Katowice International Airport
|Katowice International Airport
Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy Katowice
|Owner/Operator||Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze (GTL) (Upper Silesian Aviation Group)|
|Elevation AMSL||304 m / 304 metres (997 ft) ft|
Katowice International Airport (Polish: Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy Katowice) (IATA: KTW, ICAO: EPKT) is an international airport, located in Pyrzowice, 30 km (19 mi) north of center of Katowice, Poland. The airport has the fourth biggest passenger flow in Poland.
The place where the Katowice International Airport is now located, was first used by German soldiers. In 1940 the Luftwaffe began construction of an airbase in the meadows around Pyrzowice. The Germans built three stone and concrete strips with a length of runway from 1000 to 1500 meters and 50 meters wide. The airbase was used for the handling of military aircraft, flying from the inner part of the German Reich to the aeroplanes taking supplies to troops on the Eastern Front. In the final phase of World War II, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet powered aircraft missile systems have been tested here. After the death of Luftwaffe flying ace gen. Ernst Udet in 1941, the airfield was named Udetfeld.
From 1945 to 1951, Soviet Army's soldiers were stationed at the airbase. In the early 1950s, the Soviets handed the airbase to the Polish Air Force. It was then used by the 39 Fighter Regiment, created on 17 April 1951.
The airbase Pyrzowice was for the first time made available for passenger traffic on 6 October 1966, when the first plane of LOT Polish Airlines, taking off for Warsaw. By the end of 1969 year a small passenger terminal was built (550 m²) with a taxiway and apron front of the airport.
Development since the 1990s
In 1991 Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze (GTL) (English: Upper Silesian Aviation Group) was created. In 27 March 1993 the German carrier Lufthansa flew to Frankfurt, thus inaugurating the first international service. Passenger Terminal B officially opened on 30 July 2007.
Katowice International Airport is constantly developing. Future plans include to extend the runway, the construction of a third passenger terminal, a new cargo terminal and a new runway.
The airport features two passenger terminals A and B and a cargo terminal. Operations at terminal B, much bigger than A, started on 30 July 2007. Terminals are capable of handling about 3.6 million passengers annually. Terminal A handles all non-Schengen flights, while Terminal B handles all Schengen flights. The longest airport observation deck in Poland can be found inside Terminal B.
Runway and apron
The airports concrete runway is 2,800 by 60 m (9,186 by 197 ft) and can accommodate aircraft as large as Boeing 747 or Boeing 777, albeit not at Maximum Takeoff Weight. Heavy transports such as Antonov An-124 or An-225 have been noticed to land there. The airport uses new generation Instrument Landing System - Thales 420.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Contractors||Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Stuttgart|
|DHL Aviation||Cologne/Bonn, Leipzig/Halle|
operated by SprintAir
|TNT Airways||Erfurt, Liège|
|Year||Passengers||Air operations||Cargo (tonnes)|
|January||139 555||139 555|
|February||129 603||268 618|
|March||146 519||415 137|
|April||166 583||581 720|
|May||225 080||806 800|
|June||310 478||1 117 278|
|July||365 727||1 483 005|
|August||367 115||1 850 120|
|September||322 389||2 173 049|
|October||225 820||2 398 869|
|November||152 117||2 550 986|
|December||144 746||2 695 732|
|Source: Lotnisko w Katowicach|
In 2006 express road S1 was opened between the Podwarpie junction and the airport. Thanks to this road the airport is easily accessible from Katowice and other cities of the region by national road 86 and from Kraków by A4 motorway or national road 94. The airport is also accessible by national road 78 and A1 motorway
There is an hourly bus service between Katowice city centre and the airport. The bus leaves every full hour from Katowice Main Railway Station and stops near Altus Building, Novotel Katowice and in Sosnowiec (Milowice Shopping Center). It takes approximately 50 minutes to get from center of Katowice to the airport. Bus connections from other largest cities of the region, such as Kraków (about 75 minutes travel), Częstochowa and minibus - inter alia from/to Opole, Wrocław are also available. Local buses (KZKGOP no: 85, 17) connect to the city of Bytom where one can change for bus (820,830) to Katowice (820,830), which is the cheapest but time consuming option.
There is currently no passenger rail link to airport but building of a railway between Katowice and the airport is being planned.
Accidents and incidents
- On 27 October 2007, a Boeing 737-800 chartered by the UN destroyed dozens of approach and landing lights whilst making a low approach. No passengers were injured, but the approach lights were out of service for three weeks.
- On 12 March 2013, Travel Service Flight 7137, a Boeing 737, overran the runway while landing in snowy weather just before 19:00, its nosewheel getting stuck approximately 3 feet deep into the soft ground 20 metres beyond the runway. None of 176 passengers and 6 crew suffered any injuries, but the airport was closed until 17:00 the next day until the aircraft was recovered and taxied away.
- On 5 July 2014 Lufthansa Flight 1360, operated by Lufthansa Cityline landed on a new runway under construction. None of the passengers were hurt, and the aircraft later made a technical flight to land on the correct runway, as the runway being built had yet no tarmac connections to apron.
- EAD Basic
- Statistics from Office of Civil Aviation (ULC)
- "Airport history" on the airport website
- History of the airport, official airport website
- "Boeing 747 8 Airport Planning Guide", Boeing.com. Link accessed 2007-08-22.
- "New ILS at Katowice Airport"
- "MORE WIZZ AIR FLIGHTS FROM POLAND 4 NEW ROUTES FROM KATOWICE AND WARSAW AND EXTRA FLIGHTS FROM GDANSK". Wizz Air. 18 December 2014.
- "Wizz Air timetable". Wizz Air.
- Annual statistics on airport website
- (English) (Polish) "Time-table for autobus Fast bus number "Airport"" - KZK GOP page
- (Polish) "Lotnisko w Pyrzowicach" on www.e-krakow.com
- (Polish) "Częstochowa ma regularne połączenie z Pyrzowicami - Pyrzowiceekspres" - www.tur-info.pl
- (Polish) "Dojazd, Airport Katowice" - www.airport-lotnisko.katowice.pl
- (Polish) "Dojazd do lotniska Pyrzowice" - www.elotnicze.pl
- (Polish) "Szybka kolej do Pyrzowic? Bliżej niż dalej" - gazeta.pl
- "Spanish 737's low approach wrecks Katowice Airport lighting" - Flight Global, 2007
- "Stuck in the mud: Poland airport closes as plane skids off runway" - The Journal, 2013
Media related to Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (English) (German) (French) (Czech) (Ukrainian) (Polish)
- Service Platform for the Katowice Airport passengers, co-financed by the European Union (Polish)
- Current weather for EPKT at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for KTW at Aviation Safety Network