Cluj International Airport
|"Avram Iancu" Cluj International Airport
Aeroportul Internațional „Avram Iancu” Cluj
Kolozsvári Nemzetközi Repülőtér
|Owner||Cluj County Council|
|Operator||Cluj County Council|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||1,036 ft / 315 m|
Avram Iancu Cluj International Airport (IATA: CLJ, ICAO: LRCL) is an airport serving the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Initially known as Someșeni Airport, it is located 9 km (5.6 mi) east of the city centre, in the Someșeni area, which is now within the Cluj-Napoca city limits. The airport is named in honour of Romanian revolutionary Avram Iancu.
In terms of passengers' traffic, Cluj Airport is the second busiest airport in Romania, after Bucharest Henri Coandă, handling 1.88 million passengers in 2016. Its size and location (on the European route E576 and close to A3 Transylvania Motorway) makes it the most important airport in the historical region of Transylvania.
Cluj Airport was founded on 1 April 1932 by the Romanian Ministry of Industry and Trade. Until the civil airport was built, the first operations used the Someşeni Military Aerodrome that was founded by the Romanian National Service of Air Navigation (Romanian: Serviciul Naţional de Navigaţie Aerianǎ SNNA) in 1928. The SNNA was set up by the Romanian Ministry of War for opening an air transportation line between Cluj and Bucharest. The first aircraft used was the Farman-Goliath aircraft, a twin-engine plane with space for ten passengers built by the Farman Aviation Works.
In 1933, Cluj Airport was declared an International Airport by the Romanian Government. The first international flight, a CSA Czech Airlines Prague-Cluj-Bucharest flight, took place on 11 September 1933. The aircraft used on this route were eight-seat Avia-Fokker aircraft. In the following years, several new routes were opened, such as the Aeroflot Moscow-Cluj-Prague flight, opened on 15 November 1935, which was operated with 14-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-2 twin-engine aircraft, registered as USSR-M25 and USSR-M26. Internal flights were also operated in this period, such as Cluj-Satu-Mare and Cernăuţi-Cluj-Arad using Lockheed Model 10 Electra ten-passenger aircraft and de Havilland Dragon Rapide aircraft. In the late 1930s the airport recorded a steady growth and the employees number rose from 6 in 1934 to 16 in 1939. The passenger terminal was also built in this period, being inaugurated in 1939.
During World War II, the airport became a military airport, as it was considered to be the most important in Transylvania. In 1940, as a result of the Second Vienna Award, Northern Transylvania (including Cluj) was ceded to Hungary and thus the airport was used by the Hungarian Air Force and German Luftwaffe. Malert airline also operated flights to Budapest during these years. In October 1944, the Hungarian forces in the city were defeated by the Romanian and Soviet armies. By the time of the reconquest of the airport by the Romanian No. 4 Fighting Squadron Focşani, in late September 1944, the airport was completely destroyed.
After the war, the airport's operations were resumed with TAROM internal flights connecting Cluj to other major Romanian cities. The aircraft used were the Lisunov Li-2 / Douglas DC-3 and Ilyushin Il-14 aircraft.
In the 1960s, an extensive modernization of the airport began. In 1969, a new passenger terminal was opened. By 1970, the airport was fully equipped with all of the safety facilities.
The airport remained a domestic airport until September 1996, when it was once again opened to both international passenger and cargo traffic. The extension of the terminal building was also started in 1996 and since August 1997 it is run by the Cluj County Council. By 2001, the extension of the airport building was finished, the runway lighting system was modernized, and an Instrument Landing System (ILS) CAT I equipment was implemented.
In 2007 and 2008, the Cluj airport had the most spectacular evolution in recent years, with a year-over-year growth of 60% and 93% respectively, reaching over 750,000 passengers in 2008.
The construction of a new terminal, capable of handling 2 million passengers annually, started on 26 June 2007. The 10,812 m2 (116,380 sq ft) arrivals hall was inaugurated on May 22, 2008, followed by the new departures hall, with a total area of 16,000 m2 (170,000 sq ft), inaugurated in May 2009. Total project cost was an estimated €40 million. In February 2009, the ILS equipment was upgraded to CAT II.
Cluj Airport exceeded the 1,000,000 passenger mark in 2010. On 8 September 2011, the construction works for building a new runway of 2,100 m (6,890 ft) began. The works represented the first phase of the investment that aims at a take-off/landing runway of 3,500 m (11,483 ft). The new runway 07/25 officially went into operation on 26 October 2013. The old runway 08/26 became a taxiway, after the new runway opened.
In 2014, ROMATSA held a competition for the creation of a new control tower for Cluj-Napoca Airport. Of the 22 projects that were submitted in the competition, as winner the project of Outline Architecture Office was chosen, an architectural design office based in Bucharest. The tower resembles a tulnic and will have a height of 42 m. The costs for the construction of new control tower will be borne by ROMATSA.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Cluj-Napoca:
operated by Airest
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
|Year||Passengers (% change from prior year)||Tones (% change from prior year)|
|Month||Passengers 2016||Change (2015-2016)||Passengers 2017||Change (2016-2017)||Passengers Cumulatively|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers 2014||Carriers||Airport||Passengers 2015||Carriers|
||Vueling, Wizz Air|
||Vueling, Wizz Air||Bologna||
||Wizz Air||Rome - Ciampino Airport||
|15||Tel Aviv Airport||
||Lufthansa, Wizz Air|
||Vueling, Wizz Air|
The airport is located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of the city centre on the European route E576. The drive from the city centre takes about 20 minutes. CTP Cluj Napoca, the local public transport company, operates its Route No. 8 that connects the airport with the Mihai Viteazul Square in the City Center and trolleybus No. 5 to the Rail station.
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 September 1986 at about 19:45, a fully loaded Antonov An-24RV aircraft departed Bucharest Otopeni Airport, bound for Cluj-Napoca. When the landing procedure began, one of the flight attendants, Aurelia Grigore, realized that the aircraft was landing at higher than normal speed. When the main landing gear touched ground, it bounced repeatedly until the aircraft stopped. The front of the aircraft was on fire. Grigore realized they had an emergency situation. With her flight attendant colleague, she decided to start deplaning passengers. She opened the emergency exit and she let the stairs down, but the stairs weren't touching the ground because the front gear was broken. She was helped by Emil Hossu, a famous actor. "He was one of the few people that didn't panic and helped us evacuate the aircraft in safety", said Grigore. After evacuating the passengers they returned to help the pilots who were trapped in the cockpit. "The cockpit was on fire and we lost any faith that we could save them". The next moments were horrible for all passengers and flight crew. The aircraft was destroyed by flames and with the pilots still on board. After 10 minutes, they saw one of the copilots trying to escape through a window. "He told us his foot was stuck and that he couldn't get it out. We tried to help him, but we couldn't. Finally he managed to get out of the aircraft on fire. He was completely burned, you couldn't even look at him. It was terrible. The other 2 pilots burned alive as we watched them, helpless". The copilot died also. He was transported to the ER but died the next day because of the burns. The authorities said that the accident was due to an equipment malfunction. The 3 pilots were the only casualties.
- On 7 January 2016, a Blue Air Boeing 737-400, reg. YR-BAS, skidded off the runway after landing. No injuries reported amongst the 116 passengers and crew. The serious incident occurrence cause was the performance of an extended flare flight, followed by the runway touchdown at a distance of about 2300 ft. (approx. 700 m) measured from runway threshold 25. Runway contamination (snow): at the moment of the landing it was possible that the wet snow layer should have about 1 centimeter.
- New RWY at Cluj-Napoca International Airport at Romanian CAA
- EAD Basic
- Traffic Data (Romanian)
- "Cum se va numi de azi aeroportul din Cluj". Ziua de Cluj. 17 October 2013.
- "Aeroportul clujean, asaltat de pasageri". Citynews. January 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Aeroport Cluj
- Cluj-Napoca Airport has a new departures terminal
- The Arrivals hall (Romanian)
- Cu pasagerul 1.000.000, Aeroportul Cluj devine lider regional
- The beginning of the construction works for Cluj-Napoca International Airport's new runway
- Noua pistă a Aeroportului Cluj-Napoca, inaugurată în 26 octombrie (Romanian)
- Bogdan Buburuz (31 March 2014). "Proiect SF al turnului de control de pe Aeroportul Cluj. Urmează modelul unui far în port – FOTO". Vocea Transilvaniei.
- "Cum va arăta noul turn de control al Aeroportului "Avram Iancu" Cluj (FOTO)". CityNews.ro. 31 March 2014.
- "FOTO - Cum va arăta noul turn de control al Aeroportului Internaţional "Avram Iancu" Cluj". monitorulcj.ro. 31 March 2014.
- airportcluj.ro - Flight Schedule retrieved 10 July 2016
- Blue Air Timetable (Romanian)
- "Blue Air opens Constanta base in S17".
- Plan strategic de dezvoltare a Municipiului Cluj-Napoca - 2005 (Romanian)
- ORDIN 169/1.801. Planul national de actiune privind reducerea emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră în domeniul aviatiei civile (Romanian)
- Anna.aero database
- aviation-safety.net - Accident description retrieved 10 July 2016
Media related to Cluj-Napoca International Airport at Wikimedia Commons