|IATA: TGD – ICAO: LYPG
|Operator||Aerodromi Crne Gore - Airports of Montenegro|
|Elevation AMSL||141 ft / 43  m|
|Number of passengers||620,117|
|Source: Airports of Montenegro|
Podgorica Airport (Montenegrin: Аеродром Подгорица, Aerodrom Podgorica, pronounced [pɔ̌dɡɔrit͡sa]) (IATA: TGD, ICAO: LYPG) is an international airport located 11 km (6.8 mi) south of Podgorica, Montenegro. 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. VIP and taxi airlines Vektra Aviation, Di Air and OKI Air are based at the airport. Serbian VIP airlines Air Pink and Prince Aviation also use the airport.
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). The airport is sometimes called Golubovci Airport by the locals, as the town of Golubovci is in close proximity. Airports Council International awarded Podgorica the best airport under 1 million passengers in 2007.
There are daily scheduled flights to various European destinations. During the summer season, there are many charter flights and air connections to various major cities in the world. The flight to Belgrade airport has traditionally accounted for majority of the traffic at the airport, but the share of flights from beyond Serbia is constantly rising.
A new airport was built in 1961, in Zeta Plain, south of Podgorica. Since its opening, it catered to both civil aviation and Yugoslav Air Force. It was, along with the Tivat Airport, owned by Yugoslav Airlines until 2003, when Government of Montenegro bought both airports. The airport was a 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.
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.
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 built, while the old passenger terminal underwent reconstruction and refurbishment in 2009. There are 6 aprons instead of previous 3, and further extension of up to 8 aprons is possible.
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.
As air traffic in Montenegro saw a rapid increase in traffic in recent years, 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 currently 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 advanced 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 is now housing medical staff, the Airports of Montenegro school center, lost-and-found luggage, airlines offices, a VIP lounge and a press conference hall. It was completely renovated and opened on September 15, 2009 and is now intended for VIP use and general aviation.
Podgorica Airport is a public international airport, but shares the main runway with Podgorica's military airbase.
Part of the military complex was also 08/26 runway, which was not used by civilian planes, as it is barely marked and only 15 metres wide. It is connected to the main 18/36 runway by a 3 km long taxiway, and is located adjacent to Šipčanik Hill, near the town of Tuzi. The hill doubled as an underground aircraft shelter, and was seriously damaged during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. It was recently converted into a wine cave by the Plantaže company. The 08/26 runway is currently unused, and is unclear what will be its future use.
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.
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
Scheduled airlines and the destinations they serve from Podgorica according to the Airports of Montenegro Authority are:
operated by Tyrolean Airways
|Montenegro Airlines||Belgrade, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Vienna, Zürich
Seasonal: Düsseldorf (begins 21 April 2014), St Petersburg
Seasonal charter: Baku, Yerevan
|Ryanair||Charleroi, London-Stansted (begins 1 April 2014)|
Podgorica Airport is accessible by Podgorica - Bar road (E65/E80), via short detour. Stretch of this road, from Podgorica to the airport, has been upgraded to expressway standard. 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 airport increasingly caters to needs of cities on southern part of Montenegin coast.
Public transportation to and from airport is covered by buses and taxis.
- On 11 September 1973, Podgorica Airport was the destination of JAT Airways Flight 769, a Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 6-N, which flew into the Babin Zub peak on Maganik mountain north of Podgorica. All 41 on board perished.
- 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 were lightly injured. 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).
- Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927-1948) at europeanairlnes.no
-  New York Times: Armed Yugoslav Troops Take Over Montenegro's Main Airport. December 9, 1999
-  J.P. Aerodromi Crne Gore: Nedeljni red letenja
-  EADT24: Stansted: Ryanair to increase capacity by 1.3m seats next summer, including 12 new destinations (English) November 21, 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Podgorica Airport.|
- Airport information for LYPG at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for LYPG at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Current weather for LYPG at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for TGD at Aviation Safety Network