Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia"
|Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia"|
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Θεσσαλονίκης "Μακεδονία"
|Location||Mikra, Macedonia, Greece|
|Elevation AMSL||7 m / 23 ft|
Map of the airport
Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia" (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Θεσσαλονίκης "Μακεδονία", translit. Kratikós Aeroliménas Thessaloníkis "Makedonía") (IATA: SKG, ICAO: LGTS), formerly known as Mikra Airport, is located 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi) south of the White Tower of Thessaloniki in Greece at Thermi.
The airport is the third-largest airport in the country after Athens International Airport and Heraklion International Airport. It opened in 1930 and was the second-busiest airport in Greece in terms of flights served and the third-busiest in terms of passengers served in 2016, with over 6 million passengers. It is the main airport of Northern Greece and serves the city of Thessaloniki (the second-largest city in Greece), the popular tourist destination of Chalkidiki and the surrounding cities of the region.
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Future of the Airport
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Ground transport
- 7 Accidents and incidents
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
During World War I the area that the airport currently occupies was used as an airfield and it continued operating as an airfield during World War II. At the time of the German occupation of Greece major projects took place, such as the creation of a 600 m (2,000 ft) runway, while in 1948 the airport started operations as a civil airport for the first time.
In 1950, the already existing (10/28) runway was paved with asphalt at a length of 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and in 1952 it was extended to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). It was the same year that the first airport building was completed, with a control tower on the roof. One year later a new runway (16/34) was built. In 1958, the runway 10/28 underwent reconstruction and was extended to a total length of 2,440 m (8,010 ft) (current length), while runway 16/34 was extended to 2,400 m (7,900 ft), with its completion in 1972. In 2004 a new parallel taxiway for runway 16/34, was opened for use.
In September 1965, a new terminal building opened on a new location (current location). In the period between 1968 and 1973, the terminal was expanded, with the construction of a second floor and its first motorway junction. Due to the 1978 Thessaloniki earthquake, the control tower was destroyed, so a new one was constructed, independent of the main terminal building. The next expansion of the terminal took place in two stages, with the projects starting in 1991 and 1993, respectively. The municipality of Thessaloniki, as a European Capital of Culture for 1997, took over a projects for the aesthetic intervention, renovation, modernisation and reorganisation of the spaces of the building.
The terminal building took its current form, when an additional of 19,000 m2 (200,000 sq ft) were added to the western and eastern side of the terminal building, completed in November 2000 and June 2003, respectively. The western extension included the widening of the international departures area (new Extra-Schengen Area), including new administration offices, a new health station and the new station control of Olympic Airlines. The eastern expansion included a new check-in hall, new waiting halls and additional administrative offices for airlines. Today the terminal has a total floor area of 32,000 m2 (340,000 sq ft). Finally, during 2004–2006 the new motorway junction was completed on the level of the departures entrance of the Terminal and new parking spaces for cars, buses and taxis were created. In 1992, a year after Macedonia declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia, the airport changed its name from Micra to Macedonia.
In June 2015, there was an important event in the history of Thessaloniki airport and the Hellenic aviation. SkyGreece Airlines opened the first regular transatlantic flight coming from Toronto, Canada via Budapest, Hungary, due to the short runway of the Airport. The flight was scheduled to operate once a week during summer, but SkyGreece Airlines ceased all its operations in late August 2015, due to lack of funds and blaming the capital controls.[clarification needed]
In December 2015, the privatisation of Thessaloniki Airport and 13 other regional airports of Greece was finalised with the signing of the agreement between the Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture and the state privatisation fund. "We signed the deal today," the head of Greece's privatisation agency HRADF, Stergios Pitsiorlas, told Reuters. According to the agreement, the joint venture will operate the 14 airports (including Thessaloniki Airport) for 40 years as of 11 April 2017.
On 20 April 2018, in order to improve the facilities in the existing passenger terminal, the six passenger security-check lanes were moved near entrance B, next to Check-in desk number 30. Therefore the spaces, where the 2 different lanes were, will become part of the departure hall thus doubling the passengers waiting area.
The airport's terminal consists of three floors. The ground floor serves arrivals only and is divided into two sections: international/extra-Schengen arrivals and domestic/intra-Schengen arrivals. The second floor serves departures and also includes a shopping center. On this floor there are 34 check-in counters, waiting areas, bars, stores and various airlines' offices. The third floor houses two restaurants and several bars with views to the runways. There are two passenger lounges.
Future of the Airport
As part of a comprehensive masterplan released by the government in 2002, several projects have been started to improve Thessaloniki Airport. Other than the building works on the current terminal, including the construction of a new cargo terminal, the masterplan features two major projects.
This section needs to be updated.(May 2018)
Phase 1 of the masterplan includes the expansion of existing runway 10/28 and is currently[when?] under construction. During the process of the project design, 80 Greek and 5 Danish civil engineers and scientists from other specialties have worked on the project. Both the runway and the taxiway will be extended by 1,150 m (3,770 ft), 1,000 m (3,300 ft) out into the sea, resulting in a runway that will have a total length of 3,440 m (11,290 ft) with an extra safety distance of 150 m (490 ft). Its width will be 50 m (160 ft) while the taxiway's width, which will be located at an axial distance of 183 m (600 ft) from the runway, will be 23 m (75 ft). The new runway and taxiway sections will be equipped with appropriate lighting and control systems, that will extend a further 750 m (2,460 ft) into the sea. The completion date was set in July 2011, but due to financial problems of the manufacturing company, reactions of environmental organizations and residents of the surrounding areas, fearing ecological dangers by extending land into the sea, the project has been held back. A new completion date for 31.12.2018.
Fraport Greece’s investment plan
This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2018)
On 22 March 2017, Fraport-Greece presented its master plan for the 14 regional airports, including the airport of Thessaloniki.
Intrakat has managed refurbishing and upgrading current facilities at the airport, as well as studies and expansion projects.
The following summarizes the enhancement changes that will be implemented for Thessaloniki airport under Fraport Greece’s investment plan by 2020:
- New terminal
- Terminal expansion by 30,998 m², incl. new landside access
- Remodeling of existing Terminal
- HBS inline screening
- New fire station
- Expanding the waste water treatment plant or connection to municipal service
- Reorganizing the airport apron area
- Refurbishing airside pavement
- Terminal expansion by 31,380 m²
- 47 percent increase in the number of Check-in Stations (from 30 to 44)
- 75 percent increase in the number of security lanes (from 4 to 7)
- 50 percent increase in the number of departure gates (from 16 to 24)
- Doubling the number of security-check lanes (from 6 to 12)
- General clean-up
- Improving lighting, marking of airside areas.
- Upgrading sanitary facilities
- Enhancing services and offering new free Internet connection (WiFi)
- Implementing works to improve fire safety in all the areas of the airports
Airlines and destinations
Between 1994 and 2010, Thessaloniki Airport saw a rise in passenger traffic equal to 76%, from 2.2 million in 1994 to 3.9 million in 2010. Between 2003 and 2008 the airport saw a passenger traffic increase of 19.1% from 3.5 million to almost 4.2 million passengers, an all-time high. The number of passengers dropped in next years. However, over the last two years the airport experienced passenger traffic increase to just above four million by 2013. Significant traffic increase took place during 2014, with the total number of passengers exceeding the five million mark for the first time.
The airport is served on a 24-hour basis by Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH);
Bus service runs every 20 – 25 minutes and the journey to the city center takes about 40 minutes:
To and from Chalkidiki Buses Terminal (KTEL), Thessaloniki City Centre and Thessaloniki Eastbound Destinations (via "IKEA" Transfer Point)
Single fare is €2. Tickets can be purchased by vending machines on board the service. On-board vending machines accept exact change only and they don´t give changes. Students from Greek universities and Senior citizens (65 years of age or older) are eligible for 50% reduction; children aged 6 and younger travel free of charge.
There are plans to connect the airport with the Thessaloniki Metro network, which is set to open in phases between 2020 and 2021. Attiko Metro, the company overseeing the project, has published a map of proposed extensions, and it includes an overground extension of Line 2 towards the airport. This extension not an immediate concern for the company, however, since the terminus of Line 2, Mikra, will be connected with the airport by a 10-minute shuttle bus.
24/7 metered taxi service is available outside the "Makedonia" Airport Terminal building. The journey from (to) the Airport to (from) the centre of Thessaloniki is about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. The fare to the city center is fixed at 20 Euro. There is an 8 Euro surcharge for trips ending between midnight and 05.00 a.m. Luggage charges are waived.
The airport is directly connected with the city's major road arteries in the southeast, the EO16 and the A25 (the Thessaloniki-Chalkidiki motorway) via the ΕΟ67; offering direct access via the Thessaloniki Inner Ring Road to the A1/E75 and A2/E90 motorways; making transportation to and from Thessaloniki Airport relatively easy. A total of 2,285 parking spaces for cars exist at the front of the terminal building.
Accidents and incidents
Media related to Thessaloniki International Airport at Wikimedia Commons