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Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internațional Henri Coandă București) (IATA: OTP, ICAO:LROP) is Romania‘s busiest international airport, and it is located in Otopeni, 16.5 km (10.3 mi) north of Bucharest‘s city centre. It is currently one of two airports serving the capital, with the other being Aurel Vlaicu Airport. The airport is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of Coandă-1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coandă effect of fluidics.
Until May 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internațional București Otopeni), which remains the name by which it is generally known.
Henri Coandă International Airport serves as headquarters for TAROM, the country’s national airline, and Țiriac Air. It also serves as a base of operations for charter or low-cost airlines Air Bucharest, Blue Air and Wizz Air. It is managed by The National Company Bucharest Airports S.A. (Compania Națională Aeroporturi București S.A.). The military section of the airport is used by the 90th Airlift Flotilla of the Romanian Air Force.
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 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). Băneasa Airport was the only airport that Bucharest used for commercial flights. In 1965, 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 runway was modernised and extended up to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft), making it one of the longest in Europe at that time.
In August 1969, when President Nixon of the United States visited Romania, a VIP lounge was inaugurated. A new passenger terminal (designed by Cezar Lăzărescu), with a capacity of 1,200,000 passengers per year, was opened on 13 April 1970, for domestic and international flights. The airport slowly became more and more used by airlines, with a growing number of passengers. 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 airport movements per hour.
In 1992, Otopeni Airport became a regular member of Airports Council International (ACI). In the same year a long-term, multi-stage upgrade plan was devised, anticipating a sharp increase in traffic as traveling restrictions to and from Romania were lifted.
Expansion since the 1990s
The first stage of the plan (Phase I), taking place between 1994 and 1998, involved the construction a new departures terminal and of a new airside concourse with five jetwaysand nine gates (referred to as ‘the Finger’) as well as the extension of airport ramps and of their associated taxiways.
The second phase (labeled Phase II/IIe) of the plan led to the construction of a terminal dedicated to domestic flights and of a multi-story car park (2003), the complete overhaul of the control tower (between 2005–2007) as well as the transformation of the old terminal building in a dedicated arrivals hall (in 2000). During the same phase, two high-speed taxiways (Oscar and Victor) were constructed. Phase II was completed in 2007.
The third stage of the plan (Phase III), which started in 2009, involved the extension of the airside concourse (‘the Finger’) with 15 new gates (nine of which have jetways), as well as the expansion of Departure Hall (eight new gates) and Arrivals Hall. The airside concourse, designed by Studio Capelli Architettura & Associati, was inaugurated on 29 March 2011. It was followed, in November 2012, by the extension of the Departure Hall.
In March 2012, all air traffic except for business air traffic was transferred from Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (at that time Bucharest’s low-cost hub) to Henri Coandă International Airport. This resulted in a 41% increase in passengers in 2012: from 5,049,443 passengers in 2011 to 7,120,024 passengers.
Current and future development
Beyond Phase III, a new terminal building (Henri Coandă 2) at the eastern end of the current location is envisaged. Henri Coandă 2 will be of a modular design, consisting of four separate buildings, each capable of handling 5 million passengers annually. Each module will be built as traffic demands dictate. Thus, by 2023, Terminal 2 alone should be able to handle the 20 million passengers per year indicated by estimates. The terminal will be directly connected to A3 motorway, to the railway system, and to the Bucharest Metro system throughMetro Line 6.
The airport’s facilities consist of two terminal with one main building. These terminals are the Departures Hall (formerly known as International Departures Hall) and the Arrivals Hall (formerly known as International Arrivals/Domestic Hall). A walkway with shops connects the buildings. The airside concourse (the so-called finger terminal) is organized in two (Schengen/non-Schengen) passengers transit flows. The main handling agent in the airport is Globeground, the second being Menzies. The catering services are provided by Alpha Rocas.
The airport has 38 gates (of which 14 equipped with jetways). The International Departure area hosts a variety of shops, cafes, duty-frees, lounges, Internet cafes and many more. There is also a chapel and a small play area for children on the first level of the International Departures Hall. The facilities inside the airport are easily accessible for the persons with disabilities.
Airlines and destinations
|DHL Aviation||Bergamo, Budapest, Chișinău, Treviso|
|TNT Airways||Liège, Munich, Sofia|
operated by ASL Airlines Switzerland
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