Henri Coandă International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internaţional Henri Coandă) is Romania’s busiest international airport, located 16.5 km (10.3 mi) northwest of the city of Bucharest, within Otopeni city limits. One of two airports serving the Romanian capital, the other being Băneasa, it is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of Coandă-1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coanda effect of fluidics. Until May 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport (Romanian: Aeroportul Internaţional Bucureşti Otopeni), which remains the name by which it is generally known. The military section of the airport is currently used by the 90th Airlift Flotilla of the Romanian Air Force.
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. The airport is managed by The National Company Bucharest Airports S.A. (Compania Naţională Aeroporturi Bucureşti S.A.).
HENRI COANDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 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 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). Before 1965, Băneasa Airport 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 3,500 metres (11,500 ft), making it one of the longest in Europe at that time (1965). Also, a new passenger terminal (designed by Cezar Lăzărescu) was constructed in 1970 for domestic and international flights.
In the late 1960s, when President Nixon of the United States 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 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. 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 5 jetways and 9 gates (referred to as ‘the Finger’) as well as the extension of various airport ramps and of their associated taxiways.
HENRI COANDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LOCATION
HENRI COANDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FACTS
Elevation: 314 ft.
Runway length available: 08R/26L 11484×148 ft. :: 08L/26R 11484×148 ft.