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Letisko M. R. Štefánika
|IATA: BTS – ICAO: LZIB
|Operator||Airport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS)|
|Serves||Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Austria|
|Elevation AMSL||436 ft / 133 m|
|Slovakian AIP at EUROCONTROL|
M. R. Štefánik Airport (Slovak: Letisko M. R. Štefánika) (IATA: BTS, ICAO: LZIB), also called – especially in English – Bratislava Airport (Slovak: Letisko Bratislava) or Bratislava-Ivanka, located 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of Bratislava Castle in Bratislava is the main international airport of Slovakia. It is named after general Milan Rastislav Štefánik since 1993, whose aircraft crashed near Bratislava in 1919. The airport is run by the Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS) a public limited company.
Bratislava serves as a base for the Slovak Government Flying Service as well as AirExplore, Go2Sky, Opera Jet, Samair, Travel Service Slovakia, DanubeWings and VR Jet. During a brief period in 2011, the airport also served as a secondary hub for Czech Airlines. The two maintenance companies Austrian Technik Bratislava and East Air Company are also based at the airport, Air Livery has also one painting bay for aircraft at the airport.
Bratislava Airport is located 9 km (5.6 mi) to the north-east from the city center, covering an area of 4.77 km2 (1.84 sq mi). It is located within a one-hour drive of Vienna (Austria), Brno (Czech Republic) and Győr (Hungary), covering a catchment area of four countries.
The first regular flight between Prague and Bratislava occurred in 1923, by the new-formed carrier Czechoslovak Airlines. At that time the airport for Bratislava was in Vajnory, about 3 km away from the current airport. This airport is now closed. Preparatory works for the current airport started in 1947 and construction began in 1948, with two runways constructed (04/22, 1900 m and 13/31, 1500 m) and the airport was opened in 1951.
Today, it serves both scheduled and unscheduled, domestic and international flights. The current runways enable the landing of virtually all types of aircraft used in the world today (except Airbus A380, Antonov An-225 and Boeing 747-8). The airport is category 4E for aircraft, and category 7 or 8 on request in terms of potential rescue.
The airport features two perpendicular runways (04/22 and 13/31), both of which underwent a complete reconstruction in the 1980s. Runway 13/31 is equipped for ICAO category IIIA approach and landing, while 04/22 is category I.
The airport has one terminal – the original terminal A, built in 1970 was demolished in January 2011 and replaced by the new terminal A (completed in July 2012) serving departures and arrivals; arrivals terminal B, built in 1994 and arrivals terminal C, built in 2006 – bot both these are now disused as the second part of the new terminal was finished and houses all arrivals. A new control tower was added in the 1990s. A new building linking the departures terminal with arrival terminal B has been finished in November 2008 and houses different Slovak travel agencies plus a post office. The number of passengers served decreased temporarily in the early 1990s due to competition by the nearby Vienna International Airport (which is only some 55 km (34 mi) distant from Bratislava Airport), but it is quickly increasing since. In 2005, the airport served 1,326,493 passengers, and in 2008 – 2,218,545 passengers. Nevertheless, due to the economic downturn and the collapse of SkyEurope Airlines, Air Slovakia and Seagle Air, the number of passengers has declined to just over 1,4 million in 2012.
Amenities and facilities: first aid, baggage wrapping, lost baggage, free Wi-Fi, bars and cafés, VIP lounge, airport business club, duty-free shops, souvenir shop, post office, news agents and car rental facilities. There are also facilities for the disabled. The parking lot near the terminal has 970 places and is used for short- and long-term parking. The capacity of the airport is due to the new terminal now over 5 million passengers per annum.
Two (not general aviation) aircraft ground handling companies operate at the airport: Airport Bratislava handling (handles Air Onix, Bulgarian Air Charter, BH-Balkan Holidays, Corendon, Freebird, Go2Sky, Norwegian, Onur Air, Ryanair, Samair, Syphax, Travel Service, Tunisair, UT Air and DHL flights), Skyport (handles AirExplore, AMC Airlines, DanubeWings and Slovak Government Flying Service flights).
Airlines and destinations
|Czech Airlines||Košice (begins 11 December 2013), Prague (resumes 11 December 2013)|
|Norwegian Air Shuttle||Oslo-Gardermoen
|Ryanair||Alghero, Bergamo, Birmingham, Charleroi, Dublin, Liverpool, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Rome-Ciampino
Seasonal: Beauvais, Bristol, Edinburgh, Girona, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Trapani
operated by Travel Service Airlines
|Seasonal: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion|
operated by EAT Leipzig
operated by Swiftair
Bratislava Airport can be reached from the city centre, which is 9 km (5.6 mi) away, or from D1 highway. There is a taxi stand just near the entrance to the airport with Danube Taxi and Breadis Taxi companies (taxi of other companies can be called by telephone).
Public transportation service 61 connects the airport to the city centre and the central railway station during the day. Service 96 operates from Petržalka. At night the airport is served by bus N61 from the central railway station. Blaguss and Slovak Lines (jointly with Postbus) operate bus lines (18 services a day – approximately once per hour) to Vienna which stop also at the Vienna International Airport. Slovak Lines also operates to destinations around Slovakia.
Accidents and incidents
- On 4 May 1919, M.R. Štefánik crashed on approach to Vajnory Airport, the predecessor to M. R. Štefánik Airport. Many rumors about his death exist.
- On 24 November 1966, an Il-18 on multi-leg TABSO Flight 101 from Sofia to East Berlin via Budapest and Prague crashed into the forested foothills of Little Carpathians west of the airport shortly after take-off from Bratislava Airport, where it had been grounded due to bad weather in Prague. All 74 passengers and eight crew members died.
- On 28 July 1976, an Il-18 on ČSA Flight OK-NAB from Prague crashed into the Zlaté Piesky lake just north-west of the airport while executing a go-around. 69 of 73 passengers and six crew members died in the crash. Two passengers later died in the hospital.
- On 20 October 1977, an Mi-8 helicopter inbound for landing with wife of the then President of Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák crashed in dense fog and darkness into a maize field about 300 m (980 ft) short of the runway. All four passengers died.
- On 6 June 1999, a BAE Hawk 200 aircraft crashed during SIAD '99 air show killing the pilot and one female spectator on the ground that was swept off the roof by explosion.
Media related to M. R. Štefánik Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Current weather for LZIB at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for BTS at Aviation Safety Network