Offenburg is a city located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. With about 57,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city and the administrative capital of the Ortenaukreis. Offenburg is located 15 km east of the river Rhine between Karlsruhe and Freiburg; the French city of Strasbourg lies 20 km northwest across the Rhine. Offenburg is situated at the foot of the Black Forest; the Kinzig meets the Rhine near Kehl. In recent times the remains of Roman settlements have been found within the city's territory. Offenburg was first mentioned in historical documents dating back to 1148. Offenburg had been declared a Free Imperial City by 1240. In September 1689 the city - with the exception of two buildings - was destroyed by the French during the Nine Years War. Due to Napoleon's dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803 and subsequent reorganization of the German states, Offenburg lost its status as a Free Imperial City and fell under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Baden. During the outbreak of the Revolutions of 1848, the "Offenburger Programm" which consisted of thirteen demands "in the name of the people of Baden", was put forward at the Salmen Inn on 12 September 1847.
This was the first known demand for democracy in Germany. Along with the Carlsbad Decrees, the Offenburger Program demanded basic and human rights as well as freedom of the press and a progressive income tax structure. On 19 March 1848 the demands were confirmed by the 20,000 member Offenburg Peoples' Assembly. During World War I Offenburg was one of the first cities to experience the effects of aerial bombardment, the operations against Offenburg railway sidings were flown by aircraft from the Independent Force from Ochey aerodrome, it is forgotten, that in the aftermath of World War I, during the Occupation of the Ruhr, French troops occupied Offenburg, because it fell within the perimeter of the Kehl bridgehead. The French occupation forces entered the town in February 1923 and remained until 1924, blocking all traffic on the Rhine Valley Railway between Offenburg and Appenweier. Following the rise to power of the NSDAP in the 1930s and in the pre-war era, Offenburg's Jewish population fell victim to acts of repression, that culminated in the vandalization of the local synagoge in November 1938.
After the war had begun, those members of the Jewish population that had not managed to emigrate were deported to Gurs concentration camp in October 1940 and from there to Auschwitz during 1942. In World War II, owing to its geographical proximity to the French border, Offenburg was either exposed to temporary evacuations during the Battle of France in 1940 or artillery fire towards the final stages of the conflict, it was only a primary target on one occasion during World War II on 27 November 1944, when a force of more than 300 USAAF B-17 and Liberator bombers attacked the marshalling yards. Many other tactical attacks were flown during 1945 against the railway installations. French Forces entered Offenburg on 15 April 1945 and from on Offenburg became part of the French Zone of Occupation until the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949. Since the creation of the Federal Republic, Offenburg has continually developed in size and prosperity. Between 1971 and 1975 eleven adjacent villages were incorporated into the commune of Offenburg and are now an integral part of the city.
1801–1803: Leopold Witsch 1803–1832: Johann Nepomuk Lihl and Josef Sebastian Gottwald 1832–1840: Karl Josef Burger 1840–1845: Landolin Löffler 1845–1849: Gustav Rée 1849–1859: August Wiedemeyer 1860–1875: Bernhard Schaible 1875–1890: Franz Volk 1893–1921: Fritz Herrmann 1921–1934: Josef Holler 1934–1945: Wolfram Rombach 1945: Hermann Isenmann 1945–1946: Ludwig Heß, 1946–1947: Gustav Ernst 1947–1948: R. Moßbrugger 1949–1975: Karl Heitz 1975–1989: Martin Grüber 1989–2002: Wolfgang Bruder 2003-2018: Edith Schreiner since 3 December 2018: Marco Steffens Dr Wolfgang Schäuble has been representing the constituency of Offenburg as directly elected MP in the Lower House of the German Parliament since 1972. Since October 24, 2017, he has held the office as 13th President of the Bundestag. Offenburg is home to a number of well-known brands. Important manufacturing companies based at Offenburg include tesa-Werke Offenburg GmbH, Vivil, MEIKO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Hansgrohe SE and HOBART GmbH. Besides, there are many other small and medium-sized companies that produce specialized top-of-the-line products in their appropriate sector of business.
The most important trading company in terms of employees is EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft Südwest mbH, the largest German supermarket corporation which has a large regional production and distribution centre in Offenburg. Printus GmbH with approx. 1,600 employees is a stationary wholesaling company. Several subsidiaries or affiliated companies of Markant AG are based in Offenburg with approx. 600 staff. Hubert Burda Media is one of Germany's largest publishing companies. Together with the affiliated Burda printing works it still employs 1,600 people in Offenburg. Although the prominent position with regard to the number of employees has diminished during the last decades with the emerging of further economic actors in town, the expansion of Franz Burda's printing business after World War II as well as the growth and success of his wife Aenne Burda's Burda Style (f
Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois
The Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois is the company responsible for the comprehensive public transport network of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, the urban community of the French city of Strasbourg. The CTS operates all six lines of the Tramway de Strasbourg and the bus network with the eight associated Park and Ride facilities, on behalf of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, it runs other services through its subsidiary Compagnie des Transports du Bas-Rhin and on behalf of the Conseil général du Bas-Rhin. These comprise 27 coach lines, of which 9 serve Strasbourg and participate in the Vélhop cycle network, it runs Strasbourg's tourist trackless train called the minitram. In 1877, the Strassburger Pferde-Eisenbahn Gesellschaft was established; the business did not take a French name as the Companie des Tramways Strasbourgeois. On 22 July 1878 the company opened its first carriage line, it continued to expand its network, with financial support from banks such as the Straehling-Valentin bank, the development of a local interest in the activity of the railway.
Electrification of the tram network did not start until 1894, in partnership with the town and AEG. The first lines were electrified the following year at the 1895 Exposition Industrielle. In 1900, the network ran fifteen lines over 50 km of route. In 1912 the city of Strasbourg became the major shareholder of the company with 51% ownership, it was the start of its status as a public-private partnership. The city granted an exclusive contract to run the network and construct any future lines. Which gave the city power to control Strasbourg's development; the declaration of war in 1914 took most of the company's staff. The business resorted to hiring over 260 women to keep the network running. At the end of the war, the network was damaged and split in two: the outer-Rhine lines were transferred to the Republic of Baden in 1922, it was during this period that the Bas-Rhin invested in the society, facing financial difficulties. Although the first bus only appeared in 1928, the tramway transported over 50 million passengers during 1930.
Despite that, traffic declined. The CTS turned towards tourism in 1932 with the creation of the ASTRA company, with luxury touring coaches. To address the shortage of fuel, the Trolleybus made its appearance in 1939 on the Roethig – Ostwald line; the tram network served to evacuate Strasbourg. Only the suburban network continued to allow adequate provisioning of the French army, but the German authorities restarted the services when they took control of the city in June 1940. During the war, the tram network was one of the only methods on transport with a peak in usage, with nearly 73 million journeys in 1943; when Strasbourg became French again, the CTS faced a crisis, with a loss of human and material resources. After the war, the authorities considered the reconstruction of the network. Between 1940 and 1950 it replaced two tramways with trolleybuses, turned decisively to buses thereafter. Buses would be easier for the armed forces to commandeer if war broke out again, the company could not afford new locomotives for the network.
In 1953, the company began to replace the urban tramways with bus lines. On 1 May 1960 the tramway made its last journey on the 12 km line 4/14, finished dismantling the network, work which had progressed since the end of the war. Freight had not travelled by tramway since April 1958, except for manure, transported until 1960. In 1954, the CTS handed over the Rosheim – Saint-Nabor line to Carières de Saint-Nabor, which led to the discontinuation of passenger traffic on that line. Tourist steam locomotives continued to use the line until 1988. An 030T Borsig T3 and a postal van, both classed as Monuments Historiques, are preserved by the CTS at their Kibitzenau depot. In spring 1962, the last trolleys were scrapped after circling the three lines 28, 5/15, the 10. Dismantling the tramway caused a 20% drop in usage during the 1960s; the network was revolutionised in 1967 with the abolition of conductors. Their role was combined with that of the driver, so the drivers collected the fares from the passengers.
Reconquering the market continued with the creation of 4 km of separate bus lanes, the introduction of articulated buses. In 1976 the single fare began, the urban lines were extended to the whole of the Urban Community of Strasbourg; the CTS resold ASTRA and its dedicated freight vehicles. It was one of the first transport companies to introduce an Intelligent transportation system allowing the exchange of data between the vehicles and a central command centre. At the end of the 1980s, the municipality launched a project to add a new type of public transport. A metro system was the first choice, with the prominence of Véhicule Automatique Léger, but after the municipal elections of 1989, the new municipality decided to turn back to the tramway; the CTS were assigned to manage the project, to begin in January 1991. The Line A went into service on 26 November 1994. With an initial length of 9.8 km, it connected Hautepierre Maillon and Illkirch Baggersee'. The CTS attempted to associate a multitude of services with the tramway.
Since 1997, an airport shuttle bus has linked the airport with the tramway at Baggersee', cycle parks have been installed at certain stations etc. In 1998, the Line A was extended from Baggersee as far as Illkirch-Lixenbuhl, creating th
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg; the village of Kehl was first mentioned in 1038. In 1338 the first permanent bridge between Kehl and Strasbourg was completed. In 1678 the city was taken over by France, as it was considered to be part of the defence system of Strasbourg. Hence the village was transformed into a fortress in 1683 by the French architect Vauban. In 1681, the Imperial City of Strasbourg, a territory of the Holy Roman Empire that included Kehl, was annexed by Louis XIV, King of France; this annexation was recognised by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, but all right-bank territories were restored to the Empire, leading to Kehl's cession to the Margraviate of Baden the following year. On May 7, 1770, Marie Antoinette was handed over by Austria to France on an island on the Rhine near Kehl; this island was settled in the years before the First World War and became known as Kommissionsinsel after the commission that took over Marie Antoinette.
In 1774, Kehl received town rights by the Charles Margrave of Baden. The village was badly damaged during the French Revolutionary Wars during the Rhine Campaign of 1796, during the first and second battles of Kehl, it was besieged by the Austrians in late 1796 until its surrender on 9 January 1797. During the First French Empire, Kehl was reunited with Strasbourg under the French First Republic, before being restored to Baden in 1803. After being subject to Austria, the city was returned to Baden in 1815 and the fortress was dismantled. Between 1842 and 1847, the first port facility was created by the Baden State Railway Administration. In 1861, the first railway bridge was built and the first direct connection from Paris to Vienna was established, with locomotives being changed over in Kehl. After the First World War, under article 65 of the Treaty of Versailles the harbour of Kehl was placed under French administration for seven years to prevent possible German attacks on the opposite newly French town of Strasbourg.
During the Second World War, after the Battle of France, Kehl was turned into a suburb of Strasbourg. After the war, all citizens were expelled from Kehl; this state continued until 1953, when the city was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany and the refugees returned. Until 1519, Kehl was part of the diocese of Strasbourg; the village had to change religion at the order of the margraves and the first Lutheran minister took office. During the French occupation of the 1690s, Kehl became Roman Catholic again, only to revert to Lutheranism after being ceded back to the margrave of Baden. From the early 19th century up to 1914, Lutherans and Catholics shared one church building. Several free churches are situated in Kehl, as well as the New Apostolic Church; the city of Strasbourg lies next to Kehl over the Rhine river. Kehl station is located near the Europabrücke. Bus line 21 used to connect Kehl with the nearest tram stations in Strasbourg. A tram link to Strasbourg has since been completed, as part of the extension of Strasbourg's tram line D.
It opened on April 28, 2017 to Kehl station and was extended to Kehl city center in November 2018. Hermann Flick, football player Georg Nückles, athlete Jean-Jacques Favier, former astronaut Dieter Eckstein, former football player Rainer Schütterle, former football player Carsten Schradin, scientist Official website Images of Kehl
Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany's third-largest state, with an area of 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and sovereign, federated state, formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern; the largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heilbronn, Pforzheim and Ulm; the sobriquet Ländle is sometimes used as a synonym for Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg is formed from the historical territories of Baden, Prussian Hohenzollern, Württemberg, parts of Swabia. In 100 AD, the Roman Empire invaded and occupied Württemberg, constructing a limes along its northern borders. Over the course of the third century AD, the Alemanni forced the Romans to retreat west beyond the Rhine and Danube rivers. In 496 AD the Alemanni were defeated by a Frankish invasion led by Clovis I.
The Holy Roman Empire was established. The majority of people in this region continued to be Roman Catholics after the Protestant Reformation influenced populations in northern Germany. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, numerous people emigrated from this rural area to the United States for economic reasons. After World War II, the Allies established three federal states in the territory of modern-day Baden-Württemberg: Württemberg-Hohenzollern, Württemberg-Baden. Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern were occupied by France, while Württemberg-Baden was occupied by the United States. In 1949, each state became a founding member of the Federal Republic of Germany, with Article 118 of the German constitution providing an accession procedure. On 16 December 1951, Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted via referendum in favor of a joint merger. Baden-Württemberg became a state in West Germany on 25 April 1952. Baden-Württemberg shares borders with the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and Bavaria, Switzerland.
Most of the major cities of Baden-Württemberg straddle the banks of the Neckar River, which runs downstream through the state past Tübingen, Heilbronn and Mannheim. The Rhine forms the western border as well as large portions of the southern border; the Black Forest, the main mountain range of the state, rises east of the Upper Rhine valley. The high plateau of the Swabian Alb, between the Neckar, the Black Forest, the Danube, is an important European watershed. Baden-Württemberg shares Lake Constance with Switzerland and Bavaria, the international borders within its waters not being defined, it shares the foothills of the Alps with Bavaria and the Austrian Vorarlberg, but Baden-Württemberg does not border Austria over land. The Danube River has its source in Baden-Württemberg near the town of Donaueschingen, in a place called Furtwangen in the Black Forest. Baden-Württemberg is divided into thirty-five districts and nine independent cities, both grouped into the four Administrative Districts of Freiburg, Stuttgart, Tübingen.
Map Baden-Württemberg contains nine additional independent cities not belonging to any district: The state parliament of Baden-Württemberg is the Landtag. The politics of Baden-Württemberg have traditionally been dominated by the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany, who until 2011 had led all but one government since the establishment of the state in 1952. In the Landtag elections held on 27 March 2011 voters replaced the Christian Democrats and centre-right Free Democrats coalition by a Greens-led alliance with the Social Democrats which secured a four-seat majority in the state parliament. From 1992 to 2001, the Republicans party held seats in the Landtag; the Baden-Württemberg General Auditing Office acts as an independent body to monitor the correct use of public funds by public offices. Although Baden-Württemberg has few natural resources compared to other regions of Germany, the state is among the most prosperous and wealthiest regions in Europe with a low unemployment rate historically.
A number of well-known enterprises are headquartered in the state, for example Daimler AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Carl Zeiss AG, SAP SE and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. In spite of this, Baden-Württemberg's economy is dominated by medium-sized enterprises. Although poor in workable natural resources and still rural in many areas, the region is industrialised. In 2003, there were 8,800 manufacturing enterprises with more than 20 employees, but only 384 with more than 500; the latter category accounts for 43% of the 1.2 million persons employed in industry. The Mittelstand or mid-sized company is the backbone of the Baden-Württemberg economy. Medium-sized businesses and a tradition of branching out into different industrial sectors have ensured specialization over a wide range. A fifth of the "old" Federal Republic's industrial gross value added is generated by Baden-Württemberg. Turnover for manufacturing in 2003 e
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities for commercial air transport. Airports have facilities to store and maintain aircraft, a control tower. An airport consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off or a helipad, includes adjacent utility buildings such as control towers and terminals. Larger airports may have airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, emergency services. In some countries, the US in particular, they typically have one or more fixed-base operators, serving general aviation. An airport serving helicopters is called a heliport. An airport for use by seaplanes and amphibious aircraft is called a seaplane base; such a base includes a stretch of open water for takeoffs and landings, seaplane docks for tying-up. An international airport has additional facilities for customs and passport control as well as incorporating all of the aforementioned elements.
Such airports rank among the most complex and largest of all built typologies with 15 of the top 50 buildings by floor area being airport terminals. The terms aerodrome and airstrip may be used to refer to airports, the terms heliport, seaplane base, STOLport refer to airports dedicated to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft. In colloquial use in certain environments, the terms airport and aerodrome are interchanged. However, in general, the term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that other aerodromes may not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of art reserved for those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the relevant national aviation authority after meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory requirements; that is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. In jurisdictions where there is no legal distinction between aerodrome and airport, which term to use in the name of an aerodrome may be a commercial decision.
In United States technical/legal usage, landing area is used instead of aerodrome, airport means "a landing area used by aircraft for receiving or discharging passengers or cargo". Smaller or less-developed airfields, which represent the vast majority have a single runway shorter than 1,000 m. Larger airports for airline flights have paved runways of 2,000 m or longer. Skyline Airport in Inkom, Idaho has a runway, only 122 m long. In the United States, the minimum dimensions for dry, hard landing fields are defined by the FAR Landing And Takeoff Field Lengths; these include considerations for safety margins during takeoff. The longest public-use runway in the world is at Qamdo Bamda Airport in China, it has a length of 5,500 m. The world's widest paved runway is 105 m wide; as of 2009, the CIA stated that there were 44,000 "... airports or airfields recognizable from the air" around the world, including 15,095 in the US, the US having the most in the world. Most of the world's large airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies who lease the airport to private corporations who oversee the airport's operation.
For example, in the United Kingdom the state-owned British Airports Authority operated eight of the nation's major commercial airports – it was subsequently privatized in the late 1980s, following its takeover by the Spanish Ferrovial consortium in 2006, has been further divested and downsized to operating just Heathrow now. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is managed by the quasi-private firm Fraport. While in India GMR Group operates, through joint ventures, Indira Gandhi International Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Bengaluru International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are controlled by GVK Group; the rest of India's airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India. In Pakistan nearly all civilian airports are owned and operated by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority except for Sialkot International Airport which has the distinction of being the first owned public airport in Pakistan and South Asia. In the United States, commercial airports are operated directly by government entities or government-created airport authorities, such as the Los Angeles World Airports authority that oversees several airports in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Los Angeles International Airport.
In Canada, the federal authority, Transport Canada, divested itself of all but the remotest airports in 1999/2000. Now most airports in Canada are owned and operated by individual legal authorities or are municipally owned. Many U. S. airports still lease part or all of their facilities to outside firms, who operate functions such as retail management and parking. In the U. S. all commercial airport runways are certified by the FAA under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 Part 139, "Certification of Commercial Service Airports" but maintained by the local airport under the regulatory authority of the FAA. Despite the reluctance to privatize airports in the US, the government-owned, contractor-operated arrangement is the standard for the operation of commercial airports in the rest of the world. Airports are divided into airside areas; the landside area is open to the public, while access to the airside area is controlled. The airside area includes all parts of the airpo