Vienna International Airport
Vienna International Airport
|Operator||Flughafen Wien AG|
|Serves||Vienna, Austria and|
|Hub for||Austrian Airlines|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||183 m / 600 ft|
Source: Flughafen Wien AG
Vienna International Airport (German: Flughafen Wien-Schwechat, Slovak: Letisko Viedeň-Schwechat; IATA: VIE, ICAO: LOWW) is the international airport of Vienna, the capital of Austria, located in Schwechat, 18 km (11 mi) southeast of central Vienna and 57 kilometres (35 mi) west of Bratislava. It is the country's largest airport and serves as the hub for Austrian Airlines and Eurowings Europe as well as a base for low-cost carriers easyJet Europe, Lauda, Level and Wizz Air. It is capable of handling wide-body aircraft up to the Airbus A380. The airport features a dense network of European destinations as well as long-haul flights to Asia, North America and Africa. In 2018, the airport handled 27 million passengers, a 10.8% increase compared to 2017.
- 1 History
- 2 Terminals
- 3 Expansion projects
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Ground transportation
- 7 Accidents and incidents
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Originally built as a military airport in 1938, and used during World War II as the Heinkel firm's southern military aircraft design and production complex, or Heinkel-Süd facility, it was taken over by the British in 1945 and became RAF Schwechat under the occupation of the country. In 1954, the Betriebsgesellschaft was founded, and the airport replaced Aspern as Vienna's (and Austria's) principal aerodrome. There was just one runway, which in 1959 was expanded to measure 3,000 m (9,843 ft). The erection of the new airport building starting in 1959.
In 1972 another runway was built. In 1982 the airport was connected to the national motorway network (Ostautobahn). In 1986 the enlarged arrivals hall was opened, and in 1988 Pier East with 8 jetbridges.
Flughafen Wien AG, one of the few publicly traded airport operators in Europe, was privatised in 1992. The state of Lower Austria and the City of Vienna each hold 20% of the shares, the private employee participation foundation holds 10%, with the remaining 50% held privately. The shares are part of the Austrian Traded Index.
In 1992, the new Terminal 1 was opened and a year later the shopping area around the plaza in the transit area of the B, C and D gates. In 1996 Pier West with 12 jetbridges got in operation.
Development since the 2000s
In 2006 the 109 m (358 ft) tall control tower started operating. It allows a free overview of the entire airport area and offers a night laser show, which should welcome the passengers even from the aircraft. From 2004–2007 an Office Park had been erected offering 69,000 m2 (740,000 sq ft) of rentable space. A VIP- and general aviation-terminal, including a separated apron, opened in 2006.
To accommodate future growth, in 1998 Vienna Airport published a master plan that outlined expansion projects until 2015. These projects included a new office park, railway station, cargo center, general aviation center, air traffic control tower, terminal, and runway. Additionally, the plan called for streamlined security control. The centerpiece of the enlargement was the new terminal, dubbed Skylink during its construction. In 2002, the airport's management estimated that building the new terminal will cost €401.79 million. However, costs skyrocketed and in 2009 stood at an estimated €929.5 million. The Austrian Court of Audit then recommended that the airport implement several cost-savings measures, which in the Court's estimate brought down final costs to €849.15 million, still more than double the original plans.
On June 5, 2012, the new Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (Terminal 3, named Skylink during its construction) was opened, which enables the airport to handle up to 30 million passengers per year. Construction started in 2004 and was suspended due to projected cost increases in 2009, but resumed in 2010. The maximum planned costs totaled less than €770 million. Following concerns over the mismanagement of the Skylink project, chief executive Herbert Kaufman agreed to resign at the end of December 2010. The new building with its North Pier has 17 jetbridges and makes the airport capable of handling more aircraft, although the new terminal is not able to handle Airbus A380 aircraft. However, the older Concourse D will see an upgrade to accommodate the A380.
The airport has four terminal buildings named Terminal 1, 2 and 3 which are directly built against each other as well as the additional Terminal 1A located opposite Terminal 1. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 connect to the five concourses. The central arrivals hall for all terminal areas is located in Terminal 3.
- Terminal 1 underwent refurbishment in January 2013 and is now mainly used by some oneworld and SkyTeam airlines.
- Terminal 1A, located in a standalone building opposite Terminal 1 hosts check-in facilities for a number of low-cost carriers.
- Terminal 2 is currently closed, pending refurbishment. It was used by numerous foreign airlines whose check-in facilities have been primarily relocated to Terminal 1.
- Terminal 3, also referred to as the Austrian Star Alliance Terminal, with its adjoining Concourses F and G is the airport's newest facility. It is used by the Austrian Airlines Group, most Star Alliance members, and a number of other carriers including Emirates, El Al, Korean Air, Royal Jordanian and Qatar Airways.
- Concourse B is in the basement of Concourse C and features Gates B31–B42 (boarding by buses) for Schengen destinations
- Concourse C (pier west) for Schengen destinations; features Gates C31–C42 (jetbridges), C71–C75 (buses, Schengen only)
- Concourse D (pier east; formerly Concourse A) for non-Schengen destinations with shared passport control at the entrance of pier east; features Gates D21–D29 (boarding via jetbridges), D31–D37 (boarding via buses), D61–D70 (buses). Concourse D will be refurbished and equipped to handle the Airbus A380 as part of the refurbishment programme announced in March 2016.
- Concourse F (Level 1 of pier north) is used for Schengen destinations and consists of Gates F01-F37 (jetbridges and buses)
- Concourse G (Level 3 and basement of pier north) for non-Schengen destinations; shared passport control at the entrance of Level 3; features Gates G01-G37 (jetbridges and busgates) and G61-67 (boarding via buses)
Vienna Airport originally projected that it would need a third runway by 2012, or 2016 at the latest, in the event of cooperation with nearby Bratislava Airport. It currently projects that a third runway will be necessary by 2025, however, environmental organizations and some local communities oppose construction. These groups have attacked the decision of Lower Austria (the state in which the airport is located) to move ahead with the first phase of construction; verdict from the administrative court that has taken up the lawsuit was expected later in 2015. As of September 2016, there were ongoing public protests while as no legal decision had been made. On 28 March 2018, the Austrian Federal Administrative Court ruled in favour of a third runway, a decision that may be appealed by opponents within six weeks.
The third runway is planned to be parallel to and south of the existing runway 11/29. It will be designated 11R/29L, with the existing runway being renamed 11L/29R. The new runway is planned to be 3680 m long and 60 m wide, and equipped with a category III instrument landing system in one direction (29L).
In July 2019 the refurbishment of Terminal 2 started. Terminal 2 is planned to reopen in the end of 2020. Once Terminal 2 has been reopened, Concourse D will be closed for reburbishment at the beginning of 2021, it is expected to open again in 2023. In addition to that, a completely new building will be built. It will connect the existing pier east and pier north. The so called T3 Southern Enlargement will be offering 70,000 m2 (750,000 sq ft) of leisure area and new additional bus gates. Opening is set for 2023.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at Vienna International Airport:
|Passengers||Change from previous year||Aircraft operations||Change from previous year||Cargo
(including road feeder service,
|Change from previous year|
|Source: Airports Council International. World Airport Traffic Reports|
(Years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014)
|Europe and Turkey||16||Stuttgart||365,898||6.7%|
|Source: Statistik Austria|
The Vienna S-Bahn line S7 provides a local service to the city centre taking approx. 25 minutes. The more expensive City Airport Train connects the airport directly to Wien Mitte railway station, close to the city centre, in 16 minutes.
Additionally, the underground railway station has been expanded to accommodate long-distance trains. Since December 2014, the first trains passing Vienna's new main station, ICE services from Germany, terminate at the airport. Since December 2015, ÖBB Railjet services operate to the airport as well. Long-distance train rides between the airport and the main station take approx. 15 minutes.
The airport lies directly adjacent to motorway A4 which leads from central Vienna to Budapest. It has its own exit named Flughafen Wien-Schwechat. Bratislava can be reached via motorway A6 which splits from the A4 in the east. Taxis and car rental facilities are available at the airport. There are also several taxi companies that operate at the airport.
Accidents and incidents
- In 1955, a Convair CV-340 crashed on approach to the airport, killing 7 of the 29 passengers and crew on board. This is the last fatal aviation accident to occur at Wien-Schwechat Airport.
- On 27 December 1985, terrorist attacks were carried out at Vienna and Rome Airports. Arab terrorists attacked the airports with assault rifles and hand grenades. In the Vienna attack three people were killed and 44 others were wounded. One terrorist was killed and two captured by police and security guards.
- On 12 July 2000, Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378 crashed short of the runway at the airport on the final approach of its diverted flight due to fuel exhaustion. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
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- Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
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- Vienna International Airport' 2016 Vienna International Airport Traffic Report
- Vienna International Airport' 2017 Vienna International Airport Traffic Report
- Vienna International Airport' 2018 Vienna International Airport Traffic Report
- Vienna International Airport' 2019 Vienna International Airport Traffic Report
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