 22, 2008, followed by the new departures hall, with a total area of 16,000 m2 (170,000 sq ft), inaugurated in May 2009. Total project cost was an estimated €40 million. In February 2009, the ILS equipment was upgraded to CAT II.
On 8 September 2011, the construction works for building a new runway of 2,100 m (6,890 ft) began. The works represented the first phase of the investment that aims at a take-off/landing runway of 3,500 m (11,483 ft). The new runway 07/25 officially went into operation on 26 October 2013. The old runway 08/26 became a taxiway, after the new runway opened.
On 20 December 2010, Cluj airport hit the record of 1,000,000 passengers handled in 2010.
Airlines and destinations
operated by Lufthansa Cityline
|TAROM||Bucharest, Prague, Vienna|
|Wizz Air||Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Charleroi, Dortmund, Eindhoven, London-Luton, Madrid, Rome-Ciampino, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Treviso, Valencia, Zaragoza|
|Aegean Airlines||Summer seasonal: Heraklion, Rhodes, Zakynthos|
|Air Bucharest||Summer seasonal: Antalya, Barcelona, Budapest, Rome-Fiumicino, Venice|
|Corendon Airlines||Summer seasonal: Antalya|
|Pegasus Airlines||Summer seasonal: Antalya|
|TAROM||Summer seasonal: Skiathos|
|TunisAir Express||Summer seasonal: Tunis|
|ABC Air Hungary||Budapest|
|TAROM Cargo||Bucharest-Henri Coandă|
The airport is located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of the city centre on the European route E576. The drive from the city centre takes about 20 minutes. Passengers driving to the airport can use the car park located in the immediate vicinity of the terminal building. The prices are 2 lei (0,5 euro) for a stay between 1 and 30 min, 4 lei (1 euro) for 30 min-1 hour, 12 lei for 1–2 hours, 16 lei for 2–5 hours, 25 lei for 5–18 hours, 35 lei for 18–24 hours, 100 lei for 1–7 days, 170 lei for 7–14 days, and 340 lei for 14–30 days. Car rental services are available in the terminal building.
The airport bus stop is approximately 100 m (330 ft) from the terminal building. After exiting the terminal building, walk 50 m (160 ft) through the car park to the main road, turn right, then walk another 50 m (160 ft) west along the main road.
RATUC, the local public transport company, operates its Route No. 8 that connects the airport with the Mihai Viteazul Square in the City Center and trolleybus No. 5 to the Rail station. The No. 8 bus runs every 30 minutes, from 5:30 to 22:30 on Monday-Friday and from 5:30 to 22:00 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, while the No. 5 trolleybus runs roughly every 30 minutes as well, from 5:45 to 21:00 on every day of the week. The travel time between the airport and the city center/ rail station is approximately 30 minutes. The price of a 2 fare ticket is 4 lei (0,8 euros).
There are usually a wide range of taxis waiting in the airport car park, just off the terminal building. Some of them have significantly higher tariffs than the others, therefore it is advisable to only use the ones clearly displaying the fee, usually about 1.9 lei (roughly 0.5 Euro) per kilometre. A trip from the airport to the city centre is approximately 20 lei (around 5 euros).
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 September 1986 at about 17:00, a fully loaded Antonov An-24RV aircraft departed Bucharest Otopeni Airport, bound for Cluj-Napoca. When the landing procedure began, one of the flight attendants, Aurelia Grigore, realized that the aircraft was landing at higher than normal speed. When the main landing gear touched ground, it bounced repeatedly until the aircraft stopped. The front of the aircraft was on fire. Grigore realized they had an emergency situation. With her flight attendant colleague, she decided to start deplaning passengers. She opened the emergency exit and she let the stairs down, but the stairs weren't touching the ground because the front gear was broken. She was helped by Emil Hossu, a famous actor. "He was one of the few people that didn't panic and helped us evacuate the aircraft in safety", said Grigore. After evacuating the passengers they returned to help the pilots who were trapped in the cockpit. "The cockpit was on fire and we lost any faith that we could save them". The next moments were horrible for all passengers and flight crew. The aircraft was destroyed by flames and with the pilots still on board. After 10 minutes, they saw one of the copilots trying to escape through a window. "He told us his foot was stuck and that he couldn't get it out. We tried to help him, but we couldn't. Finally he managed to get out of the aircraft on fire. He was completely burned, you couldn't even look at him. It was terrible. The other 2 pilots burned alive as we watched them, helpless". The copilot died also. He was transported to the ER but died the next day because of the burns. The authorities said that the accident was due to an equipment malfunction. The 3 pilots were the only casualties.
- New RWY at Cluj-Napoca International Airport at Romanian CAA
- EAD Basic
- Traffic Data at airportcluj.ro
- "Cum se va numi de azi aeroportul din Cluj". Ziua de Cluj. 17 Octomber 2013.
- "Aeroportul clujean, asaltat de pasageri". Citynews. January 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Aeroport Cluj
- Cluj-Napoca Airport has a new departures terminal
- The Arrivals hall (Romanian)
- The beginning of the construction works for Cluj-Napoca International Airport's new runway
- Noua pistă a Aeroportului Cluj-Napoca, inaugurată în 26 octombrie (Romanian)
- Cu pasagerul 1.000.000, Aeroportul Cluj devine lider regional
- Plan strategic de dezvoltare a Municipiului Cluj-Napoca - 2005 (Romanian)
- ORDIN 169/1.801. Planul national de actiune privind reducerea emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră în domeniul aviatiei civile (Romanian)
Media related to Cluj-Napoca International Airport at Wikimedia Commons