Vienna International Airport
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)|
|Vienna International Airport
|IATA: VIE – ICAO: LOWW|
|Operator||Flughafen Wien AG|
|Serves||Vienna, Austria and
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||183 m / 600 ft|
Source: Flughafen Wien AG 
Vienna International Airport (German: Flughafen Wien-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.
It is the country's biggest airport and serves as the hub for Austrian Airlines and Niki. It is capable of handling wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and features a dense network of European destinations and long-haul flights to Asia, North America and Africa. During 2014, the airport handled a total of 22,483,158 passengers, representing a respective 2.2% increase compared to 2013, and 230,781 aircraft movements.
- 1 History
- 2 Terminals
- 3 Expansion projects
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Ground transportation
- 7 Accidents and incidents
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 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. 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.
Development since the 1990s
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. Until its closing in 2003 the airport featured a branch of Harrods.
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 69.000m² of rentable space. A VIP- and general aviation-terminal, including a separated apron, opened in 2006.
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 further upgrades will be required to accommodate the Airbus A380.
Vienna International Airport has four terminal buildings named Terminal 1, 2 and 3 which are directly built against each other as well as the additional temporary Terminal 1A in front of the main building. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 connect to five concourses. Between 2004 and 2012, a new terminal building called Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (formerly known as Skylink) was built, where Terminal 3 and the new central arrivals hall for all terminal areas are now located.
The four terminal areas were named Check-in from the opening of Terminal 3 until July 2014 when they were renamed to Terminals back again to avoid confusion.
- Terminal 1 (temporarily known as Check-in 1) has been undergoing refurbishment until January 2013 and is now mainly used by Air Berlin and Niki as well as several other oneworld and SkyTeam airlines.
- Terminal 1A (temporarily known as Check-in 1A) is a temporary building in front of Check-in 1, built to offer more space for low-cost carriers.
- Terminal 2 (temporarily known as Check-in 2), a building from the 1960s, has been used by numerous foreign airlines which mostly moved to Terminal 1A for the time being and was closed down for either renovation or rebuilding in January 2013 until at least 2017.
- Terminal 3 (temporarily known as Check-in 3) with its areas F and G is the newest facility and used by the Austrian Airlines Group and most Star Alliance members as well as Emirates and Qatar Airways.
- Area B is in the basement of Area C and features Gates B22–B43 (boarding by buses) for Schengen destinations
- Area C (pier west) for Schengen and non-Schengen destinations with individual passport controls at each gate; features Gates C31–C42 (jetbridges), C35–C41 (only for transfer), C71–C75 (buses, Schengen only)
- Area D (pier east; formerly Area 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)
- Area F (Level 1 of pier north) is used for Schengen destinations and consists of Gates F01-F37 (jetbridges and buses)
- Area G (Level 3 of pier north) for non-Schengen destinations; shared passport control at the entrance of Level 3; features Gates G01-G37 (jetbridges and busgates)
Due to its constant growth in passenger numbers and freight Austria's biggest airport is undergoing major construction works with several new and extensively adapted buildings since 2004. Among others, major projects like the new 109-metre tall tower, Terminal 3 and the expansion of the railway station have been completed by now while others are still planned or ongoing:
Until January 2013 Terminal 1 has been refurbished. Further construction work will concern pier east and pier west. The B- and C-gates already got a central security control in June 2012. The airport's management decided that the rebuilding or renovation of the now closed Terminal 2 won't be done until 2017.
A third runway is to be constructed 2,400 m (7,900 ft) south of 11L/29R. The runway will be numbered 11R/29L and will be 3,680 m (12,070 ft) In August 2014 it has been stated by the airport's operator that the new runway won't be needed until 2025.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at Vienna International Airport:
|Europe and Turkey||16||Brussels||399,083||0.2%|
|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 just 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. From December 2015, ÖBB Railjet services will 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.
Accidents and incidents
- There has not been a fatal aviation accident at Vienna International Airport since 1955, when a Convair CV-340 crashed on approach to the airport, killing 7 of the 29 passengers and crew on board.
- On 12 July 2000, Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378 crashed short of the runway at Vienna International Airport. The cause of the incident was fuel exhaustion. There were no fatalities.
- The airport received Olympic teams as Austria has twice hosted the Winter Olympics.
- Pope John Paul II also used the airport during his visits to Austria.
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- "Airline Industry and Aviation Safety News from Flightglobal". Retrieved 2010-12-19.
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- "Press releases & news - Open for new horizons". Viennaairport. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
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- "Neue AUA-Destination: Manchester". austrianaviation.net. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
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- "Austrian Adds Mahon Service Jun – Sep 2015". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "British Airways' Speedbird Club: Welcome to British Airways Speedbird Club". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Bulgaria Air Adds Seasonal Varna - Vienna Service June - Sept 2015". Airlineroute.net. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- austrianaviation.net - "easyJet massively expands presence in Vienna" (German) 2 July 2015
- "germanwings / Eurowings Route Transfers in April 2016". Airlineroute.net. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- "germanwings Moves 55 Routes to Eurowings from late-Oct 2015". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Jet2 announce massive growth at Edinburgh Airport". Edinburgh Airport. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "NIKI Ends Tel Aviv Service from Oct 2015". Airlineroute.net. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- "Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule" (PDF). Download.thy.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- "Flughafen Wien - Bahnverbindungen". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Flughafen Wien - City Airport Train/ CAT". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Convair CV-340-58 YU-ADC Wien-Schwechat International Airport (VIE)". Aviation-safety.net. 1955-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
Media related to Vienna International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Current weather for LOWW at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for VIE at Aviation Safety Network