Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport

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Constanţa "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport
Aeroportul Internaţional Constanţa Mihail Kogălniceanu
Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport, 1996.jpg
Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport in March 1996


CND is located in Romania
Location of airport in Romania
Airport type Military/Public
Operator S. N. Aeroportul International Mihail Kogalniceanu Constanta S.A.
Serves Constanţa
Location Mihail Kogălniceanu, Romania
Elevation AMSL 353 ft / 108 m
Coordinates 44°21′44″N 028°29′18″E / 44.36222°N 28.48833°E / 44.36222; 28.48833 (Constanţa "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport)Coordinates: 44°21′44″N 028°29′18″E / 44.36222°N 28.48833°E / 44.36222; 28.48833 (Constanţa "Mihail Kogălniceanu" International Airport)
Website www.mk-airport.ro
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 3,500 11,483 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 37,939
Aircraft movements 3,494
Source: Romanian AIP at EUROCONTROL,[1] Statistics,[2] Movements[3]

Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport (IATA: CNDICAO: LRCK) is situated in south-east Romania, in the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu, 26 kilometres (16 mi) north-northwest of Constanţa.[1] It is the main airport of Dobrogea region and it provides access to Constanţa County, the port of Constanţa and Black Sea Romanian resorts. Since 1999 it has occasionally been used by the United States Air Force. It has been alleged that the airport was used for clandestine CIA interrogations.[4]

Military uses[edit]

MiG-29s parked at the 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[5]

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.[7]

Involvement in "extraordinary renditions"[edit]

Main article: CIA prison system

It is also alleged to be one of the black sites involved in the CIA's network of "extraordinary renditions".

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).[8] European (but not U.S.) media have widely distributed reports of a fax[9][10] 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 Kogalniceanu in Romania, and added that similar secret prisons were also to be found in Poland, Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria."[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airport City Country Airline Remarks
Athens International Airport Athens Flag of Greece.svg Greece Blue Air 2 flights/week / 1 June - 29 October
Istanbul Atatürk Airport Istanbul Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey Turkish Airlines 4 flights/week
Il Caravaggio International Airport Bergamo / Milano Flag of Italy.svg Italy Blue Air 4 flights/week
Larnaca International Airport Larnaca Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus Blue Air 2 flights/week / 1 June - 29 October
Luton Airport London Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom Wizz Air 2 flights/week
Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv Flag of Israel.svg Israel Blue Air Seasonal


Traffic and statistics[edit]

Departures terminal

Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport handled 37,939 passengers in 2014,[2] which represents a 48.2% decrease over the previous year.

Use of the airport peaked at 778,766 passengers in 1979, when tourism to the Romanian Riviera was at a high.[12]

Year Passengers[13][14] 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* 59,617 Increase 57.14%
  • 2015 in the first 9 months

Ground transportation[edit]


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


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


The Airport is easily accessible by car and is located in north-western part of Constanta, which can be accessed from the DN 2A/E60 Constanta-Harsova or A4 motorway (Romania) until Ovidiu. The airport can be reached from A2 (Autostrada Soarelui) by exiting towards Cernavoda driving on DN22C towards Medgidia then through county road DJ 222 passing through Cuza Voda all the way to town of Mihail Kogalniceanu where the airport is located.Alternatively from A2 (Autostrada Soarelui) 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 airport terminal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "EAD Basic - Error Page". eurocontrol.int. 
  2. ^ a b Constanța Airport in 2013 at newsair.ro (Romanian)
  3. ^ Press release for 2013 (Romanian)
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b "Zece ani cu US ARMY. Cu ce s-au ales românii - Romania Libera". RomaniaLibera.ro. 
  6. ^ Associated Press, "U.S. Base In Romania To Become Permanent", San Diego Union-Tribune, October 24, 2009, p. 6.
  7. ^ Nickel, SSG Shawn (August 22, 2014). "Romania air base replaces Transit Center Manas". Air Forces Central Public Affairs. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  8. ^ 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). 
  9. ^ US-Folter-Camps: Der Beweis! - Aktuell - SonntagsBlick - Blick Online
  10. ^ unknown (January 9, 2006). "Egyptian Fax Throws Light on "Black Sites"". Der Spiegel. 
  11. ^ Scotland's Sunday Herald, March 2, 2003
  12. ^ De ce a pierdut Constanţa războiul aerian cu Clujul at romanialibera.ro (Romanian)
  13. ^ 2012 Activity Report of Romanian Ministry of Transportation at mt.ro (Romanian)
  14. ^ ORDIN 169/1.801. Planul national de actiune privind reducerea emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră în domeniul aviatiei civile (Romanian)


External links[edit]

Media related to Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
Media related to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base at Wikimedia Commons