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Aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) A-61/B-42
|IATA: BVA – ICAO: LFOB|
|Operator||Chambre de Commerce let d'Industrie (CCI) de l'Oise|
|Elevation AMSL||359 ft / 109 m|
Sources: French AIP
Beauvais–Tillé Airport (French: Aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé; traditionally Aéroport de Beauvais) (IATA: BVA, ICAO: LFOB) is an international airport near the city of Beauvais in the commune of Tillé in France. It is the tenth busiest airport in France, handling 4,024,201 passengers in 2014, and is mostly used by charter and low-cost airlines. It is marketed by Ryanair and some others as Paris Beauvais Airport despite its location being 85 km (53 mi) north-northwest of Paris.
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Statistics
- 5 Access
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
German use during World War II
This airport was built in the 1930s and seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the Battle of France. Beauvais was used as a Luftwaffe military airfield during the occupation. Known units assigned (all from Luftflotte 3, Fliegerkorps IV):
- Kampfgeschwader 76 (KG 76) June – 24 October 1940 Dornier Do 17Z-2 (Fuselage Code: F1+)
- Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 (SKG 1) July 1940 Junkers Ju 87B Stuka
The initial German use of the airport was as a bomber base. kg 76 and SKG 1 both took part in the Battle of Britain. kg 76 was reduced to 19 out of 29 serviceable machines by 18 August 1940. kg 76 raided London on 7 and 15 September 1940.
- Kampfgeschwader 26 (KG 26) September 1940 – February 1941 Heinkel He 111H (Fuselage Code: 1H+)
- Kampfgeschwader 77 (KG 77) 3–22 March 1941 Junkers Ju 88A-1 (Fuselage Code: 3A+)
- Kampfgeschwader 4 (KG 4) 30 June – 19 July 1941 Heinkel He 111H (Fuselage Code: 5J+)
- Kampfgeschwader 54 (KG 54) 9 July – 16 August 1942 Junkers Ju 88A-1 (Fuselage Code: B3+)
- Kampfgeschwader 6 (KG 6) December 1942 – February 1943 Junkers Ju 88A-1 (Fuselage Code: K6+)
With the Luftwaffe switching to night attacks on England, the badly damaged units at Beauvais were replaced by a series of He 111 and Ju 88A units that carried out anti-shipping missions (KG 26, KG 77) and night bombing missions over England (KG 4, KG 54, KG 6).
- Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) 15 August – 3 October 1943 Focke-Wulf Fw 190A
- Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1) 6–30 June 1944 Messerschmitt Bf 109G
The increasing number and frequency of USAAF Eighth Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator daylight heavy bomber raids over occupied Europe and Germany made the Luftwaffe move out the bomber units and assign day interceptor fighter units to attack the American bombers as part of the Defense of the Reich. After the invasion of Normandy, elements of JG 1 were moved to France and were tasked with providing air support to the German army, along with their normal air defense role against Allied bombers.
In response to the interceptor attacks, Beauvais was attacked by USAAF Ninth Air Force Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers with 500-pound general-purpose bombs, unguided rockets and .50 caliber machine gun sweeps when Eighth Air Force heavy bombers were within interception range of the Luftwaffe aircraft assigned to the base. The attacks were timed to have the maximum effect possible to keep the interceptors pinned down on the ground and be unable to attack the heavy bombers. Also the North American P-51 Mustang fighter-escort groups of Eighth Air Force would drop down on their return to England and attack the base with a fighter sweep.
It was liberated by Allied ground forces about 3 September 1944 during the Northern France Campaign. Almost immediately, the United States Army Air Forces IX Engineer Command 818th Engineer Aviation Battalion cleared the airport of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft. Little battle damage was sustained, and the airport became a USAAF Ninth Air Force combat airfield, designated as Advanced Landing Ground "A-61" about 15 September, also being known as "Beauvais/Tille Airfield".
From Beauvais, the Ninth Air Force 322d Bombardment Group flew B-26 Marauder medium bombers from mid-September until March 1945. Once the combat unit moved east, the airport was used by transport units, flying in supplies from England and evacuating combat casualties on the return trip. The Americans returned full control of the airport to French authorities on 17 August 1945.
Development since the 1950s
In 1950 the Air Ministry offered to provide the wartime air base to NATO as part of the Cold War development of the alliance. Beauvais was selected to become a NATO Emergency airfield (Beauvais–Tillé Air Base), controlled by the French Air Force and intended for use by all NATO air forces to disperse their aircraft in case of war.
Demolition crews arrived and removed the wartime wreckage and any unexploded munitions were removed from the site. Funding shortages did not allow the construction of an 8000' jet runway, dispersal pads and other features found at a modern military airfield. Instead, in 1953 the NATO plans for Beauvais were discontinued and the airport was returned to private hands.
In 1956 (or possibly slightly earlier) Beauvais–Tillé was rebuilt as a civil airport and reopened for commercial use. It was the French end of the world's first low-cost Coach-Air service, linking London to Paris via Lympne, operated by Skyways. Redevelopment began in 2005. The airport then had three gates, housed within a marquee tent while the permanent facilities were being redeveloped.
Evidence of its wartime history is present around the threshold of runway 22, northeast of the airport, with about 2000 feet of the runway end being the unused surface of the wartime runway, complete with several bomb craters left by the Ninth Air Force bomber attacks and some single-lane concrete roads, being the remainders of wartime taxiways. In addition, ruins of the support technical site remain to the northeast of the airport, near the commune of Morlaine, with connecting taxiways and the foundations/rubble of what appears to be buildings or an aircraft hangar. Wartime dispersal revetments in a wooded area, also connected by taxiways, remain.
A new control tower is currently being built. It will be located on the southern side of the airfield and will be operative in late 2017.
The airport is equipped to handle medium-sized passenger jets. Since 2007 the ban on night flying has been strictly enforced for the benefit of local residents. The terminal building closes between the hours of 23:30 and 06:30. The airport has two terminals, some restaurants, snack bars, and shopping areas, both airside and in the publicly accessible area.
The main runway, 12/30, has an Instrument landing system CAT III for runway 12 and CAT I for runway 30 plus a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) for runway 12. This enables aircraft to land at the airport in bad weather conditions, with visibility as low as 200 meters.
Airlines and destinations
|Atlas Atlantique Airlines||Oran||1|
|Blue Air||Bucharest, Iași
|Ryanair||Alicante, Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Béziers, Bologna, Budapest, Cagliari, Dublin, Faro, Fez, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Madrid, Málaga, Marrakesh, Moss/Rygge (ends 29 October 2016), Nador, Oujda, Palermo, Pescara (ends 5 November 2016), Pisa, Porto, Rabat, Rome–Ciampino, Seville, Shannon (ends 8 November 2016), Stockholm–Skavsta, Tangier, Tenerife–South, Thessaloniki, Trapani, Treviso, Valencia, Vilnius, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław, Zaragoza
Seasonal: Alghero, Bratislava, Brindisi, Figari, Girona, Manchester, Palma de Mallorca, Zadar
|Wizz Air||Belgrade, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Debrecen, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Skopje, Sofia, Târgu Mureș, Timișoara, Vilnius, Warsaw–Chopin||1, 2|
The airport is serviced by a shuttle to the city centre and railway station that operates eight times a day; many passengers use a private scheduled coach for a 75-minute trip to Paris, ending beside the Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot, located in the 17th arrondissement, approximately a kilometre west of the Arc de Triomphe. There is a taxi rank at the airport, and also a shuttle bus into the town. There are also many minibus and shuttle services that can take you to Paris or Disneyland Park which are popular destinations for passengers arriving at Beauvais Tillé.
- Line 12 – Mairie – Zone d’activités des Tilleuls – Tillé – Aéroport
- Airport Shuttle – Airport – Parc Municipal – Maillart – Cathédrale – Mairie (City Hall) – Gare SNCF – Kennedy – Descartes – Délie – Saint-Germain – Elispace – Airport
- LFOB – Beauvais Tillé. AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 21 July 2016.
- "International traffic drives modest French growth". anna.aero. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "The Luftwaffe, 1933-45". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "The Luftwaffe in Scale: Identification Codes of Luftwaffe Units 1939 - 1945". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- USAAF Film "Target For Today"
- Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
- "IX Engineer Command". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Maurer Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- McAuliffe, Jerome J: U.S. Air Force in France 1950–1967 (2005), Chapter 17, Dispersed Operating Bases
- Aeroport Beauvais – Summary
- UAF (Union des Aéroports Français)
Media related to Beauvais-Tillé Airport at Wikimedia Commons