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Henri Coandă International Airport ( ) is Romaniamarker's main international airport, located northwest of the capital city of Bucharestmarker along with the smaller Băneasa Aurel Vlaicumarker. The airport is located in Otopenimarker, north of Bucharestmarker. It is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, the builder of the world's first jet powered aircraft. Until May 2004, its official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internaţional Bucureşti Otopeni), and locally it is still quite frequently referred to by its former name.

History

During World War II, the airport in Otopeni was used as an airbase by the German air force. Up to 1965, it was restricted for military use, and was one of the major bases of the Romanian Air Force, with a runway of 1200m. Before 1965, Băneasa Airportmarker was the only airport that Bucharest used for commercial flights. However, with the growth of air traffic, a new commercial airport was constructed in the settlement of Otopeni, where the military air base used to be. The existing runway was modernised, extended up to 3500 m, making it even longer than that of Parismarker' Orly Airportmarker at that time (1965). Also, a new passenger terminal was constructed for domestic and international flights.

In the late 1960s, when President Nixon of the United Statesmarker visited Romania, a new VIP lounge was created, and on 13 April 1970, the passenger terminal was updated to have a capacity of 1,200,000 passengers per year. The airport slowly became more and more used by airlines, with a growing number of passengers, and in 1986, it entered a new phase of development. A second 3500-metre runway was constructed, as well as related taxiways. The airport lighting system was improved and the capacity was increased to 35-40 airport movements per hour.

In 1992, Otopeni Airport became a regular member of Airports Council International (ACI). In 1997 a new international departures lounge with a capacity of 1000-1200 passengers per hour was opened, as well as five modern airbridges. In 2000, Phase II of the development initiative continued, and the International Arrivals Terminal was improved.

Terminals

The airport's terminal facilities consist of a single terminal, divided into three halls (occasionally considered to be separate terminals). These three sections are the International Departures Hall, the International Arrivals Hall, and the Domestic Flights Hall. A passage with several shops connects the halls.The airport has five jetways, all within the International Departures Hall. Additionally, another 9 gates are present at the airport that currently lack jetways. An extension to the actual terminal, with 8 extra jetways, is presently under construction (completion: 2010). The last major expansion of the airport occurred in 1997, when the Domestic hall was built, and the International Departures Hall was expanded. The current terminal was built around the original Otopeni airport terminal.

Airlines and destinations

Bucharest OTP is TAROM's main base
OTP finger (International Departures)
International Arrivals Hall


Bucharest OTP is an important airport in Eastern Europe and the main hub of the Romanian national airline, TAROM. Low fare airlines generally operate from Bucharest's Băneasa Airportmarker, 10 km to the south, rather than OTP.

International

Cargo airlines



Services

Services for passengers

Shopping area located inside the International Departures Hall
The International Departure area hosts a variety of shops, cafes, lounges, Internet cafes and many more. There is also a chapel at the first level of the International Departures Hall. The facilities inside the airport are easily accessible for the persons with disabilities.Airlines distribute Romanian- and English-language newspapers at the departure gates.

Ancillary services

The main handling agent in the airport is Globeground, the second being Menzies. The catering services are provided by Alpha Rocas [37043].

Current and future development

A business lounge.
The airport is embarking on Phase III of its development program, which consist of the expansion of Departure Hall, Arrivals Hall and the boarding area. At the end of this phase (2010) the terminal will have a total of 24 boarding gates (13 equipped with jetways) within the International Departure Hall, while the Domestic Flights Hall will gain 5 more gates. The project consists also in re-organizing the passengers transit in two separate Schengen / non-Schengen flows. Thus the airport's capacity is expected to raise to a total of 6 mil. passengers annually on both domestic and international routes.

The current terminal is approaching its maximum capacity and little expansion is possible on the current location, so a new terminal building (Henri Coandă 2) and a hotel are envisaged; the new terminal would be built at the east end of the current site and consist of four halls, each capable of handling 5 million passengers annually; by 2020 Terminal 2 alone should be able to handle the 20 million passengers per year indicated by estimates. The terminal will be connected to the future A3 Bucharestmarker - Braşovmarker motorway, to the railway system and to the Bucharest Metro system as M7 Line.. The construction of the second terminal is due to start in 2011.

Traffic figures

Henri Coandă International received 5,064,230 passengers in 2008.

OTP traffic
Year Passengers (total) Passengers (domestic flights) Aircraft movements Cargo
2005 3,031,719 53,350 16,887 tonnes
2006 3,513,576 58,053 18,089 tonnes
2007 4,978,587 410,916 70,588 17,423 tonnes
2008 5,064,230 497,208 71,137
2009 est. 4,500,000


Access

Car
The airport is 16.5 km (10 miles) north of central Bucharestmarker, to which it is connected by route DN1. The A3 motorway will connect the airport and the city, when finished.

Train
A direct train service to the main railway station, Gara de Nordmarker, runs from the Airport train station, about 900 m from the airport. Shuttle buses connect this train station with the departures and arrivals halls and the tickets are valid both for the train and for the transfer bus.

The next phase of the airport's expansion aims to locate the train station in the airport itself.

Bus
Henri Coandă Airport is connected to the public transport company RATB system. The 780 route provides express bus service to Gara de Nordmarker railway station in Bucharest and the 783 route provides express bus service to the city center.

Taxi
Henri Coandă Airport has pick-up locations for taxis. Taxis are licensed by the Department of Transportation but taxis licensed in Bucharest can also deliver to Henri Coandă Airport.

In popular culture

  • Season 14 of The Amazing Race was filmed here during the first portion of the third leg. All of the nine teams present arrived at the airport on three separate flights before they completed the rest of the leg.


Picture Gallery

Image:Balizaj20mare-1-.jpg| Runway 08R ILSImage:Curcubeu20mare-1-.jpg|Rainbow at the AirportImage:Exterior20mare.jpg|Airport exteriorImage:Remo20mare.jpg|A TAROM aircraft at the airportImage:Apusapus20mare.jpg|Terminal & apron in the eveningImage:Otopeni 2.jpg|The main terminal seen from a distanceImage:OTParrivals.jpg|The arrival hallImage:HC 1.jpg|Swiss and TAROM aircraft at OTP

External links



References



See also




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