Beauvais–Tillé Airport

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Beauvais–Tillé Airport
Aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) A-61/B-42
LFOB logo.png
Beauvais-Tillé Airport - general view.JPG
IATA: BVAICAO: LFOB
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie (CCI) de l'Oise
Serves Beauvais, France
Location Tillé
Elevation AMSL 359 ft / 109 m
Coordinates 49°27′16″N 02°06′46″E / 49.45444°N 2.11278°E / 49.45444; 2.11278Coordinates: 49°27′16″N 02°06′46″E / 49.45444°N 2.11278°E / 49.45444; 2.11278
Website aeroportbeauvais.com
Maps
Location of Picardy region in France
Location of Picardy region in France
LFOB is located in Picardy
LFOB
LFOB
Location of airport in Picardy region
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 2,430 7,972 Asphalt
04/22 708 2,323 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 3,862,562 Increase
Aircraft movements 35,999 Decrease
Sources: French AIP[1]

Beauvais–Tillé Airport or Aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé (IATA: BVAICAO: LFOB) is an airport near the city of Beauvais in France. It is located in Tillé, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) north–northeast[1] of Beauvais, a commune of the Oise department in the Picardy region. The airport handled 3,952,908 passengers in 2013[2] and is mostly used by low-cost and charter airlines.

Despite its official name Aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé and its location 85 km (53 mi) north of Paris, some low-cost airlines serving the airport refer to it as Paris–Beauvais for marketing purposes.

History[edit]

This airport was built in the 1930s and seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the Battle of France.

German use during World War II[edit]

Beauvais was used as a Luftwaffe military airfield during the occupation. Known units assigned (all from Luftflotte 3, Fliegerkorps IV):[3][4]

The initial German use of the airport was as a bomber base. KG 76 and SKG 1 both took part in the Battle of Britain. I./KG 76 was reduced to 19 out of 29 serviceable machines by 18 August 1940. KG 76 raided London on 7 and 15 September,

With the Luftwaffe switching to night attacks on England, the badly damaged units at Beauvais were replaced by a series of He 111 and Ju 88A units that carried out anti-shipping missions (KG 26, KG 77); night bombing missions over England (KG 4, KG 54. KG 6)[3]

The increasing number and frequency of USAAF Eighth Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator daylight heavy bomber raids over occupied Europe and Germany made the Luftwaffe move out the bomber units and assign day interceptor fighter units to attack the American bombers as part of the Defense of the Reich. After the invasion of Normandy, elements of JG 1 were moved to France and were tasked with providing air support to the German army, along with their normal air defense role against Allied bombers.[3]

In response to the interceptor attacks, Beauvais was attacked by USAAF Ninth Air Force Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers with 500-pound general-purpose bombs, unguided rockets and .50 caliber machine gun sweeps when Eighth Air Force heavy bombers were within interception range of the Luftwaffe aircraft assigned to the base. The attacks were timed to have the maximum effect possible to keep the interceptors pinned down on the ground and be unable to attack the heavy bombers. Also the North American P-51 Mustang fighter-escort groups of Eighth Air Force would drop down on their return to England and attack the base with a fighter sweep.[5]

American use[edit]

It was liberated by Allied ground forces about 3 September 1944 during the Northern France Campaign. Almost immediately, the United States Army Air Forces IX Engineer Command 818th Engineer Aviation Battalion cleared the airport of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft. Little battle damage was sustained, and the airport became a USAAF Ninth Air Force combat airfield, designated as Advanced Landing Ground "A-61" about 15 September, also being known as "Beauvais/Tille Airfield".[6][7]

From Beauvais, the Ninth Air Force 322d Bombardment Group flew B-26 Marauder medium bombers from mid-September until March 1945.[8] Once the combat unit moved east, the airport was used by transport units, flying in supplies from England and evacuating combat casualties on the return trip. The Americans returned full control of the airport to French authorities on 17 August 1945.[8]

Postwar/Current[edit]

Airbus A320 of Wizz Air, Beauvais–Tillé Airport, 3 April 2011.

In 1950 the Air Ministry offered to provide the wartime air base to NATO as part of the Cold War development of the alliance. Beauvais was selected to become a NATO Emergency airfield (Beauvais–Tillé Air Base), controlled by the French Air Force and intended for use by all NATO air forces to disperse their aircraft in case of war.

Demolition crews arrived and removed the wartime wreckage and any unexploded munitions were removed from the site. Funding shortages did not allow the construction of an 8000' jet runway, dispersal pads and other features found at a modern military airfield. Instead, in 1953 the NATO plans for Beauvais were discontinued and the airport was returned to private hands.[9]

In 1956 for Beauvais–Tillé was rebuilt as a civil airport and reopened for commercial use. Redevelopment began in 2005. The airport then had three gates, housed within a marquee tent while the permanent facilities were being redeveloped.

Evidence of its wartime history is present around the threshold of runway 22, northeast of the airport, with about 2000 feet of the runway end being the unused surface of the wartime runway, complete with several bomb craters left by the Ninth Air Force bomber attacks and some single-lane concrete roads, being the remainders of wartime taxiways. In addition, ruins of the support technical site remain to the northeast of the airport, near the commune of Morlaine, with connecting taxiways and the foundations/rubble of what appears to be buildings or an aircraft hangar. Wartime dispersal revetments in a wooded area, also connected by taxiways, remain.

Equipment[edit]

Terminal 1 check-in area

Terminal[edit]

The airport is equipped to handle medium-sized passenger jets. Since 2007 the ban on night flying has been strictly enforced for the benefit of local residents. The terminal building closes between the hours of 23:30 and 06:30.[10] The airport has two terminals, some restaurants, snack bars, and shopping areas, both airside and in the publicly accessible area.

Runway[edit]

The main runway, 12/30, has an Instrument landing system CAT III for runway 12 and CAT I for runway 30 plus a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) for runway 12. This enables aircraft to land at the airport in bad weather conditions, with visibility as low as 200 meters.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Moldova Chişinău 1
Blue Air Bucharest, Bacău, Constanta 1
Eurolot Rzeszów (ends 25 October 2014) 2
Jetairfly Casablanca, Rabat 1
Ryanair Alghero, Bergamo, Béziers, Bologna, Dublin, Edinburgh (resumes October 2014), Fez, Kraków, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Nador, Oujda, Pescara, Pisa, Rabat, Santander, Shannon,[11] Tangier, Treviso, Valencia, Vilnius, Wrocław (resumes 26 October 2014)
Summer seasonal: Manchester
1
Ryanair Barcelona, Bari, Budapest, Cagliari, Faro, Girona, Gothenburg-City, Lanzarote, Madrid, Málaga, Moss/Rygge, Porto, Rome-Ciampino, Seville, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki (begins 28 October 2014), Trapani, Trieste, Warsaw-Modlin, Zaragoza
Summer seasonal: Alicante, Bratislava, Brindisi, Palma de Mallorca, Pula, Zadar
2
Wizz Air Belgrade, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Riga, Skopje, Sofia, Târgu Mureş, Timişoara, Wrocław 1
Wizz Air Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Vilnius, Warsaw-Chopin 2

Traffic[edit]

All cities served nonstop from Beauvais-Tillé (November 2013)
Passengers per year[12]
Year Passengers Change
1996 64,000
1997 209,180 Increase 226.8%
1998 260,267 Increase 24.4%
1999 388,836 Increase 49.4%
2000 387,962 Increase 29.03%
2001 423,520 Increase 9.02%
2002 677,857 Increase 60.02%
2003 969,445 Increase 43.03%
2004 1,427,595 Increase 47.26%
2005 1,848,484 Increase 29.48%
2006 1,887,971 Increase 2.14%
2007 2,155,633 Increase 14.18%
2008 2,484,635 Increase 15.26%
2009 2,591,864 Increase 4.32%
2010 2,931,796 Increase 13.12%
2011 3,677,794 Increase 25.45%
2012 3,862,562 Increase 5.02%
2013 3,952,908 Increase 2.34%

Air Movement[edit]

Movement per year[13]
Year Movement Change
2008 33,724
2009 32,777 Decrease 2.08%
2010 36,517 Increase 11.04%
2011 37,657 Increase 3.01%
2012 35,999 Decrease 4.04%
2013 - -

Public transport connections[edit]

Road transport[edit]

The airport is serviced by a shuttle to the city centre and railway station that operates eight times a day; many passengers use a private scheduled coach for a 75-minute trip to Paris, ending beside the Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot, located in the 17th arrondissement, approximately a kilometre west of the Arc de Triomphe.

There is a taxi rank at the airport, and also a shuttle bus into the town.

There are also many minibus and shuttle services that can bring you to Paris or Disneyland Park which are popular destinations for passengers arriving at Beauvais Tillé.

A commuter bus provided by the Transports Urbains du Beauvaisis runs to Beauvais town centre:

  • Line 12 – Mairie – Zone d’activités des Tilleuls – Tillé – Aéroport
  • Airport Shuttle – Airport – Parc Municipal – Maillart – Cathédrale – Mairie (City Hall) – Gare SNCF – Kennedy – Descartes – Délie – Saint-Germain – Elispace – Airport

Railway connection[edit]

The Beauvais train station is situated almost 4 km (2.5 mi) away, with connections to Paris Gare du Nord, Amiens, etc.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b LFOB – Beauvais Tillé (PDF). AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 24 Jul 2014.
  2. ^ International traffic drives modest French growth
  3. ^ a b c The Luftwaffe, 1933–45
  4. ^ Identification codes of units of the Luftwaffe 1939 – 1945
  5. ^ USAAF Film "Target For Today"
  6. ^ Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
  7. ^ IX Engineer Command ETO Airfields, Airfield Layout
  8. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  9. ^ McAuliffe, Jerome J: U.S. Air Force in France 1950–1967 (2005), Chapter 17, Dispersed Operating Bases
  10. ^ Aeroport Beauvais – Summary
  11. ^ resumption of route to SNN
  12. ^ UAF (Union des Aéroports Français)
  13. ^ UAF (Union des Aéroports Français)

External links[edit]

Media related to Beauvais-Tillé Airport at Wikimedia Commons