Chișinău International Airport (IATA: KIV, ICAO: LUKK) is Moldova's main international airport, located 13 km (8.1 mi) southeast of the centre of Chișinău, the capital city. It serves as headquarters for Air Moldova, the country's national airline. The IATA airport code KIV is derived from Kishinev (the Russified name of the city).
The first scheduled flights to Chișinău started on 24 June 1926, on the route Bucharest – Galați – Chișinău and Iași. The flights were operated by Compagnie Franco-Roumaine de Navigation Aérienne – CFRNA, later LARES. A commemorative plaque, describing the first flight to Chișinău, was placed in the airport.
The main terminal was built in the 1970s, with a capacity of 1,200,000 passengers per year.
On 31 May 1995 Chișinău Airport was awarded the status of an international airport.
In 2002, following works by the Turkish company Akfen Holding, the airport was modernized. An annex terminal building with an area of 4,270 m2 (46,000 sq ft) was added to the renovated old terminal building of 7,600 m2 (82,000 sq ft). The project covered construction of 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft) curtain walls, 3,200 m2 (34,000 sq ft) composite panels, 12,185 m2 (131,160 sq ft) asphalt road, a treatment plant with a capacity of 3,450 m3 (122,000 cu ft) a day, complete mechanical heating, ventilation and electrical systems, along with the X-ray security, luggage handling, master clock, and flight information systems. The annual capacity of the airport had increased to 5.4 million passengers.
Chișinău International Airport is a member of Airports Council International.
There are plans to enlarge the airport. The project involves EUR 19 million loan to Chișinău International Airport for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the existing runway, taxiways, aprons, and ramps, engineering works, safety equipment and other connected core assets of Chișinău International Airport. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') is considering co-financing alongside EBRD for up to an equal amount.
There are ten check-in desks and five gates at the airport. VIP and CIP guests are offered special services at the VIP terminal. A visitors' terrace in the second floor opened in December 2006.
Previously passengers had to present their passport, ticket and their registration (of foreigners – which used to be required). Passengers were allowed in the check in hall. With the introduction of e-tickets and the abolition of the registration for foreigners the airport reorganized in late 2006. This resulted in a bigger check-in hall and customs control is now after check-in.The Civil Aviation Administration of Moldova has its headquarters on the airport property.
There are bus lines and rutieră vans frequently departing from the airport (aerogara). Rutieră line 165 passes through the Botanica district and continues to the city center. The 'AEROGARA' bus departs from Piața D. Cantemir and has intermediate stops in the city center on Stefan Cel Mare street. It also stops at the central railway station 'GARA' bus station. There is a white livery bus operating in a 30-minute interval This is different from rutieră vans, which may stop at any time, given the driver is notified a few seconds prior.