Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport
|IATA: SKP – ICAO: LWSK|
|Location||Petrovec, Republic of Macedonia|
|Hub for||Wizz Air|
|Elevation AMSL||238 m / 781 ft|
Skopje Airport (IATA: SKP, ICAO: LWSK) (Macedonian: Аеродром Скопје, Aerodrom Skopje, or Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport (Macedonian: Аеродром Скопје „Aлександар Вeлики“, Aerodrom Skopje "Aleksandar Veliki") is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia, with the other being the Ohrid Airport. It is located 17 km (11 mi) southeast of the national capital Skopje in the Municipality of Petrovec.
The first commercial flights in Skopje were introduced in 1929 when the Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced a route linking the city with the capital, Belgrade. A year later the route was extended to Thessalonika in Greece, and further extended to Greek capital Athens in 1933.
After the Second World War, Aeroput was replaced by JAT Yugoslav Airlines, which linked Skopje to a number of domestic and international destinations until the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
Development since the 2000s
In December 2006 the government of the Republic of Macedonia announced plans to rename the airport after Alexander the Great, sparking a renewed diplomatic spat with Greece, because both countries consider Alexander the Great as part of their own heritage. The new name is alleged to create confusion with the already existing Kavala International Airport named Alexander the Great (Greek: Μέγας Αλέξανδρος - Megas Alexandros), which lies in the neighbouring Greek region of Macedonia.
In 2008 the Macedonian Government signed a contract with the Turkish company Tepe Akfen Ventures (TAV) for a twenty-year-long concession during which this company would manage Macedonia's two existing airports - the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport and the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid. In September 2011, the new terminal building, extension of the runway, new administrative building, cargo building and new access road with parking facilities were opened. The goal of the project is to increase the capacity of Skopje Airport to four million passengers per year with plans to turn Skopje Airport into a major transit and cargo hub for Southeast Europe. Renovations of the Ohrid airport terminal building and VIP sections were completed in the Spring of 2011. The concession contract also includes the construction of a third airport intended for cargo transport near the eastern Macedonian town of Štip which eventually would be transformed into Macedonia’s main airport. The total amount of the foreseen investment is 200 million Euros with 30 to 40 million Euros total concession payments to the Macedonian Government over the 20-year concession period.
Tepe Akfen Ventures Airport Holding is one of the world's fastest expanding airport operators currently managing the Turkish airports of Atatürk, Esenboğa, Adnan Menderes and Gazipaşa along with Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia, Monastir and Enfidha in Tunisia. TAV is also bidding to take over the management of Ruzyně International Airport and Riga International Airport.
Airlines and destinations
The number of passengers has increased since 1990, from 312,492 passengers in that year, to 984,407 passengers in 2013. However, traffic was often dropped in twenty years. In 2000 the airport handled 1,005,852 passengers, but in 2001 the number of passengers dropped to 499,789 due to the Kosovo war. In 2014 Skopje airport has welcomed its millionth passenger again, first time since 2000.
|Year||Passengers||Change||Cargo (t)||Change||Aircraft movements||Change|
There is a new bus service linking the airport and the City (with stops at Hotel Continental, International Bus/Railway Station, Hotel Holiday Inn/City Centre and Hotel Alexander Palace). One-way ticket price: 150 MKD. Schedules: http://skp.airports.com.mk/default.aspx?ItemID=491
Incidents and accidents
- On 5 March 1993, Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301, a Fokker 100 bound for Zurich, crashed seconds after takeoff from runway 34. Investigation into the accident determined the cause of the accident to be the failure of the flight crew to have the aircraft deiced before departure. Of the 97 people on board, 83 died.
- On 13 February 2009, Austrian Airlines Flight OS780, Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 scheduled flight from Skopje to Vienna failed to retract landing gear after take-off and performed an emergency landing on Skopje Airport.
- On 13 February 2009, MALÉV Flight 440 a scheduled MALÉV flight Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 from Budapest to Skopje made an emergency landing at Skopje Airport. At 16:05 CET the pilot reported right engine failure on its final approach to Skopje LWSK. The pilot safely landed the airplane and there were no injuries reported among the 64 passengers in the aircraft.
- Ex-YU Aviation. TAV Airports. 2012. p. 86. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
- EAD Basic Airline Network News and Analysis 
- Airport information for LWSK at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Name as used at the official site
- Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927-1948) at europeanairlines.no
- "Skopje's airport to be named "Alexander the Great"". Kathimerini. 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2006-12-26.
- Kavala International Airport "Megas Alexandros" or in English: "Alexander the Great". Official site.
- Photos from PlusInfo.mk
- Turkey's TAV signs deal for Macedonian airports
- "Croatia Airlines Adds Split – Skopje Summer Service from June 2015".
- "Wizz Air continues to expand in Macedonia – 3rd aircraft in Skopje, 1 new airport and 6 new routes". Wizz Air. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
Media related to Skopje Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Accident history for SKP at Aviation Safety Network
- Current weather for LWSK at NOAA/NWS