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Letisko M. R. Štefánika
|Operator||Airport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS)|
Travel Service Slovakia
|Elevation AMSL||436 ft / 133 m|
M. R. Štefánik Airport (Slovak: Letisko M. R. Štefánika) (IATA: BTS, ICAO: LZIB), also called – especially in English – Bratislava Airport (Slovak: Letisko Bratislava) or Bratislava-Ivanka, located approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of Bratislava city centre on area of three municipalities (Bratislava-Ružinov, Bratislava-Vrakuňa and Ivanka pri Dunaji) is the main international airport of Slovakia. In 1993 it was named after general Milan Rastislav Štefánik, whose aircraft crashed near Bratislava in 1919. The airport is owned and run by Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava, a.s. (BTS). As of September 2014 the company is fully owned by the Slovak Republic via the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development.
Bratislava is a base for the Slovak Government Flying Service as well as Ryanair, AirExplore, Go2Sky and Travel Service Slovakia. During a brief period in 2011, the airport was also a secondary hub for Czech Airlines. Two maintenance companies, Austrian Technik Bratislava and East Air Company are also based at the airport. Air Livery has one painting bay for aircraft at the airport. The airport is category 4E for aircraft, and category 7 or 8 on request in terms of potential rescue.
Bratislava Airport is located 9 km (5.6 mi) to the north-east of the city center, covering an area of 4.77 km2 (1.84 sq mi). It is within a one-hour drive of Vienna (Austria), Brno (Czech Republic) and Győr (Hungary), covering a catchment area of four countries. The nearest large international airport is Vienna International Airport approx. 50 kilometres (31 mi) to the west.
The first regular flight between Prague and Bratislava started in 1923, by the newly formed carrier Czechoslovak Airlines. At that time the airport for Bratislava was in Vajnory, about 3 km away from the current airport. That airport is now closed. Preparation for the current airport started in 1947 and construction began in 1948. Two runways were constructed (04/22, 1900 m and 13/31, 1500 m) and the airport opened in 1951.
The number of passengers served at Bratislava Airport decreased temporarily in the early 1990s due to competition from the nearby Vienna International Airport (which is only 55 km (34 mi) away from Bratislava Airport), but passenger numbers have been quickly increasing since. In 2005, the airport served 1,326,493 passengers; and in 2008, 2,218,545 passengers. Nevertheless, due to the economic downturn and the collapse of Slovak Airlines, SkyEurope Airlines, Air Slovakia and Seagle Air, the number of passengers has declined to just over 1,4 million in 2012.
The airport has one terminal serving arrivals and departures, completed in July 2012 and replacing the original Terminal A, built in 1970 and demolished in January 2011. Terminal B, built in 1994 and designated to serve the non-Schengen arrivals and departures and Terminal C, built in 2006, are both currently out of service.
The current terminal includes 29 check-in desks located on the ground floor of the departures terminal, one of them designated for oversized baggage. In the non-public zones of the waiting area targeted at departing passengers, there are 13 gates, 8 in the Schengen and 5 in the non-Schengen area.
The airport is also home to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), where passengers on private, business and VIP flights are handled, as well as passengers of emergency flights and crew.
A new control tower was added in the 1990s. The parking lot near the terminal has 970 places and is used for short- and long-term parking. The current capacity of the airport is over 5 million passengers per annum. The offices of the Slovakian Civil Aviation Authority are on the airport property.
The current runways enable the landing of virtually all types of aircraft used in the world today (except Airbus A380, Antonov An-225 and Boeing 747-8). The airport features two perpendicular runways (04/22 and 13/31), both of which underwent a complete reconstruction in the 1980s. Runway 13/31 is equipped for ICAO category IIIA approach and landing, while 04/22 is category I.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Bratislava:
operated by Cargo Air
operated by European Air Transport Leipzig
operated by RAF-Avia
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Buses and coaches
- Bratislava - Public transportation bus No. 61 connects the airport to the city centre and the central railway station during the day. Bus No. 96 operates from Petržalka. At night the airport is served by bus N61 from the central railway station.
- Vienna - Blaguss/FlixBus and Slovak Lines (jointly with Postbus) operate bus lines (25 services a day – approximately once every 45 minutes) to Vienna which stop also at the Vienna International Airport. The journey to Vienna city centre takes between 75 minutes and 90 minutes.
- Other destinations - Slovak Lines also operates to destinations around Slovakia.
Bratislava Airport can be reached by private car from the city centre, which is 9 km (5.6 mi) away, or from D1 highway. There is also a taxi stand just near the entrance to the airport with Taxi Slovakia company (taxi of other companies can be called by telephone but rates for the airport are usually higher).
Long-term and short-term car parking is provided at the airport, in front of the terminal building. P1 is an outdoor car park free for up to 15 minutes. P2 is the other outdoor car park, secured by a barrier and a camera system, with 970 parking spaces. P2 parking costs 20 EUR for one day and 35 EUR for a week.
Accidents and incidents
- On 4 May 1919, M.R. Štefánik crashed on approach to Vajnory Airport, the predecessor to M. R. Štefánik Airport. Many rumors about his death exist.
- On 24 November 1966, an Il-18 on multi-leg TABSO Flight 101 from Sofia to East Berlin via Budapest and Prague crashed into the forested foothills of Little Carpathians west of the airport shortly after take-off from Bratislava Airport, where it had been grounded due to bad weather in Prague. All 74 passengers and eight crew members died.
- On 28 July 1976, an Il-18 on ČSA Flight OK-NAB from Prague crashed into the Zlaté Piesky lake just north-west of the airport while executing a go-around. 69 of 73 passengers and six crew members died in the crash. Two passengers later died in the hospital.
- On 7 February 1999, a Boeing 707 aircraft crashed on takeoff from BTS. No one was injured.
- On 6 June 1999, a BAE Hawk 200 aircraft crashed during SIAD '99 air show killing the pilot and one female spectator on the ground that was swept off the roof by explosion.
- EAD Basic.
- "Bratislava Airport Annual Report 2014" (PDF).
- "Contacts." Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 1 January 2013. "Letecký úrad Slovenskej republiky Letisko M. R. Štefánika 823 05 BRATISLAVA Slovenská republika"
- bts.aero - Flight schedule retrieved 19 June 2016
- "Ryanair W17 new routes as of 05MAR17". Routesonline. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "FlixBus". Retrieved 27 January 2015.
Media related to M. R. Štefánik Airport at Wikimedia Commons