Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport

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Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport
Port Lotniczy Gdańsk im. Lecha Wałęsy
Logo gdansk airport.jpg
Port Lotniczy im Lecha Walesy Terminal 2.jpg

IATA: GDNICAO: EPGD

Gdańsk is located in Poland
Gdańsk
Gdańsk
Location of airport in Poland
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Port Lotniczy Gdańsk Spółka z.o.o.
Serves Tricity, Poland
Hub for Ryanair, Wizzair
Elevation AMSL 149 m / 489 ft
Coordinates 54°22′39″N 018°27′58″E / 54.37750°N 18.46611°E / 54.37750; 18.46611
Website airport.gdansk.pl
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11/29 2,800 9,186 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Number of Passengers 3,288,180 Increase
Source: Polish AIP at EUROCONTROL[1] Statistics: Airport site and the Office of Civil Aviation[2]

Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (Polish: Port Lotniczy Gdańsk im. Lecha Wałęsy, formerly Polish: Port Lotniczy Gdańsk-Rębiechowo) (IATA: GDNICAO: EPGD) is an international airport located 12 km (7.5 mi) west northwest[1] of Gdańsk, Poland, not far from the city centres of the Tricity metropolitan area: Gdańsk (12 km (7.5 mi)), Sopot (10 km (6.2 mi)) and Gdynia (23 km (14 mi)).

The airport is named after Lech Wałęsa, the former Polish president. On the outside wall of the terminal building one can see the logo of the airport, which is Lech Wałęsa's actual signature, a stylized "W".

History[edit]

Early years (1910s-1950s)[edit]

An airpost Junkers F.13 in 1921 in Gdansk-Wrzeszcz

The first passenger flights in Gdansk were operated in the year 1919 from an airfield in the Langfuhr district of the Free City of Danzig (nowadays Wrzeszcz district of Gdansk).[3] It was possible thanks to a transformation of that military location into a civilian facility. The airport was at that time additionally used for airmail services and by the police. In the next years the airport continued acquisitions of further areas which allowed it to expand and invest in modern infrastructure at that time. The technical development of Gdansk airport was followed by the launching of regular routes to Warsaw, Berlin, Moscow, Königsberg and other important cities of the region. The flights were already operated by numerous international aviation companies. The first Polish route was served between Gdansk, Warsaw and Lviv by Aerolloyd and it was started in September 1922. The company initially used Junkers F.13 aircraft on that daily route. This domestic service was the beginning of the company which later gradually became the LOT Polish Airlines, which is still Poland's national carrier.

A railway connection to Gdańsk airport was built in the 1920s. This was followed by new tram tracks in the year 1930. The airport itself had a concrete runway which had light and navigation facilities allowing aircraft to land and to take off at night. In the 1930s Gdansk airport served less than 2,000 passengers annually but it was an important international hub that connected four countries and provided transport facilites between Polish cities.

The airport in Wrzeszcz was an important base of the German air forces during the Second World War. Even before that, German pilots had been trained on the grounds of this airport. Heavy bombings and other military activities led to the destruction of the airport. However, it was reconstructed after the war and it was provided with modern technics which allowed the airport to develop. Old domestic routes as well as many international destinations were relaunched. The airport had regular connections to countries like Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, Denmark and Sweden.

New location since 1970s[edit]

As the airport facilities became old and non functional at the end of 1960s (including runway lights which forced airport authorities to ban night flights), a new location near the village of Rębiechowo was chosen. The airport had to be built somewhere else also because of the further urban development. New areas were needed in order to make it possible for the public investors to construct new buildings for the growing population of Gdańsk. Furthermore, a new longer runway was necessary in order to allow larger jet airliners to take off and land safely as the era of modern jet aircraft began. The old airport in Wrzeszcz was officially closed on 1 May 1974 and it practically ceased to exist as a large housing estate was built on its grounds. Nowadays only a few remaining elements of the old Wrzeszcz airport infrastructure can be found.

After the closure of the old airport, the new one was built and it opened in 1974 near the village of Rębiechowo (on westernmost land incorporated into the Gdańsk borough of Matarnia in 1973). The airport acquired its current name in 2004. There was some controversy as to whether the name should be spelled Lech Walesa (without diacritics, but better recognizable in the world) or Lech Wałęsa (with Polish letters, but difficult to write and pronounce for foreigners, the closest English phonetic approximation being "Vawensa").

Since 1993 Gdansk airport has been owned 31.45% by the authorities of Pomeranian Voivodeship, 29.45% by city of Gdańsk, 1.14% by city of Gdynia, 0.35% by city of Sopot and 37.61% by Polish Airports State Enterprise. In 2006 the airport served for the first time in its history more than 1 million passengers per year. In 2010 the passenger number was higher than 2 million. After the construction of a new modern passenger terminal with extended capacities (the opening took place in April 2012 ahead of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championships), the airport continued its developemnt and it served for the first time over 3 million passengers in a single year in 2014. In summer season 2015 the airlines flying to and from the airport serve over 50 regular routes as well as charter and cargo flights.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Wizz Air is the largest operator at Gdansk Airport
LOT Polish Airlines Embraer 175 landing

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations
airBaltic Amsterdam (begins 26 October 2015)[4]
Air Berlin
operated by Darwin Airline
Berlin-Tegel
Czech Airlines Poznań (begins 15 June 2015), Prague (begins 15 June 2015)
Finnair
operated by Flybe Nordic
Helsinki
LOT Polish Airlines Kraków, Warsaw-Chopin
Lufthansa
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Frankfurt
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle Oslo-Gardermoen
Ryanair Birmingham, Bristol, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, London-Stansted, Moss, Warsaw-Modlin
Seasonal: Alicante, Kraków, Manchester, Pisa, Wrocław
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen
Wizz Air Aberdeen (begins 19 June 2015), Ålesund, Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bergen, Billund (begins 19 June 2015), Charleroi (begins 19 June 2015), Cologne/Bonn, Doncaster/Sheffield, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Groningen, Hahn, Haugesund, Kristiansand, Liverpool, London-Luton, Lübeck, Malmö, Malta, Molde, Reykjavík-Keflavík (begins 19 June 2015), Sandefjord, Stavanger, Stockholm-Skavsta, Trondheim, Turku
Seasonal: Rome-Fiumicino

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation
operated by Exin
Leipzig/Halle
FedEx Feeder
operated by Aero Contractors
Berlin-Schönefeld, Paris-Charles de Gaulle[5]
SprintAir Warsaw-Chopin
TNT Airways Katowice, Liège

Statistics[edit]

Departure gates at the new terminal
Check-in area at the new terminal
Year Passengers Cargo (t) Flight operations
1999 249,913 1,472 10,512
2000 269,960 1,552 11,586
2001 319,174 1,953 14,052
2002 318,033 2,211 13,450
2003 365,036 2,686 14,346
2004 463,840 2,742 17,500
2005 677,946 3,433 19,000
2006 1,249,780 4,037 24,200
2007 1,708,739 4,757 28,200
2008 1,954,166 4,610 31,000
2009 1,890,925 4,067 30,000
2010 2,232,590 4,487 32,000
2011 2,483,000 4,943 34,360
2012 2,906,000 4,851 37,022
2013 2,843,737 4,918 42,041
2014 3,288,180 5,658 39,974
2015 (Apr YTD) 997,814

Ground transportation[edit]

Bus[edit]

The following city bus lines connect the airport:

  • to Gdańsk-Centre, (Orunia Gościnna), Route 210 [1] via Gdańsk-Morena, Gdańsk Main Railway Station, old city.
  • to Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz, Route 110 to Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz Railway Station.
  • to Gdynia, Route 4A to Gdynia-Redłowo Railway Station, Gdynia Main Railway Station.
  • to Sopot, Route 122 to Sopot - Kamienny Potok Railway Station via Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz

Rail[edit]

A new railway, Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna (PKM, the 'Pomeranian Metropolitan Railway'), will commence service on 1 September 2015, connecting Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport with Wrzeszcz and downtown Gdańsk. It connects to the Szybka Kolej Miejska (Tricity) the 'Fast Urban Railway' which provides further connections by frequent trains[6] every 6 minutes to 30 minutes to 27 stations throughout the Tricity,[7] and also trains to outlying towns such as Wejherowo, Lębork and Słupsk, 110 km west of Gdynia, and to Tczew, 31 km south of Gdańsk. Construction of the PKM is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2015, and PKM service is scheduled to commence on 1 September 2015.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport at Wikimedia Commons