Niš Constantine the Great Airport
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|Niš Constantine the Great Airport
Аеродром Константин Велики Ниш
Aerodrom Konstantin Veliki Niš
|Operator||JP "Airport Niš"|
|Elevation AMSL||650 ft / 198 m|
Niš Constantine the Great Airport (Serbian: Аеродром Константин Велики Ниш/Aerodrom Konstantin Veliki Niš) (IATA: INI, ICAO: LYNI), located 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of downtown Niš in the suburbs of Medoševac and Popovac. It is the second largest and busiest airport in Serbia, after Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport.
The first airfield serving the city of Niš was established in 1910, near the village of Donje Međurovo. In the 1930s then-national airline company Aeroput used the airport for civil service. In 1935 Aeroput included a stop in Niš in its route linking Belgrade with Skoplje.
Following World War II, the airport was used as a military base. Among other units, it was a base for the 63rd Paratroop Brigade and 119th Aviation Brigade. A portion of the airport is still used by the Serbian Air Force and Air Defence. In 1952, at the site of today's airport, the first concrete runway, measuring 1,500 m (4,921 ft), was built and used for military flights. In order to maintain the pace with the development of military as well as civil aircraft, in 1972 the length of the runway was extended to 2,200 m (7,218 ft) to accommodate larger contemporary commercial aircraft.
In the 1970s, the airport was used for occasional service to the Adriatic coast. By the 1980s, this occasional service led the local authorities to recognize the needs of the people living in Niš as well as Southern and Eastern Serbia and took into account the economic development of the city. The association of economic and political entities prepared detailed terms and in 1986 made a decision on establishing the entity "Airport Niš".
The terminal building as well as the ancillary support facilities were buit and opened to service in 1986. This project also included the asphalt coated runway and built-in system of lights that provided visual descent guidance during runway approaches at night. The interesting fact is that the development of air traffic in Niš was not initiated just by Jat Airways, but also by Slovenian company Inex-Adria Airways (Adria Airways nowadays).
The Breakup of Yugoslavia at the beginning of 1990s brought to the sharp decrease in travelling to the Adriatic Sea, Ljubljana and Zagreb, once the busiest routes from Niš. This was followed by United Nations sanctions imposed on Serbia and Montenegro included a ban on international air travel. In these circumstances the volume of traffic reached its lowest point with the only route being to Tivat Airport during the summer period. In 1998, the traffic volume increased owing to the heavy air traffic from Pristina International Airport which was out of use because of numerous foggy days during which the traffic was successfully carried out from Niš. The airport was heavily damaged during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
The airport was reopened in 2003 with the financial assistance from government of Norway. Damage sustained during the bombing was repaired, including the building of a new control tower and renewal of the terminal building.
In 2004, Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines resumed flights from Niš to Zurich, Paris, and Tivat. In 2010, Wind Jet connected the airport with Forlì, Italy while Montenegro Airlines linked it with Podgorica on a daily basis. The route to Podgorica was discontinued in 2013 because of low passenger numbers. For more than two years (2014-2015) there were only charter flights to and from Niš.
The expansion in traffic began in 2015 when low-cost airline Wizz Air launched flights to Basel and Malmö. Shortly after, Ryanair followed the suit by announcing flights to Berlin. In 2016 both Wizzair and Ryanair announced more flights from Niš, respectively Wizzair to Dortmund, Eindhoven, Memmingen and Ryanair to Weeze, Bergamo and Bratislava. Shortly after the launch of these flights Niš experienced triple-digit growth in passenger traffic, exceeding the previous record figure. On October 2016, Turkish Cargo, the airline for the transport of cargo which is a part of Turkish Airlines commenced scheduled cargo service between Niš and Istanbul, which will according to some sources make Niš one of the important cargo center in this part of Europe. In November 2016, Swiss International Air Lines announced flights to Zurich, operated by the Airbus 320. In December 2016, Swiss got direct competition when Germania Flug announced flights to Zurich, starting June 2017 operated by the Airbus 319.
In December 2016 was announced that Constantine the Great Airport airport began overhaul of its terminal by expanding check-in and boarding space, as well as building a new exterior and fixing the roof. The project is being funded jointly by the Serbian government and local authorities. Furthermore, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) plans to start construction of a new control tower next year and will invest a million euros in an instrument landing system (ILS), which provides guidance to aircraft approaching and landing on a runway during low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain or snow.
Airlines and destinations
|Germania Flug||Zürich (ends 8 January 2018)|
|Ryanair||Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bratislava, Stockholm–Skavsta (begins 31 October 2017), Weeze|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Zürich|
|Wizz Air||Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Malmö, Memmingen|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Istanbul–Atatürk|
|Year||Passengers||Change||Aircraft movements||Change||Cargo (t)||Change|
Emergency Response Center
In 2009, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, established a joint emergency response center at the airport. In 2011 a Russian Mil Mi-26 and Beriev Be-200 were dispatched to the center for aerial firefighting duties. The center was completed and put into operation in 2012.
There is a bus line that connects airport to most of the Niš suburbs (line 34).
Taxi service is available at any time for any city destination and more.
- EAD Basic
- Niš Constantine the Great Airport. "Official website" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2007-05-04.
- Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927-1948) at europeanairlines.no
- http://nis-airport.com/en/airport-informations/general-informations/traffic-figures/ Airport traffic figures
- "Russian water bomber, helicopter land in airport in south". B92. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- "Serbia and Russia launch joint emergency center". B92. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
Media related to Niš Constantine the Great Airport at Wikimedia Commons