Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport

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Constanța "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport

Aeroportul Internaţional Constanța Mihail Kogălniceanu
Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport, 1996.jpg
Airport typePublic / Military
OperatorS. N. Aeroportul International Mihail Kogalniceanu Constanța S.A.
LocationMihail Kogălniceanu, Romania
Elevation AMSL353 ft / 108 m
Coordinates44°21′44″N 028°29′18″E / 44.36222°N 28.48833°E / 44.36222; 28.48833 (Constanța "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport)Coordinates: 44°21′44″N 028°29′18″E / 44.36222°N 28.48833°E / 44.36222; 28.48833 (Constanța "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport)
CND is located in Romania
Location of airport in Romania
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 3,500 11,483 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft movements (2017)6,478
Source: Romanian AIP at EUROCONTROL,[1] Statistics[2] airportaar.ro[3]

Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport (IATA: CND, ICAO: LRCK) is situated in southeastern Romania, in the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu, 26 kilometres (16 mi) north-northwest of Constanța.[1] It is the main airport of Northern Dobruja region and provides access to Constanța County, the Port of Constanța and the Black Sea resorts. The airport is named in honour of Mihail Kogălniceanu, the third Prime Minister of Romania.[4]

The military sector of the Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport is currently an annex of the 86th Air Base. Since 1999, it has occasionally been used by the United States Air Force.[5]


Built in 1955, as a military airbase, Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport opened for civil operations in May 1960, when it replaced the old Palas Airport (founded in 1932).[6][7]

A passenger terminal with a capacity of 200 passengers per hour was inaugurated in 1962, followed, five years later, by an expansion to a processing capacity of 300 pax/hour. In 1974, a major expansion increased the processing capacity to 1,000 pax/hour.[8]

Use of the airport peaked at 778,766 passengers in 1979, when foreign tourism to the Romanian Riviera was at a high.[9][10] Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport handled 127,635 passengers in 2017,[2] which represents a 34.9% increase over the previous year.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Blue Air Seasonal: Cluj-Napoca (begins 21 June 2021)[11]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Wizz Air London–Luton, Rome-Fiumicino (begins 2 July 2021)[12]


Departures terminal

See source Wikidata query and sources.

Traffic figures[edit]

Year Passengers Compared to Previous Year
2005 110,900 -
2006 71,236 Decrease 35.7%
2007 42,331 Decrease 40.5%
2008 60,477 Increase 42.8%
2009 68,690 Increase 13.5%
2010 74,587 Increase 8.5%
2011 73,713 Decrease 0.1%
2012 94,641 Increase 28.4%
2013 73,301 Decrease 22.5%
2014 37,939 Decrease 48.2%
2015 63,329 Increase 66.9%
2016 94,594 Increase 49.4%
2017 127,635 Increase 34.9%
2018 129,235 Increase 1.3%

Military usage[edit]

U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor taxis on the flightline at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base

The airport was home of the former Romanian Air Force 57th Air Base, which was the only unit operating the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft. The base was disbanded in April 2004 and all the 18 MiG-29s remain in open storage at the airport. It has been used by the US Military since 1999. In 2003, it became one of four Romanian military facilities that have been used by U.S. military forces as a staging area for the invasion of and ongoing counter-insurgency efforts in Iraq, operated by the 458th Air Expeditionary Group. It was intended to become one of the main operating bases of United States Army Europe's Joint Task Force East (JTF-E), a rotating task force initially to be provided by the U.S. 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which was to eventually grow to a brigade sized force. The JTF-E concept has been reduced to the Army-only Task Force East, but the base still retains an important role, given added weight by the 2014 Crimean crisis.

During the first three months of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the airport was transited by 1,300 cargo and personnel transports towards Iraq, comprising 6,200 personnel and about 11,100 tons of equipment.[13]

As of October 2009 the US has spent $48 million upgrading the base. Plans are for the base to initially host 1,700 US and Romanian military personnel.[14] Since 2009 the US operates a Permanent Forward Operating Site (PFOS) several times larger than the temporary base housed in the former 57th Air Base; the new base has 78 buildings and uses the land of the former Romanian 34th Infantry Brigade base.[13]

It is also currently home to the 863rd Helicopter squadron which operates IAR-330L's.

With the closure of the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan, The United States military transferred processing operations for military deploying to Afghanistan and other locations to the base. The United States Army 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Air Force 780th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron are responsible for US operations there.[15]

On 15 August 2018, the Britain’s Royal Air Force four Eurofighter Typhoons based there were scrambled to intercept six Russian Air Force Su-24 Fencer bombers over the Black Sea, under the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.[16]

It is also alleged to be one of the black sites involved in the CIA's network of "extraordinary renditions".[17] According to Eurocontrol data, it has been the site of four landings and two stopovers by aircraft identified as probably belonging to the CIA's fleet of rendition planes, including at least one widely used executive jet N379P (later registered, and more commonly cited, as N44982).[18] European (but not U.S.) media have widely distributed reports of a fax[19][20] intercepted by Swiss intelligence, datelined November 10, 2005, 8.24pm, that "was sent by the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in Cairo, to his ambassador in London. It revealed that the US had detained at least 23 Iraqi and Afghani captives at a military base called Mihail Kogălniceanu in Romania, and added that similar secret prisons were also to be found in Poland, Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria."[21]

5 September 2020, the Royal Canadian Air Force began a three-month NATO enhanced Air Policing mission with six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets that had deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu.[22]

Ground transportation[edit]


Several city bus lines link the airport to Constanța railway station. There are also a few private bus lines operating to downtown Constanța and to the Romanian Black Sea resorts. There is no shuttle service available.


There are always cabs available outside airport terminal. The cost of a ride to Constanța is around US$30 which is considerably higher than the bus rates which can be as low as 3 lei/US$1.50.


The Airport is easily accessible by car and is located in north-western part of Constanța, which can be accessed from the DN 2A/E60 Constanța-Hârșova or A4 motorway (Romania) until Ovidiu. The airport can also be reached from the A2 highway by exiting towards Cernavodă driving on DN22C towards Medgidia then through county road DJ 222 passing through Cuza Vodă all the way to the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu where the airport is located. Alternatively from the A2 highway there is another exit towards Medgidia on DJ381 and then continue on DJ222. Car rentals are also available. There is free short- and long-term parking right outside the airport terminal.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 12 June 2017, a MiG-21 LanceR of the Romanian Air Force crashed on approach, 8 km away from Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport. The pilot, though seriously injured, survived and the aircraft was written off.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "EAD Basic - Error Page". eurocontrol.int.
  2. ^ a b Constanța Airport in 2017
  3. ^ Traficul total de pasageri pe Aeroporturile din România pe anul 2018 (in Romanian)
  4. ^ Noua denumire a aeroportului aflat în comuna Mihail Kogălniceanu
  5. ^ Sgt. Erica Earl (May 23, 2019) U.S. Soldiers march in Romanian parade Area Support Group – Black Sea
  6. ^ Iliusin Il-18V, YR-IMB – O scurta istorie (in Romanian)
  7. ^ Comorile Constanţei: Aerogara ascunsă a Constanței (in Romanian)
  8. ^ Constructii si Instalatii at iptana.ro
  9. ^ De ce a pierdut Constanța războiul aerian cu Clujul at romanialibera.ro (in Romanian)
  10. ^ Cartea de Aur a comunei Mihail Kogalniceanu (in Romanian)
  11. ^ https://boardingpass.ro/rute-noi-cluj-napoca-burgas-si-constanta-cu-blue-air-din-iunie-2020/
  12. ^ https://boardingpass.ro/wizz-air-va-zbura-din-roma-spre-satu-mare-si-constanta-iulie-2021/
  13. ^ a b "Zece ani cu US ARMY. Cu ce s-au ales românii - Romania Libera". RomaniaLibera.ro.
  14. ^ Associated Press, "U.S. Base In Romania To Become Permanent", San Diego Union-Tribune, October 24, 2009, p. 6.
  15. ^ Nickel, SSG Shawn (August 22, 2014). "Romania air base replaces Transit Center Manas". Air Forces Central Public Affairs. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  16. ^ Britain's RAF intercepts six Russian bombers over Black Sea, Space Daily, 2018-08-15
  17. ^ Carvajal, Doreen (2006-01-12). "Swiss Investigate Leak to Paper on C.I.A. Prisons in Eastern Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  18. ^ Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners (November 16, 2006). "Working Document No. 8" (PDF).
  19. ^ US-Folter-Camps: Der Beweis! - Aktuell - SonntagsBlick - Blick Online
  20. ^ unknown (January 9, 2006). "Egyptian Fax Throws Light on "Black Sites"". Der Spiegel.
  21. ^ Scotland's Sunday Herald, March 2, 2003
  22. ^ "Canada's Air Task Force – Romania begins 2020 NATO enhanced Air Policing mission". canada.ca. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  23. ^ https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=196111


External links[edit]

Media related to Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport at Wikimedia Commons