Sofia Airport

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Sofia Airport
Летище София
Logo Sofia Airport.gif
Sofia-airport-morning.jpg
IATA: SOFICAO: LBSF
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Sofia Airport EAD
Serves Sofia, Bulgaria
Location Vrazhdebna
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 1,742 ft / 531 m
Coordinates 42°41′42″N 023°24′30″E / 42.69500°N 23.40833°E / 42.69500; 23.40833Coordinates: 42°41′42″N 023°24′30″E / 42.69500°N 23.40833°E / 42.69500; 23.40833
Website www.sofia-airport.bg
Map
LBSF is located in Bulgaria
LBSF
LBSF
Location in Bulgaria
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 3,504,326 Increase
Cargo (tonnes) 17,039 Increase
Aircraft movements 40,526 Decrease
Source: Bulgarian AIP at EUROCONTROL[1]

Sofia Airport (IATA: SOFICAO: LBSF) (Bulgarian: Летище София, Letishte Sofiya), sometimes also called Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport (Bulgarian: Летище София-Враждебна, Letishte Sofiya-Vrazhdebna), is the main airport of Bulgaria. The airport is located 5 km (3.1 mi) east[1] from the centre of Sofia. In 2013, the airport handled 3,504,326 passengers, a 1.1% increase compared to 3,467,455 handled in 2012.[2] Also in Sofia Airport is located the Vrazhdebna Air Base of the Bulgarian Air Force.

History[edit]

The airport was initially built in the late 1930s on a site 6.3 km (3.9 mi) (7.5 km (4.7 mi) by road then; later 9 km (5.6 mi) by road and today 10.2 km (6.3 mi) and up to 11.4 km (7.1 mi)) distant from the geographical centre of Sofia as a replacement of that city's small civil airport at Bozhurishte. The airport was used as hub by domestic airline Bunavad which connected Sofia to Burgas, Plovdiv, Ruse and Varna. In 1938, Yugoslav airline Aeroput begin regular direct flights linking Sofia to Belgrade three times a week using Lockheed Model 10 Electra planes.[3] The airport served Sofia which then had under 250,000 inhabitants and continues to serve the city nowadays, which had about 1.2 million by 2011.

During the Second World War, the facilities were used by the military. Mail, perishable freight and passenger operations began in 1947 from buildings on the north side of the airport. The passenger terminal (now Terminal 1) on the south side was completed during the Second World War in the manner of a then-modern European railway terminus to designs by the architect Ivan Marangozov. It opened after several years of delay in 1947. The structure comprised a government wing to the west, an international handling area in the middle, and a domestic handling area to the east. At that time, it was planned that the airport would eventually have two intersecting runways at a 30-degree angle to each other.

The terminal had substantially reached its capacity of some 600,000 passengers a year by the later 1960s and was subjected to a number of refurbishments and extensions beginning in the spring of 1968. In 1975, a new international arrivals handling extension was opened to the west of the building, the domestic area to the east was enlarged, the government handling area was removed to a dedicated terminal some distance to the west, a VIP handling area opened in the old terminal, apron area was extended to the east and new taxiways opened. A bonded warehouse opened to the east of the terminal square in 1969 and several new hangars followed to the east of the first maintenance base in the 1970s. A new checked baggage handling system opened to the north of the building in the early 1980s, cosmetic and traffic reorganising refurbishments were carried out in 1990, with a substantial landside extension following in 2000.

By the late 1970s, the terminal was handling in the region of three million passengers a year, a million of them on domestic routes. Passenger numbers fell off sharply after the 1979 CMEA ("Comecon") oil price shock and recovered to just over a million a year by the late 1980s. In the early and mid-1990s, domestic traffic practically ceased, while foreign traffic reduced significantly. The latter began growing apace in the late 1990s and early 2000s to reach its current levels. The terminal was last refurbished partially in 1990. In 2000, it underwent a wholesale update in which the international arrivals area was moved to the east wing where domestic handling had been, the former international arrivals area to the west was closed, and the layout of the central international departures area was changed in line with world developments. Despite the work to the old terminal, the airport was becoming overwhelmed with passenger traffic.

Options for different airport developments began to be examined in the mid-1960s. One option was to relocate the facility to a new site, with some locations up to 70 km (43 mi) from Sofia). Another option involved extending the airport's area radically to the north-east and gradually removing the focus of the airport there. A third option was to develop substantially the same site. By the later 1980s, the authorities had settled on the last option. Project design, involving a new terminal to the east of the old facility, a new runway to the north of (and parallel to) the existing runway, and taxiways, was completed by the mid-1990s. A finance package involving very significant European and Kuwaiti investment was initially agreed in 1998 and was in place by 2000. Work began in 2001. The new runway and some taxiways were completed in mid-2006. Terminal 2 was formally inaugurated on 27 December 2006.

Design and construction of a new control tower was discussed in 2006 but this project appeared to be in abeyance by 2008. Over the years, Sofia Airport has been criticised for its lack of world class air freight facilities and for some access problems. Passengers to and from the Bulgarian interior have to access or egress the airport through crowded rail and coach facilities in central Sofia. A rail link has been discussed on several occasions since the 1960s but no moves have been documented to its implementation. The airport is occasionally criticised as a source of environmental noise and pollution and strict noise abatement procedures have been enforced for departing traffic since the mid-1970s, while arriving traffic is generally routed to approach the field from the east, clear of Sofia.

A significant and recurring operational criticism of Sofia Airport has concerned its historical lack of all-weather operations capability. Though the new runway was designed for ICAO Category 3 operations, in 2007 it emerged that radio interference from security fencing, and most significantly from a large newly built lorry park, prevented certification (and hence use) of the associated radio navigational aids. During the winter months, the airport, located on a high alluvial plain surrounded by mountains, suffers from very significant and frequent fog precipitation. In such circumstances, flights are redirected to diversion airports in Bulgaria or neighbouring countries, lengthening journeys by many hours.

Vrazhdebna Air Base[edit]

On the north side of the airport is located 16th Transport Air Base of the Bulgarian Air Force, operating with: 3 Alenia C-27J Spartan, 1 Antonov An-2, 1 Antonov An-24, 2 Antonov An-26, 1 Antonov An-30, 2 Let L-410 Turbolet and 1 Pilatus PC-12.

Airport reconstruction[edit]

A model of the new airport terminal in the departures hall.

According to the plan a new Sofia airport terminal was built to the east of the old terminal and a second runway was constructed alongside the existing one. The old runway has been turned into a taxiway parallel to the newly constructed runway. Both cross the Iskar river. The new runway was opened in August 2006, while the new terminal opened in December 2006.

Total cost of the project was planned at 200 million euros. Finance was secured in 1997–98 from the European Investment Bank (60 million euro), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (12.3 million Kuwaiti dinars, approximately 41.5 million euro), and the European Union PHARE Programme (7.6 million euro). In August 2000 an ISPA grant of 50 million euro was allocated and in December the financing memorandum was signed.

The construction works were in two lots: the new terminal with its surrounding infrastructure and the new runway. The first lot was allocated to the German branch of Austrian company Strabag,[4] while the second was won by a consortium of Kuwaiti company Mohamed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons and UAE-based Admak General Contracting Company.

Delays to terminal construction[edit]

The initial completion deadline for the new terminal was 15 December 2004 to a total budget of 112.2 million euro. Immediately after work started, Strabag contested the geological surveys by Dutch consultants NACO B.V. and demanded additional funding for unexpected additional works. The delay was ten months, and construction resumed after the Bulgarian government agreed to augment the project's value by 4.8 million euro and extend the deadline to 31 August 2005.[5]

In 2004 Strabag demanded an additional 6 million euro due to rising steel prices.[6] The Ministry of Transportation rejected the claim, backed by a report from NACO. In May 2005 the contractor threatened to take the case to international arbitration.[7] In August 2005, it became clear that Strabag would not be able to meet the changed deadline, slippage being put at six to eight weeks.[8] In November 2005 Strabag asked for eight months' further extension.[9]

Runway system[edit]

On 31 August 2006, Sofia Airport put its new runway system into operation, replacing the old and out-of-date facilities. The new runway is offset at 210 m (690 ft) to the north of the old runway, with the eastern end of its 3,600 m (11,811 ft) long strip crossing over the Iskar river bed on a specially constructed bridge. New rapid and connecting taxiways are built additionally to open way for 200 aircraft movements per hour[citation needed] at a high level of safety. The navigational aids installed on the new runway enable landing operations under low visibility conditions at category IIIB of the ICAO standards.

Two de-icing platforms are constructed to allow centralised de-icing procedures in winter. They are one element in the overall strategy of Sofia Airport for environmental protection and reduction of the harmful effects resulting from the airport operations.

Lufthansa Technik-Sofia[edit]

Lufthansa Technik Sofia was founded in late 2007 as a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik (80%) and the Bulgarian Aviation Group (20%). With the foundation of Lufthansa Technik Sofia, the Lufthansa Technik Group has created a fifth platform for the overhaul and maintenance of narrowbody aircraft in Europe. The Bulgarian facility serves customers in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The facility has undergone a major reconstruction and upgrading, with the target to be ready for the heaviest stage of aircraft maintenance checks, D-Check, that will be carried out in Bulgaria. Meanwhile the more than 350 staff trained in Bulgaria and at Lufthansa Technik facilities in Shannon Base Maintenance operations have started in the fourth quarter of 2008 with one Airbus A321 from Lufthansa as the first customer.[10]

New control tower[edit]

The new Air Traffic Control Tower.

On 19 August 2011 in the presence of Ivaylo Moskovski, minister of transport, information technology and communications, the BULATSA director general Diyan Dinev, Glavbolgarstroy AD chief executive director Pavel Kalistratov and Glavbolgarstroy AD executive director and management board member Nina Stoyanova signed the design execution and construction contract between BULATSA and Glavbolgarstroy AD for the new control tower at Sofia Airport (Sofia tower). Glavbolgarstroy AD were selected as contractor, as they were awarded the highest technical rating during the public procurement procedure having proposed the shortest construction timeframe. The quoted price amounts to BGN 14,813,030 inclusive of VAT and according to the contractor's building works schedule the new Sofia tower will be built in less than 10 months. This project is being financed entirely by BULATSA.

The construction of the new Sofia tower is related to the reconstruction and development of Sofia Airport and is the natural extension of the development of the airport complex. The new control tower will allow BULATSA to ensure enhanced quality and efficiency of air navigation services (ANS) in the terminal area.

The new Sofia tower will be situated to the west of Terminal 2 and will be complementing the terminal building in architectural terms. The total built-up area of the tower will be 2,400 m2 (26,000 sq ft) and its height will be 50 m (160 ft).

A lot of consideration has been given to the design of the layout, the functional definition of the working positions, the operations room surface area for ANS provision and meteorological observation, as well as to the requirements for visibility to the runway and the approaches and access to an open observation platform. An analysis was conducted to facilitate the definition of the necessary equipment for the air traffic controllers' working positions and the deployment of working positions in the control room of the new tower.

History[edit]

The project for the construction of a new airport control tower at Sofia Airport commenced on 16 June 2006 with a decision of the BULATSA Management Board. Below is an outline of the main developments:

  • In 2007 a council of experts was tasked to develop the project's technical assignment and prepare the documentation for a competition programme in order to acquire a conceptual design for the construction of a new airport control tower and its adjacent infrastructure. A preliminary road-map for project execution was developed and a permission was obtained from the Bulgarian Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) for the height of the future tower — up to 55 metres (180 ft). A competition programme for a conceptual design was drafted and coordinated with the CAA, the Bulgarian Chamber of Architects, the Bulgarian Architects' Union and the Chamber of Engineers Involved in Investment Design.
  • An open public procedure for a conceptual design for the construction of the new tower and its adjacent infrastructure was held in 2008; a contract was signed with Architectonika Studio OOD for the elaboration of a conceptual investment project. During the same year a contract was signed with Mix Consult OOD who would act as a consultant in the meaning of Article 166 of the Law of the Administrative Territorial Structure of the Republic of Bulgaria during the process of design and construction of the tower.
  • In 2009 a contract was concluded with Architectonika Studio OOD for the elaboration of a technical investment project as well as a contract with AT Engineering 2000 OOD, Sofia, for the construction of a fence and the separation of the construction site from the security area of Sofia Airport.
  • On 6 January 2010 the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of the Republic of Bulgaria issued building permit No. 3/06.01.2010 for the construction of the new airport control tower and its adjacent infrastructure.
  • The selection procedure for a contractor of the design execution and construction of the new tower at Sofia Airport was completed on 19 July 2011.[11]

In mid-2012 the airport will have one of the most modern and most beautiful airport towers in Europe. This boasts the head of state enterprise "Traffic" (ATSA) Dian Dinev, who signed with the director of Glavbolgarstroy Pavel Kalistratov a contract for the design and construction of the facility, which will cost over 14.8 million.

The new tower is an extremely important facility for both ATC and the airport because it is related to the safety and security of flights, explained by the transport department. "It seems to me lies to try to speed things slowed down," boasted Minister Ivaylo Moscov, who attended the event.[citation needed] The idea of creating her since 2006, but still not realized. The location of the new airport control tower is west of the building of Terminal 2 at Sofia airport, from an architectural point of view the two buildings complement each other. The total building area is over 2,400 m2 (26,000 sq ft) and the height of the building will be 50 m (160 ft).

Service life of the new airport control tower will be more than 40 years and is designed to serve the airport with a possible extension.

The manager will have full visibility over the airport, to guide aircraft landing and taking off. Glass tower will have a maximum UV protection. Hall does it is completely soundproofed. A record will be the deadline for building the new facility – just 10 months. The need to build a new control tower is connected with the reconstruction and expansion of the airport and is a natural development of the airport complex, reported from the transport department.[12]

Contract for detailed design and construction of a new control tower of the airport and forming an ATM Glavbolgarstroy. The tower will be 50 meters high and will be built near Terminal 2, as both architectural buildings will be complementary.

The new tower was officially opened on 7 December 2012.

Terminals[edit]

Inside interior of the Terminal 1

Terminal 1[edit]

This terminal, which is well known to the inbound/outbound passengers in Sofia, now has a new name: Terminal 1. It was built in the first half of the 20th century and opened on 16 September 1937. It has been extended and improved many times, fundamentally renovated in 2000, still making, though, curious allusions to the latest history of the continent. Terminal 1 offers easy access, simple procedures and efficient services up to the modern airport standard. Terminal 1 currently serves low-cost and charter carriers.

Terminal 2[edit]

Interior of Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was officially opened on 27 December 2006 with the symbolic arrival of Bulgaria Air flight FB 408 from Brussels. It was one of the biggest projects in Bulgaria to receive funds from the EU ISPA programme. The price includes the new terminal, new aircraft parking aprons, upgrading the existing aircraft parking aprons and the construction of connecting taxiways. The terminal has seven air-bridges (gates A1, B5–9 and C1), 38 check-in desks and covers an area of 50,000 m2 (540,000 sq ft) and has a car park for 820 vehicles. It is located to the east of Terminal 1 and is significantly bigger than the old one which continues to serve low-cost and charter airlines.

The passenger terminal building is designed with a capacity of 2,000 peak hour passengers or up to 2.6 million passengers a year, plus 26,000 tonnes of luggage. For the first time in Bulgaria, a terminal has airbridge-equipped gates instead of relying on airside busses.

The Sofia Airport Centre, a premiere corporate office, hospitality and logistics centre in Bulgaria is being constructed in the vicinity.

The infrastructure surrounding the building was expected to be completed in 2007. It includes a new dual carriageway road connecting the terminal to the existing airport road, and landscaping including an artificial lake and a fountain.The airlines ticketing offices, tourist and car hire desks, banks, post office, and cafeterias in Terminal 2 are located in the public area. The travel retail shops, Bulgarian wine and spirits shop and Business lounges are located airside beyond the area of border control. Terminal 2 is designed with special attention to disabled passengers. Their access to the different terminal levels and the multi-storey car park is facilitated via lifts and escalators.[13]

Other facilities[edit]

The VIP terminal is located in the western wing of Terminal 1 and has an entrance of its own, providing an access to four separate rooms – one main room and two separated rooms with about 20 seats each. Guest also have at their disposal a TV, Wi-Fi and cable internet connection, Bulgarian and international press, periodicals, as well as different types of refreshing non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and food.[14]

The Government terminal is located in the western side of Sofia Airport. The terminal is often used by foreign heads of state visiting Bulgaria. The terminal is operated by the 28th Air Detachment which operates government aircraft and operations involving the President, Prime Minister and other high-ranking government officials.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled flights[edit]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines
operated by Olympic Air
Athens 2
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 2
Air Berlin Berlin-Tegel 2
Air France Seasonal: Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2
Air Malta Athens, Malta 2
Air Serbia Belgrade 2
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino 2
Austrian Airlines
operated by Tyrolean Airways
Vienna 2
British Airways London-Heathrow 2
Bulgaria Air Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin-Tegel, Brussels, Burgas, Frankfurt, Larnaca, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Málaga, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Prague, Rome-Fiumicino, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Varna, Vienna, Zürich
Seasonal: Beirut
2
easyJet Berlin-Schönefeld (ends 26 March 2015),[15] London-Gatwick, London-Stansted (ends 25 April 2015), Manchester 1
El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion 2
flydubai Dubai-International 2
Israir Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion 1
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw-Chopin 2
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 2
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Munich 2
Mistral Air Seasonal: Catania, Bari (begins 30 May 2015)[16] 1
Qatar Airways Belgrade (begins 1 March 2015), Bucharest (ends 28 February 2015), Doha 2
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss European Air Lines
Zurich (resumes 2 May 2015) [17] 2
TAROM Bucharest 2
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: London-Gatwick, Manchester 2
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 2
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona 1
Wizz Air Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Brussels-Charleroi, Dortmund, Dubai-World Central, Eindhoven, Hahn, Larnaca, London-Luton, Madrid, Malmö, Malta, Rome-Fiumicino, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Valencia 1

Destinations Map[edit]

The map includes destionations in Europe and Middle East served from Sofia Airport.

Charter flights[edit]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air VIA Winter seasonal: Sharjah 1
BH Air Winter seasonal: Bristol, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham/East Midlands 1
Bulgaria Air Summer seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Heraklion, Palermo
Winter seasonal: Copenhagen, Sharjah, St. Petersburg
2
Bulgarian Air Charter Summer seasonal: Heraklion, Rhodes, Santorini 1
Corendon Airlines Summer seasonal: Antalya 1
Nouvelair Summer seasonal: Enfidha 1
Pegasus Airlines Summer seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum 1
Royal Jordanian Winter seasonal: Amman-Queen Alia 2
Thomson Airways Winter seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, London-Gatwick, Manchester 2
Tunisair Summer seasonal: Enfidha 2
Turkish Airlines Summer seasonal: Antalya 2

Cargo airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Cargoair Charters
Czech Airlines
operated by Farnair Switzerland
Belgrade, Prague
DHL Aviation Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by European Air Transport Leipzig
Bratislava
TNT Airways Liège
UPS Airlines
operated by Farnair Switzerland
Cologne/Bonn, Timişoara

Traffic figures[edit]

Traffic at Sofia Airport
Year Passengers Change Cargo (tonnes) Change Aircraft movements Change
1998 1,250,700 10,180 24,726
1999 1,236,610 Decrease1.1% 12,378 Increase21.6% 25,178 Increase1.8%
2000 1,127,866 Decrease8.8% 11,036 Decrease10.8% 24,785 Decrease1.6%
2001 1,107,682 Decrease1.8% 10,381 Decrease5.9% 21,860 Decrease11.8%
2002 1,214,198 Increase9.6% 12,482 Increase20.2% 24,211 Increase10.8%
2003 1,356,469 Increase11.7% 13,461 Increase7.8% 25,517 Increase5.4%
2004 1,614,304 Increase19.0% 14,472 Increase7.5% 28,700 Increase12.5%
2005 1,874,000 Increase16.1% 14,725 Increase1.7% 32,188 Increase12.2%
2006 2,209,350 Increase17.9% 15,241 Increase3.5% 38,119 Increase18.4%
2007 2,745,880 Increase24.3% 17,392 Increase14.1% 43,005 Increase12.8%
2008 3,230,696 Increase17.7% 18,294 Increase5.2% 48,626 Increase13.1%
2009 3,134,657 Decrease3.0% 15,093 Decrease17.5% 45,698 Decrease6.0%
2010 3,296,936 Increase5.2% 15,322 Increase1.5% 47,061 Increase3.0%
2011 3,474,933 Increase5.4% 15,887 Increase3.7% 47,153 Increase0.2%
2012 3,467,455 Decrease0.2% 16,249 Increase2.3% 40,806 Decrease9.0%
2013 3,504,326 Increase1.1% 17,039 Increase4.9% 40,526 Decrease0.7%
2014 (01.01 – 31.11) 3,523,428 Increase4.7% 14,056 Decrease1.5% 35,171 Increase4.5%
Top 10 of busiest airlines (2013)[18]
Rank Airline Passengers carried
1. Bulgaria Air
1,016,254
2. Wizz Air
735,908
3. Lufthansa
385,476
4. Austrian Airlines
311,885
5. easyJet
234,789
6. Turkish Airlines
157,694
7. British Airways
98,121
8. Air Berlin
77,095
9. Air France
77,095
10. Aeroflot
73,591
Busiest routes at Sofia Airport by departures passengers to final destination (2013)[19]
Rank City Airlines Rank Change
1. London
British Airways, Bulgaria Air, easyJet and Wizz Air
Steady
2. Vienna
Austrian Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Tyrolean Airways
Steady
3. Milan
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Increase2
4. Paris
Air France, Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Decrease1
5. Varna
Bulgaria Air
Decrease1
6. Berlin
Air Berlin, Bulgaria Air, easyJet
Increase9
7. Frankfurt
Bulgaria Air, Lufthansa
Decrease1
8. Brussels
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Decrease1
9. Moscow
Aeroflot, Bulgaria Air
Steady
10. Rome
Alitalia, Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Steady
11. Madrid
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Decrease3
12. Barcelona
Bulgaria Air, Vueling, Wizz Air
Steady
13. Tel Aviv
Bulgaria Air, El Al
Increase1
14. Dortmund
Wizz Air
Increase?
15. Athens
Air Malta, Bulgaria Air, Olympic Air
Decrease4
Busiest routes at Sofia Airport
City Airport(s) Weekly departures
(July 2014)
Airlines
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport
34
British Airways, Bulgaria Air, easyJet, Wizz Air
Flag of Austria.svg Vienna Schwechat Airport
31
Austrian Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Tyrolean Airways
Flag of Germany.svg Frankfurt Frankfurt am Main Airport and Hahn Airport
22
Bulgaria Air, Lufthansa, Wizz Air
Flag of Germany.svg Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport
21
Lufthansa, Lufthansa CityLine
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Varna Varna Airport
21
Bulgaria Air
Flag of France.svg Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Beauvais–Tillé Airport
18
Air France, Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Flag of Germany.svg Berlin Tegel Airport and Schönefeld Airport
16
Air Berlin, Bulgaria Air, easyJet
Flag of Italy.svg Rome Fiumicino Airport
15
Alitalia, Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Flag of Turkey.svg Istanbul Atatürk Airport
14
Turkish Airlines
Flag of Italy.svg Milan Bergamo Airport and Malpensa Airport
14
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Flag of Belgium.svg Brussels Brussels National Airport and Charleroi Airport
12
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest Otopeni Airport
12
Qatar Airways, TAROM
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Burgas Burgas Airport
12
Bulgaria Air
Flag of Greece.svg Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport
11
Air Malta, Bulgaria Air, Olympic Air
Flag of Russia.svg Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport
11
Aeroflot, Bulgaria Air
Flag of Poland.svg Warsaw Chopin Airport
11
LOT Polish Airlines
Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona El Prat Airport
10
Bulgaria Air, Vueling, Wizz Air
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
9
Bulgaria Air
Flag of Spain.svg Madrid Barajas Airport
9
Bulgaria Air, Wizz Air
Flag of Israel.svg Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport
9
Bulgaria Air, El Al, Wizzair

Transport links[edit]

Bus[edit]

Two bus routes (No 84 and 384) connect the airport.

(working hours 5:00–23:00 every 20–30 minutes).[20]

Taxi[edit]

Taxis are available at the landside of the arrivals areas of Terminals 1 and 2. OK Supertrans is the official taxi provider to Sofia airport. Taxi ride to the city centre usually costs 5–7 Euros (10 to 15 leva). Fraudsters, posing as legitimate taxi drivers in the lobby often demand 50 Euro or more for a ride into town. The official price must be displayed on the window of each cab – it is (as of January 2013) 0.79/0.90 Leva per kilometer (day/night).

Logos of fake taxis that require 50 or more Euros for single ride into town

Metro[edit]

An extension of the Sofia Metro Line 1 is planned to reach the airport in April 2015 with the Sofia Airport Metro Station. Construction began in September 2012.[21]

Car[edit]

Brussels Boulevard is the main thoroughfare and the easiest way to reach Sofia Airport. Via Brussels Boulevard and Tsarigradsko shose, Sofia Airport is connected westwards to the city centre and eastwards to Trakia motorway (A1).

From the northern city areas, Sofia Airport is conveniently accessible via the East Tangent Str. Its junction with Botevgradsko Shose opens an exit into Hemus motorway (A2).[22]

Parking[edit]

An outdoor parking lot servicing Terminal 1 is located in front of the terminal building, with a capacity of 400 vehicles.

Terminal 2 provides paid underground parking to visitors and travelers. A passageway connects the main terminal building to the parking lot with a capacity of 800 vehicles.[23]

Car rental[edit]

Major car rental companies have offices on Sofia Airport.[24]

Inter-terminal transport[edit]

Sofia Airport provides a courtesy shuttle between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every 30 minutes between 07:00 hrs and 18:00 hrs. Intra-terminal transportation between 18:00 hrs. and 23:00 hrs. can be requested at the Information desks inside the public areas of both terminals.[25]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 22 December 1971, a Balkan Airlines Il-18 crashed en route to Algeria. 28 people on board died.
  • On 22 November 1975, a Balkan Bulgarian airlines An-24 crashed short of the runway after take-off in icy conditions. Of the 48 people on board, three were killed.
  • On 10 January 1984, a Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tupolev Tu-134 crashed on approach in bad weather. All 50 people on board died.
  • On 2 August 1988, a Balkan Airlines Yak-40 crashed in the Iskar river. There were 28 fatalities among the 37 passengers on board.
  • On 17 May 2012, an OLT Express Airbus A320 flight YAP-7107 from Warsaw (Poland) to Hurghada (Egypt) with 152 people on board performed an emergency landing. During the descent, the crew reported a fire in the cabin and loss of pressure. The aircraft landed safely and was evacuated via slides. No injuries occurred. The airport was closed to traffic for one hour.

Gallery[edit]

Around the airport
In front of Terminal 2 
Outside view of Terminal 2 
The park at Sofia Airport 
The parking of Terminal 2 
The central area of Terminal 2 
Terminal 2 interior 
Inside the new Terminal 2 
Outside the new Terminal 2 
The central area of Terminal 2 
Terminal 2 interior 
Check-in area of Terminal 2 
Outside view of Terminal 2 
Outside view of Terminal 2 
Terminal 2 interior 
The landing field with hangars in front of Terminal 2 
The central area of Terminal 2 
The check-in area of Terminal 2 
Check-in area in the old Terminal 1 
The central area of Terminal 2 
The old airport terminal, now known as Terminal 1 
Outside the new Terminal 2 
Terminal 2 May 2006 
Sofia Airport, Terminal 2 
Bus Number 284 at Sofia Airport 
Bus Number 84 at Sofia Airport 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b EAD Basic
  2. ^ Sofia Airport Handled a Record Number of Passengers for 2013(in Bulgarian)
  3. ^ Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927–1948) at europeanairlines.no
  4. ^ Terminal could be ready by 20 December 2006
  5. ^ Sofia Echo — Plans on the runway
  6. ^ Standard — Niki Vassilev Leaves Sofia without New Airport
  7. ^ Dnevnik — Strabag seeks new revision, arbitration looms
  8. ^ Ministry of transportation Minister Mutafchiev met Strabag representatives (in Bulgarian)
  9. ^ Winter charter traffic at Sofia airport
  10. ^ Lufthansa Technik Sofia
  11. ^ BULATSA launched the construction of a new Airport Control Tower at Sofia Airport
  12. ^ 50-metres tower will be stands at Sofia Airport (in Bulgarian)
  13. ^ Sofia Airport
  14. ^ http://www.sofia-airport.bg/pages/content.aspx?lm01=51&lm02=127
  15. ^ http://www.easyjet.com/de/
  16. ^ http://money.bg/news/id_1493051408/MistralAir_%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%87%D0%B2%D0%B0_%D0%B4%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B8_%D0%BE%D1%82_%D0%A1%D0%BE%D1%84%D0%B8%D1%8F_%D0%B4%D0%BE_%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%8F_%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B4_%D0%91%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B8_
  17. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2014/10/07/lx-europe-s15update2/
  18. ^ Top 10 busiest airlines at Sofia Airport
  19. ^ The busiest routes at Sofia Airport
  20. ^ Sofia Urban Mobility Centre – Bus Schedules
  21. ^ http://www2.metropolitan.bg/en/news/view/131.html
  22. ^ С автомобил
  23. ^ Паркинг
  24. ^ http://www.sofia-airport.bg/pages/content.aspx?lm01=120&lm02=121
  25. ^ Междутерминален транспорт

External links[edit]

Media related to Sofia Airport at Wikimedia Commons