Luxembourg Findel Airport
Aéroport de Luxembourg
|Operator||Luxembourg Airport Authority|
|Serves||Luxembourg City, Luxembourg|
|Elevation AMSL||1,234 ft / 376 m|
Luxembourg Findel Airport (IATA: LUX, ICAO: ELLX) is the main airport in Luxembourg. It is Luxembourg's only international airport and is the only airport in the country with a paved runway. It is located 3.25 NM (6.02 km; 3.74 mi) east of Luxembourg City. In 2015, it handled 2,687,086 passengers. By cargo tonnage, Findel ranked as Europe's fifth-busiest and the world's 28th-busiest in 2010. Luxair, Luxembourg's international airline, and cargo airline Cargolux have their head offices on the airport property.
The airport was originally known as "Sandweiler Airport", and was opened in the 1930s as a small grass airfield with a relatively short, 3,400 ft (1,000 m) runway.
German use during World War II
Neutral Luxembourg was invaded by Germany on 10 May 1940, and on 21 May the Luftwaffe assigned Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53), a Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter unit, to the airport. JG 53 was engaged in combat against the French and British Expeditionary Force in France during the Battle of France in May and June. In addition, Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) operated Bf 109s from Sandweiler during the Blitzkrieg. JG 52 moved into France on 29 May but JG 53 remained in Luxembourg until 18 August when it moved closer to the English Channel to take part in the Battle of Britain.
Sandweiler Airport then remained unused by the Luftwaffe until September 1944, when Aufklärungsgruppe 123 (AKG 123), a reconnaissance unit which flew the Henschel Hs 126, a two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft, was assigned to the airport. AKG 123 moved east into Germany after only a few days when the United States Army moved through Luxembourg and cleared the country of the occupying German forces.
United States Army combat engineers arrived at Sandweiler in mid September 1944 and performed some minor reconstruction to prepare the airfield for Ninth Air Force combat aircraft. The airfield was designated as Advanced Landing Ground "A-97" Sandweiler and was opened on 18 September. The Ninth Air Force 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Group operated a variety of photo-reconnaissance aircraft until 29 October 1944 when they also moved east into Germany.
Sandweiler Airport was used by the Americans for the rest of the war as a transport supply airfield and also to evacuate combat casualties to the UK. It was returned to Luxembourgish control on 15 August 1945.
Luxembourg Airport has constructed a high-security zone far away from most airport activities in order to attract the business of transporting valuable goods such as art and jewels. According to Hiscox, there is a "massive demand" for such a hub for precious cargo. Planes taxi away from main airport facilities before loading.
In 2015, the airline with the largest share of the airport's total passenger volume was still Luxair with 1.69 million passengers (63% share); other airlines increased their passenger volumes, Easyjet by 200,000 passengers, KLM by 148,000, and BA by 146,000.
Built in 1975, the building was the only terminal of the airport for 30 years, until terminal B opened in 2004. The terminal was getting overcrowded especially during the summer period, and only contained two or three shops. The terminal started to be demolished at the end of 2011 and was complete by March 2012, this was in order to make way for a footbridge connecting terminal B to the new terminal A. Construction of the new Terminal A started in 2005 and it was inaugurated in May 2008.
Terminal B opened in 2004, the building is unique as it only has gates and no check-in counters or arrivals hall. It was built for small planes with a maximum capacity of 50 people. It can handle up to 600,000 passengers a year. In May 2016, it was announced that the Terminal would reopen in the summer of 2017, some arrangements would be done to handle aircraft with a capacity of up to 80 passengers.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Luxembourg Findel Airport:
Incidents and accidents
- On 22 December 1969, Vickers Viscount LX-LGC of Luxair was damaged beyond economic repair when it ran off the runway and the nose wheel collapsed.
- On 29 September 1982, An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62M passenger plane suffered a runway excursion on landing at Luxembourg Findel Airport.
- On 6 November 2002, Luxair Flight 9642, Fokker 50 (registration LX-LGB) was incoming from Berlin, Germany, and crashed in a field near the village of Niederanven during its final approach to Luxembourg Findel Airport. 20 passengers and crew lost their lives, including artist Michel Majerus.
- On 21 January 2010, Cargolux Flight 7933, operated by Boeing 747-400F LX-OCV struck a vehicle on landing. The van suffered major damage and the aircraft sustained a damaged tyre.
- World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
- Advanced Landing Ground
- LACA – Luxembourg Approach Controllers Association
- Luxembourg Freeport
- AIP for ELLX – Luxembourg Findel Airport from Belgocontrol
- Aeroport De Luxembourg Mouvements
- lux-Airport expects 6 percent growth, new destinations in 2016
- LUX Airport continues on growth path
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- "Network & Offices Luxembourg." Cargolux. Retrieved on 15 May 2010. "Cargolux Head Office Luxembourg Airport L 2990 Luxembourg"
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- "IX Engineer Command". Retrieved 1 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.
- 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.
- Michaels, Daniel (19 February 2013). "Gunmen Waylay Jet, Swipe Diamond Trove". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Le terminal B du Findel rouvrira pour l’été 2017
- "Timetable - Flight Information - Luxembourg Airport". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Cargolux Schedule: JFK-LUX". Retrieved July 6, 2013.
- "Cargolux Adds Rio de Janeiro Service from March 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Cargolux inaugurates scheduled flights to Zhengzhou. Cargolux website (10 April 2014).
- Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Schedule
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- "Incident: Cargolux B744 at Luxemburg on January 21st 2010, touched van on runway during landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
Media related to Luxembourg-Findel International Airport at Wikimedia Commons