Podgorica Airport

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Podgorica Airport
Аеродром Подгорица
Podgorica Airport.JPG

IATA: TGDICAO: LYPG

TGD is located in Montenegro
TGD
TGD
Location of airport in Montenegro
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Airports of Montenegro
Serves Podgorica, Montenegro
Location Golubovci
Hub for Montenegro Airlines
Elevation AMSL 141 ft / 43[1] m
Coordinates 42°21′34″N 19°15′07″E / 42.35944°N 19.25194°E / 42.35944; 19.25194
Website montenegroairports.com
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 8,202 2,500 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft movements NA
Number of passengers 680,854
Source: [3] Montenegro statistics office

Podgorica Airport (Montenegrin: Аеродром Подгорица / Aerodrom Podgorica, pronounced [pɔ̌dɡɔrit͡sa]) (IATA: TGDICAO: LYPG) is an international airport serving Montenegrin capital of Podgorica and the surrounding region.

The airport is situated 11 km (6.8 mi) south of central Podgorica, in the Zeta Plain, one of the few flat areas of Montenegro suitable for a large airport. The airport is locally known as Golubovci Airport, as it is located within the administrative boundaries of the town of Golubovci.

The IATA code of the airport is still TGD because Podgorica was named Titograd (after Josip Broz Tito) from 1946 to 1992, during which time the airport opened. It is the main hub for Montenegro Airlines and Di Air.

It is one of two international airports in Montenegro, the other being Tivat Airport. Both are operated by the state-owned company Airports of Montenegro (Аеродроми Црне Горе, Aerodromi Crne Gore). Airports Council International awarded Podgorica the best airport under 1 million passengers in 2007.

History[edit]

History of civil aviation in Podgorica began on May 26, 1928, when Aeroput Potez 29/2 landed on the Podgorica airfield, a small airfield with grass runway, located near the site of today's Podgorica Rail Station. The plane was on experimental line Belgrade-Skopje-Podgorica-Mostar-Sarajevo-Belgrade line, organized to examine the possibilities of linking Belgrade with southern parts of Yugoslavia. On May 5, 1930, scheduled passenger flights began on Belgrade-Sarajevo-Podgorica line.[2] Aeroput used Farman F.300 aircraft on this line.

World War II brought an end to passenger traffic at the airfield. In 1943 and 1944, airfield was used by Luftwaffe in then German-occupied Montenegro. It was frequent target in the infamous bombing of Podgorica, resulting in significant German losses.

After the war, passenger service resumed on April 8, 1947, with newly formed JAT flight to Belgrade on a Douglas C-47 converted for passenger use. A cargo line to Belgrade was established in 1957.

Airport was moved to the south of the city, on its present location, in 1961. It featured 2500 x 45m asphalt runway. It was modernized and refurbished in 1977. The majority of traffic in this period consisted of scheduled flights to Belgrade, mostly with McDonnell Douglas DC-9 aircraft.[3]

The airport was frequent target during 1999 NATO bombing, when numerous Podgorica Airbase facilities and underground fuel tanks were destroyed. However, no significant damage on the passenger terminal or runway and taxiway systems was inflicted.

On April 23, 2003, the ownership of the airport was transferred from Jat Airways to Airports of Montenegro Public Company, owned by Government of Montenegro. Along with formation and growth of Montenegro Airlines, this contributed to diversification of services from the airport. Decades long practice of Podgorica Airport being the feeder airport for Belgrade Airport was dropped in favor of more branched out network of scheduled passenger flights.

A major renovation and expansion took place in 2006, with a refurbishment and extension of the apron and improvements to the taxiways system, airfield lighting system and power supply. Entirely new passenger terminal was opened on May 14, 2006, while the old passenger terminal underwent reconstruction and refurbishment in 2009.

The improved taxiway system allowed for wide-body aircraft to be serviced at the airport. Thus, the airport began servicing Il-86s and first Boeing 747 freighter paid visit to the airport in April 2008.

Overview[edit]

Airport is located in Zeta Plain, near the town of Golubovci. It is surrounded on three sides by vast Plantaže vineyards.

The airport has ICAO classification 4E ILS Cat I. However, ILS landing is possible only on runway 36, as northern approach to runway 18 is visual only, possible under perfect VMC. This is due to proximity of Dinaric Alps in the north.

Standard runway 36 approach includes spectacular 200° low level steep turn over Lake Skadar to align with the runway, only 524 metres (1,719 ft) above the water surface.

Terminals[edit]

As air traffic in Montenegro saw a rapid increase in traffic in 2000s, the old passenger terminal, a small, cobblestone building, had been retired except for duties with small-volume charter flights after the new terminal was built in 2006. The new passenger terminal (5,500 m²) opened on May 14, 2006. It has eight departure and two arrival gates, and is able to handle up to 1 million passengers annually. The terminal does not feature jetways, as passenger flow at the airport does not impose the need for ones.

The main (new) terminal building is a modern aluminium and glass structure, featuring contemporary architectural solutions such as indirect lighting throughout the building. Since its opening, it features Costa Coffee outlet, two newspaper stalls, a duty-free shop, rent-a-car posts, and CKB bank outlet. Although the airport is considered a low-risk one, security screening has been visibly increased since the introduction of the new terminal. Security measures and monitoring that are standard for European airports are applied on the terminal.

The old terminal building was completely renovated and opened on September 15, 2009 and is now intended for VIP use and general aviation.

Military usage[edit]

Damage done to Podgorica Airport after 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
Main article: Podgorica Airbase

Podgorica Airport is a public international airport, but shares the main runway with Podgorica's military airbase.

Military facilities include a 200-acre airbase area adjacent to the main runway, as well as Šipčanik complex.

Šipčanik complex consisted of an underground aircraft shelter tunneled into the eponymous hill, and adjacent narrow 08/26 runway, which could be used to scramble the jets stored in the shelter. This runway is connected to the main airport complex via 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long taxiway cut through the vineyards. The complex was seriously damaged during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and was subsequently converted into a wine cave by the Plantaže company.

In early December 1999, the airport was briefly seized by the Army of Yugoslavia in a standoff between the Milošević regime and the Federal Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro after Montenegro tried to control the airport independently from Belgrade.[4]

With Montenegro's independence on June 3, 2006, the newly formed Military of Montenegro announced that it will not maintain a combat air force. Nine G-4 Super Galebs are currently sitting unused at the base and it is not known whether any of the planes will be handed over to Serbia.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled airlines and the destinations they serve from Podgorica according to the Airports of Montenegro Authority[5] are:

Airlines Destinations
Adria Airways Ljubljana
Air Serbia Belgrade
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino[6]
Austrian Airlines
operated by Tyrolean Airways
Vienna
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich (begins 5 July 2015)[7]
Montenegro Airlines Belgrade, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Vienna, Zürich
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Lyon (begins 11 April 2015),[8]Saint Petersburg
Ryanair London-Stansted
Summer seasonal: Charleroi
SmartWings Seasonal: Prague (begins 30 May 2015)[9]
Transaero Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
Ural Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa
Yamal Airlines Seasonal: Tyumen

Charters[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Belavia Seasonal charter: Minsk-International
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Katowice, Poznan, Warsaw-Chopin
Montenegro Airlines Charter: Bari, Naples
Seasonal charter: Baku, Vinnytsia, Yerevan
Travel Service Airlines Seasonal charter: Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Prague

Destinations map[edit]

The map includes destinations in Europe served from Podgorica Airport.

Podgorica Airport is located in Europe
Podgorica
Podgorica
Charleroi
Charleroi
Minsk
Minsk
Poznan
Poznan
Katowice
Katowice
Brno
Brno
Paris CDG
Paris CDG
Belgrade
Belgrade
Tyumen
Tyumen
Lyon
Lyon
London STN
London STN
Moscow DME
Moscow DME
St Petersburg
St Petersburg
Zurich
Zurich
Vienna
Vienna
Rome FCO
Rome FCO
Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf
Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Istanbul
Istanbul
Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod
Ufa
Ufa
Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Yerevan
Yerevan
Warsaw
Warsaw
Prague
Prague
Ostrava
Ostrava
Pardubice
Pardubice
Naples
Naples
Bari
Bari
Map Legend Red pog.svg All-year scheduled flights Blue pog.svg Seasonal scheduled flights Green pog.svg Charter flights

Statistic[edit]

Podgorica Airport Passengers (in thousands)
Traffic figures at Podgorica Airport
Year Passengers Change Aircraft movements Change
2007 460,117 4,919
2008 538,477 Increase17% 5,693 Increase16%
2009 450,300 Decrease16% 5,455 Decrease4%
2010 651,642 Increase45% 6,896 Increase26%
2011 611,666 Decrease6% 6,136 Decrease11%
2012 620,117 Increase1% 5,560 Decrease9%
2013 680,854 Increase10% Unavailable Unavailable
Busiest routes at Podgorica Airport
City Airport Weekly Departures
(June 2014)
Airlines
Flag of Serbia.svg Belgrade Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
30
Montenegro Airlines, Air Serbia
Flag of Austria.svg Vienna Schwechat Airport
12
Montenegro Airlines, Austrian Airlines
Flag of Turkey.svg Istanbul Atatürk Airport
7
Turkish Airlines
Flag of Slovenia.svg Ljubljana Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport
6
Montenegro Airlines, Adria Airways
Flag of Italy.svg Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport
6
Montenegro Airlines, Alitalia

Accessibility[edit]

Passport stamp

Podgorica Airport is accessible by Podgorica - Bar road (E65/E80), via short detour. A stretch of this road, from Podgorica to the airport, has been upgraded to expressway standard. A drive from the city center to the airport usually takes less than 15 minutes.

With the construction of Sozina tunnel, the airport is some 40 km away from Bar, Montenegro's main port, and so the airport increasingly caters to needs of cities on southern part of Montenegrin coast.

Public transportation to and from airport is covered by buses and taxis. The Airport train station on the Belgrade–Bar railway is located 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) away from the passenger terminal, but is seldom used as a link to the city, due to the inconvenient location and train schedule.

Accidents[edit]

  • On 25 January 2005, Montenegro Airlines Fokker 100 (YU-AOM) nosegear collapsed after runway excursion during a night landing in snowy conditions. The nosegear collapsed and the airplane skidded for about 700 meters before coming to rest, 1180 meters after touchdown. Two passengers, the pilot and copilot received minor injuries. The airline was sued by passengers, as it was the only airline to operate flights to Podgorica that evening (other airlines canceled flights due to insufficient ice clearance technology at the airport).
  • On 7 January 2008, at about 9:30pm, a Montenegro Airlines Fokker 100 (4O-AOK) was shot at while landing at Podgorica Airport. A routine inspection of the aircraft led to the discovery of a bullet hole in the aircraft's tail. The aircraft was carrying 20 passengers, but none was injured. The reason for the incident is unknown, however, reports indicate that it may have been an inadvertent result of guns being fired during celebrations for Orthodox Christmas.
  • On 14 June 2013, at 6:00pm, Montenegro Airlines Fokker 100 took off on a scheduled flight from Podgorica to Belgrade when the pilots discovered problem with the landing gear which didn't retract after taking off. Plane circled around due to full fuel tank that needed to be emptied in order to land. No injuries or fatalities were recorded as plane safely landed at Podgorica Airport.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Podgorica Airport at Wikimedia Commons