Warsaw Modlin Airport
|Warsaw Modlin Airport
Port Lotniczy Warszawa/Modlin
|Owner||Mazowiecki Port Lotniczy Warszawa-Modlin Sp. z o.o.|
|Location||Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki|
|Focus city for||Ryanair|
|Elevation AMSL||104 m / 341 ft|
Warsaw Modlin Airport (IATA: WMI, ICAO: EPMO) is an international airport, formerly a disused military airfield, which opened in July 2012. It is located 40 km (25 miles) north of Warsaw's city centre in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki and has a maximum capacity of approx. 2-2.3 million passengers a year. The airport is intended to be used by low-cost carriers serving Warsaw, the capital of Poland. As of 2015, the airport is the 5th busiest airport in Poland with 2.588.175 passengers currently exclusively served by Ryanair. The main international airport of the city however is Warsaw Chopin Airport.
Originally designed for military use in the Second Polish Republic in 1937, it was not opened by Polish authorities. Instead, it was made operational during World War II in 1940 as an airbase by the German Luftwaffe in occupied Poland. Postwar, between 1945 and 2000 it was used by Polish and Soviet air forces. In 2000 the Polish Ministry of National Defence declared the airfield closed. The airport's runway was in poor condition and lacked proper lighting and modern radio navigation aids such as an Instrument Landing System.
Subsequently, much of its original area was made available as capital in a joint management limited liability company created to run the future airport, Port Lotniczy Mazowsze Warszawa-Modlin Sp. z o.o. The airport was converted for civilian use, primarily as a replacement for the now closed Etiuda terminal for low-cost carriers at Warsaw's main Chopin Airport, this idea emerged in the early 2000s. Numerous projected opening dates had slipped, and business plans with extensive infrastructure improvements, including a new passenger terminal, had been proposed without any actual progress in the construction for some time. An environmental assessment was completed as well. A schedule, announced in February 2008  had the airport opening for business in early 2010. On 8 February 2010, the airport was registered officially as a civil airport by the Polish Aviation Authority (Urząd Lotnictwa Cywilnego).
In September 2009 it was announced that tenders were being accepted and funding had been secured from the EU for an opening in 2011, in time for the Euro 2012 Football Tournament. Construction works finally began in October 2010 and were expected to be completed before Euro 2012; however the deadline was not met and instead the airport began to operate in July 2012.
A new 5 km rail spur branching off from the existing Warsaw–Gdynia line will be built with an underground station at the airport, theoretically providing a 30-minute commute to Warsaw centre.
Although the first aircraft was meant to depart Modlin on 16 July 2012, the airport was officially inaugurated the day before, and the first passenger flight from Budapest arrived at the airport around 17:30. Low-cost-airlines Wizz Air and Ryanair started to use the airport as bases.
Struggle and growth
On 22 December 2012 it was announced that the runway at the airport would be closed to larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 indefinitely for safety reasons. Ryanair confirmed on the day of the runway closure it would divert all aircraft to Warsaw-Chopin Airport until the runway was repaired. Wizz Air also confirmed that it would route its flights to Chopin Airport until Modlin re-opened. The official re-opening took place over six months later on 4 July 2013 after construction works to fix the runway had been completed. On 17 July 2013, Wizz Air announced it would not return to Modlin despite its re-opening, but stay at Warsaw-Chopin Airport instead. Ryanair returned to Modlin on 30 September 2013 and since added more routes to its initial schedule.
On 19 September 2013 the Category I Instrument Landing System was officially ready for use. At the same time tests began for the Category II Instrument Landing System which was ready for use by 1 May 2014.
Since the inauguration of the new airport, its currently only user Ryanair increased the network served from Modlin to 35 destinations by April 2016.
The airport features a new, one-storey passenger terminal building containing all departures and arrivals facilities as well as some shops. The apron features stands for 10 aircraft, as there are no jet-bridges, bus and walk boarding is used.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Modlin:
|Ryanair||Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Beauvais, Belfast-International (begins 2 November 2016), Bergamo, Birmingham (begins 31 October 2016), Bologna, Bristol, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh (begins 30 October 2016), Eindhoven, Fuerteventura, Gdańsk (ends 29 October 2016), Gothenburg, Glasgow, Gran Canaria, Leeds/Bradford (begins 30 October 2016), Lisbon, Liverpool, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Moss (ends 29 October 2016), Newcastle (begins 1 November 2016), Porto (begins 2 November 2016), Rome–Ciampino, Sandefjord (begins 1 November 2016), Shannon, Stockholm–Skavsta, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Toulouse (begins 1 November 2016), Valencia (begins 31 October 2016), Wrocław (ends 29 October 2016)
Seasonal: Chania, Corfu, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Trapani
The airport is located 35 km north-west of Warsaw near national road 62, which is connected to motorway S7 that leads to Warsaw city center and Gdansk. Taxis and car rental agencies are available at the terminal.
The airport itself does not have a train station, however there are frequent shuttle busses to the train station in Modlin from where local trains depart to Warsaw up to 40 times a day. Some of these services run via Warsaw central station to Warsaw Chopin Airport while others terminate at Warsaw west station. In the other direction, most services terminate at the airport while some continue to Działdowo.
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Media related to Warsaw–Modlin Mazovia Airport at Wikimedia Commons