|IATA: LED – ICAO: ULLI
|Owner||Saint Petersburg City Administration|
|Operator||Northern Capital Gateway|
|Serves||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Elevation AMSL||79 ft / 24 m|
|Number of passengers||11,154,560|
|Source: List of the busiest airports in Europe|
Pulkovo Airport (Russian: Аэропо́рт Пу́лково, Aeroport Pulkovo) (IATA: LED, ICAO: ULLI) is an international airport serving Saint Petersburg, Russia. It consists of two terminals, Pulkovo-1 (serving mostly domestic flights) and Pulkovo-2 (international flights), which are located about 20 km (12 mi) and 17 km (11 mi) south of the city centre, respectively. The airport serves as a hub for Rossiya Airlines (formerly Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise), and as focus city for Nordavia. In 2013 roughly 12.85 million passengers travelled through Pulkovo airport, making it the 3rd busiest airport in Russia and Post-Soviet states.
Originally it was named Shosseynaya Airport, by the name of a nearby railroad station. Construction began in January 1931, and was completed on June 24, 1932, with the first aircraft arriving at 17:31 that day, after a two-and-a-half hour flight from Moscow carrying passengers and mail.
During the Second World War the airport was the frontline in the Nazi Siege of Leningrad. There were no flights between 1941 and 1944. The nearby Pulkovo hills were occupied by the Nazis and were used by the long-range artillery for daily bombardments of Leningrad. The airport was cleared of the Nazis in January 1944, and resumed cargo and mail flights after the runways were repaired in 1945.
In February 1948, after the war damages were completely repaired, the airport resumed scheduled passenger flights. In 1949, there were scheduled flights to 15 major cities of the USSR, and 15 more short-range flights within the north-western Russia.
In 1951 the airport terminal was redesigned to handle larger aircraft. In the mid-1950s the new extended runway was completed, allowing to handle larger aircraft such as Ilyushin-18 and Tupolev-104 jets.
ICAO category 1 standards were implemented in 1965, making way for international operations. The airport was renamed "Pulkovo Airport" on April 24, 1973. The new Pulkovo-1 terminal was opened to handle the domestic air traffic, which increased 40%-50% every decade between the 1970s and 1990s.
The field's IATA code of "LED" derives from the city's previous name, Leningrad.
As of 2012, Pulkovo is the 3rd busiest in Russia after Moscow's Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports. While the number of domestic and international flights increased, the number of passengers stagnated between 1990 (4,837,000) and 2006 (just over 5 million) while the share of international traffic rose. It is anticipated that by 2025 Pulkovo airport will handle 17 million passengers.
There are two passenger terminals: Pulkovo-1 for domestic flights, and Pulkovo-2 for international flights. There is also one cargo terminal. There are forty-seven aircraft stands total. It is planned to increase the number of aircraft stands to 100 by 2025.
The airport has two main runways. Runway 10R/28L (Russian: 10п/28л) is 3782 m long and 60 m wide, it has asphalt surface on the base made of reinforced armored concrete. The second runway is 3410 m long and 60 m wide, it has asphalt surface on the base made of reinforced cemento-concrete. The reconstruction of the second runway began in 2007.
Terminal 1 mainly serves flights within Russia and the CIS countries. Some international charter flights are also served by Terminal 1, those are tourist flights as well as private business jets. For example the private jet owned by Steve Forbes was served at Terminal 1, and thousands of people witnessed its "Forbes — the tool of capitalism" logo proudly exposed on the body of 737.
Terminal 2 serves most of the long-haul international flights. Terminal 1 was built in 1973, whereas Terminal 2 was built in 1950s and reconstructed in 2003.
In the near term, Pulkovo strategically focuses on its master plan until 2025 that calls for massive modernization of the entire airport infrastructure. A new terminal will be located directly to the north of the Terminal 1 and will contain 18 gates. The construction was planned to begin in 2008 with scheduled completion in 2010/11, but construction started only in spring 2011 with opening for passengers expected in December 2013. New Terminal 1 opened on February 14th 2014.Operations are still mixed among the 3 terminal with phasing out the old Terminal 1 in the upcoming months. The new terminal is capable of supporting up to 17 million passengers annually. The new terminal is said to be easier to navigate, compared to most of the other European airports, and is the most aesthetically pleasing terminal in Northern Europe.
Airlines and destinations
|Asiana Cargo||Gothenburg-Landvetter, Seoul-Incheon, Vienna|
- "Marshrutka" minibuses run on several lines, some of them following the city bus routes (and using matching line numbers).
- Pulkovo Airport is served by two regular bus lines (no. 13 and 39).
For private car travel, Pulkovo Airport is accessible via the nearby Pulkovo Highway (Pulkovskoe shosse) from St. Petersburg city center. There are drop offs and pick up areas at both terminals, as well as short and long stay outdoor car parking.
Accidents and incidents
- April 27, 1974, an Ilyushin Il-18V passenger aircraft of Aeroflot flying to Krasnodar crashed right after take off from Pulkovo after engine fire. All 108 passengers and 10 members of crew died.
- June 26, 1991, an Antonov An-24 cargo aircraft of the AKF Polet company heading to Voronezh crashed in the Gulf of Finland five minutes after take off from Pulkovo. All ten people on board died.
- August 22, 2006, a Tupolev Tu-154M passenger flight of Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise from Anapa to Pulkovo crashed in Ukraine. All 160 passengers and 10 members of crew died. See Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612.
For a more comprehensive list, see Aviation Safety Network Entry for LED.
- List of the busiest airports in Russia
- List of the busiest airports in the former USSR
- List of the busiest airports in Europe
- Airport's news
- Pulkovo-1, English description
- Pulkovo-2, English description
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- Official site (English) (Russian)
- New version of Official site (Russian)
- Rossiya Airlines (English) (Russian)
- Current weather for ULLI at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for LED at Aviation Safety Network