Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse
|IATA: BSL, MLH – ICAO: LFSB, LSZM|
|Owner||French and Swiss states|
|Operator||L'administration de l’Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse|
|Hub for||easyJet Switzerland|
|Elevation AMSL||885 ft / 270 m|
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (IATA: MLH, BSL, ICAO: LFSB, LSZM)[note 1] is an international airport 3.5 km (2.2 mi) northwest of Basel in Switzerland, 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mulhouse in France, and 46 km (29 mi) south-southwest of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. It is located in France, on the administrative territory of the commune of Saint-Louis near the Swiss and German borders. The airport serves as a base for easyJet Switzerland and features mainly flights to European metropolitan and leisure destinations.
Plans for the construction of a joint Swiss–French airport started in the 1930s, but were halted by the Second World War.
In 1946 talks resumed and it was agreed that an airport would be built 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Blotzheim, France. France would provide the land and the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt would cover the construction costs. Basel-Stadt's Grand Council agreed to pay the costs for a provisional airport even before an international treaty was signed (which was not until 1949). Construction began on 8 March 1946 and a provisional airport with a 1,200-metre (3,900 ft) runway was officially opened on 8 May.
Between autumn 1951 and spring 1953, the east–west runway was extended to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) and the "Zollfreistrasse" (customs-free road) was constructed, allowing access from Basel to the departure terminal without passing through French border controls.
The first enlargement project was approved by referendum in Basel in 1960 and, over the following decades, the terminals and runways were continually extended. The north–south runway was extended further to 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) in 1972. In 1984, an annual total of 1 million passengers was reached.
In 1987, the trademark name EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg was introduced.
In 1992 a total of 2 million passengers used the airport. By 1998, this number rose up to 3 million.
Development in the 2000s
A decision was made to enlarge the terminals again with a new "Y-finger" dock. The first phase was completed in 2002 and the second phase in 2005.
Crossair was based at Basel and was its largest airline. Following the Swissair liquidation in 2001, the subsequent ending of services in early 2002, and the transformation of Crossair into Swiss International Air Lines, the number of flights from Basel fell and the new terminal was initially underused. In 2004 the low cost carrier EasyJet opened a base at Basel and the passenger totals rose again, reaching 4 million in 2006.
From 2007 until 2009, Ryanair also flew to the airport for the first time. However as result of a dispute over landing fees, the airline closed all eight routes. More recently Ryanair announced it would return in April 2014, with the resumption of Basel–Dublin route as well as the new route Basel – London–Stansted.
In December 2014, Swiss International Air Lines announced to cease all operations at Basel by 31 May 2015 due to heavy competition from low-cost carriers. Swiss faces direct competition on five out of its six Basel routes. The Lufthansa Group announced to set up Eurowings' first international base at the EuroAirport as a replacement. However these plans were later cancelled in favour of Vienna International Airport.
EuroAirport is one of the few airports in the world operated jointly by two countries, in this case France and Switzerland. It is governed by a 1949 international convention. The headquarters of the airport's operations are located in Blotzheim, France. The airport is located completely on French soil; the airport has a Swiss customs area connected to Basel by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long customs road. The airport is operated via an state treaty established in 1946 wherein the two countries (Switzerland and France) are granted access to the airport without any customs or other border restrictions. The airport's board has 8 members each from France and Switzerland and two advisers from Germany.
The airport building is split into two separate sections – Swiss and French. Though the whole airport is on French soil and under French jurisdiction, the Swiss authorities have the authority to apply Swiss laws regarding customs, medical services and police work in the Swiss section, including the customs road connecting Basel with the airport. However, French police is allowed to execute random checks in the Swiss section as well. With Switzerland joining the Schengen Treaty in March 2009, the air side was rearranged to include a Schengen and non-Schengen zone. Travellers departing from the airport into non-Schengen countries may receive either the Swiss or the French passport stamp, according to their entry choice.
Due to its international status, EuroAirport has two IATA airport codes: BSL (Basel) is the Swiss code and MLH (Mulhouse) is the French code. Its ICAO airport code is LFSB. Geneva International Airport has a similar international status, though without the multiple IATA codes.
The EuroAirport consists of a single terminal building, a brick-style main area with four levels and the Y-shaped gate area attached to it. The basement (Level 1) contains the access to the car park, the ground level (Level 2) features the arrivals facilities. Level 3 sees the check-in area divided into halls 1-4 while the departure gates are located at Level 4. The gate area features gates 1-2, 20-46, 60-61 and 78-87 of which gates 22-32 are used for non-Schengen flights. Six of the boarding gates feature jet bridges, the others are used for walk- or bus-boarding. As described above, the landside areas are uniquely divided into a French and a Swiss part.
Airlines and destinations
operated by Atlantic Airlines
operated by Bluebird Cargo
|Emirates SkyCargo||Dubai–Al Maktoum|
operated by Air Contractors
|Paris–Charles de Gaulle|
|Korean Air Cargo||Seoul–Incheon|
|LAN Cargo||Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha, Brussels|
operated by Farnair Switzerland
- The headquarters of Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines are on the grounds at EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg in the Swiss section of the airport; even though the airport is within France, the Swiss head office is only accessible from Switzerland. The Swiss division Swiss Aviation Software has its head office there as well.
- Farnair Switzerland formerly had its head office at EuroAirport. As in the case of the Swiss head office, the area with the former Farnair head office may only be accessed from Switzerland. The head office moved to its current location, the Villa Guggenheim in Allschwil, in proximity to EuroAirport, on 1 October 2011.
- Hello, a now defunct Swiss airline, had its head office in the General Aviation area of EuroAirport.
- Prior to the formation of Swiss International Air Lines, the regional airline Crossair was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport. Prior to its dissolution, Crossair Europe was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport as well.
There are several bus connections to and from the EuroAirport to all three countries around it:
- On the Swiss exit Basel's BVB bus No. 50 connects the airport to Bahnhof SBB, which is the main Swiss and French railway station in Basel. During weekdays, there is a service every 7–8 minutes and on weekends, every 10 minutes during daytime. The duration of the trip is about 20 minutes. On the day of a visitor's arrival to Basel, a reservation confirmation from a local hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the station or the EuroAirport to the hotel.
- On the French exit Saint-Louis' distribus bus No. 11 connects the airport to the gare SNCF, Saint-Louis's railway station in 10 minutes.
- Freiburger-Reisedienst AirportBus connects the airport to Freiburg Central bus station in Germany.
- IATA airport 3-letter codes for French, Swiss airport, and metropolitain area
- "Airline and Airport Code Search: 3-letter airport code". Retrieved 2014-11-06.
Search for location
- PDF). AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 5 Mar 2015. (
- "Annual Report 2013 (2/3): Key Figures" (PDF) (annual report) (in French, German, and English). l’Aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
- EAD Basic[dead link]
- "General conditions of use". EuroAirport. Retrieved on 24 September 2009. "The Site is published by Basel–Mulhouse Airport, a Franco-Swiss public enterprise governed by the international convention of 4 July 1949 concerning its construction and operation and the headquarters of which are situated at 68730 Blotzheim, France".[dead link][dead link]
- "Schweizerisch-Französischer Staatsvertrag vom 4. Juli 1949 (Höflichkeitsübersetzung)" (in German). EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
- "Terminal plan". EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
- BSL – Basel/Mulhouse-EuroAirport Swiss. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- MLH – Mulhouse, France/Basel-EuroAirport. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- "Flight Timetables". easyJet.
- "WizzAir Adds Mulhouse – Nis Service from July 2015". Airline Route. 11 December 2014.
- "Wizz Air continues to expand in Macedonia – 3rd aircraft in Skopje, 1 new airport and 6 new routes". Wizz Air. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "AIRBRIDGECARGO AIRLINES FIRST FLIGHT GETS A SPLASHING WELCOME AT BASEL AIRPORT". AirBridgeCargo Airlines. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "Facts and figures". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
- "Swiss International Air Lines Basel". Swiss International Air Lines. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
- "CONTACT". Swiss Aviation Software. Retrieved on 17 September 2011. "Swiss AviationSoftware Ltd. BSLSAS/MA P.O.Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland Marketing & Administration" The location is implied by this picture which is of the Swiss head office at Basel Airport.
- "How to find us". Farnair Europe. Retrieved on 8 December 2010.
- "Contact Us". (Archive) Farnair Switzerland. Retrieved on 19 February 2012.
- "Hello Location". (Direct image link) Hello. Retrieved on 1 July 2010.
- "Location". Crossair. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
- World Airline Directory. Flight International. 23–29 March 2004. 58.
- "BVB – Line network". BVB. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
- "Mobility Ticket". Basel Tourismus. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
- "distribus ligne 11" (PDF). http://www.distribus.com/. distribus. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
Media related to EuroAirport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (English) (French) (German)
- Aeronautical chart for LFSB at SkyVector
- Current weather for LFSB at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for BSL at Aviation Safety Network
- Accident history for MLH at Aviation Safety Network
- "Franco-Swiss treaty for the construction and use of Basel–Mulhouse airport in Blotzheim" (1949). Text available in French and German.
- History of Basel Airport on Airport Website. (German)
- Information and some history on Airport Website. (English)