Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport

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Covid-19
Airport type  Public/Military
Hub for  Wizz Air
Website  skp.airports.com.mk
Elevation  238 m
Owner  TAV Airports Holding
Location  Petrovec
Elevation AMSL  238 m / 781 ft
Code  SKP
Phone  +389 2 314 8333
Municipality  Skopje
Skopje
Serves  Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Address  Автопат „Александар Македонски“, Petrovec 1043, Macedonia (FYROM)
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Skopje Airport (IATA: SKP, ICAO: LWSK) (Macedonian: Аеродром Скопје, Aerodrom Skopje) or Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport (Macedonian: Аеродром „Александар Велики“ Скопје, Aerodrom "Aleksandar Veliki" Skopje), is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia, with the other being the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid. It is located 17 km (11 mi) southeast of the national capital Skopje in the Municipality of Petrovec.

Contents

Early years

The first commercial flights in Skopje were introduced in 1929 when the Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced a route linking the city with the capital, Belgrade. A year later the route was extended to Thessaloniki in Greece, and further extended to Greek capital Athens in 1933.

In 1935 Aeroput linked Skopje with Bitola and Niš, and also operated a longer international route linking Vienna and Thessaloniki through Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje.

After the Second World War, Aeroput was replaced by JAT Yugoslav Airlines, which linked Skopje to a number of domestic and international destinations until the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

Development since the 2000s

In December 2006, the government of the Republic of Macedonia announced plans to rename the airport after Alexander the Great, sparking a renewed diplomatic spat with Greece, because both countries consider Alexander the Great as part of their own heritage.

In 2008 the Macedonian Government signed a contract with the Turkish company Tepe Akfen Ventures (TAV) for a twenty-year-long concession during which this company would manage Macedonia's two existing airports - the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport and the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid. In September 2011, the new terminal building, extension of the runway, new administrative building, cargo building and new access road with parking facilities were opened. The goal of the project is to increase the capacity of Skopje Airport to four million passengers per year with plans to turn Skopje Airport into a major transit and cargo hub for Southeast Europe.

Airlines and destinations

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Skopje:

Traffic development

The number of passengers has increased since 1990, from 312,492 passengers in that year, to 1,452,465 passengers in 2015. However, traffic was often dropped in twenty years. In 2000 the airport handled 1,005,852 passengers, but in 2001 the number of passengers dropped to 499,789. This was influenced in part by a number of airlines replacing services to Skopje with services to nearby. In 2014 Skopje airport handled 1,208,359 passengers, surpassing one million for the first time since 2000.

Ground transportation

Taxis to Skopje are available. There is also a bus service linking the airport and the city with stops at Capitol Mall, International Bus/Railway Station and Hotel Holiday Inn/City Centre.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 24 July 1992, an Antonov 12BK of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, crashed on a mountain Lisec village, on approach at Skopje Airport, after the crew strayed off course while trying to circumnavigate a thunderstorm because the DME at Skopje Airport was inoperative. All 8 occupants died and the plane was written off.
  • On 5 March 1993, Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301, a Fokker 100 bound for Zurich, crashed seconds after takeoff from runway 34. Investigation into the accident determined the cause of the accident to be the failure of the flight crew to have the aircraft deiced before departure. Of the 97 people on board, 83 died.
  • On 12 January 2008, a Mil Mi-17 of the Macedonian Air Force, from Mostar en route to Skopje Airport, crashed on a hill near Katlanovsko Blato in dense fog and burned out. All 11 occupants died and the helicopter was written off.
  • On 13 February 2009, Austrian Airlines Flight OS780, Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 scheduled flight from Skopje to Vienna failed to retract landing gear after take-off and performed an emergency landing on Skopje Airport.
  • On 13 February 2009, MALÉV Flight 440 a scheduled MALÉV flight Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 from Budapest to Skopje made an emergency landing at Skopje Airport. At 16:05 CET the pilot reported right engine failure on its final approach to Skopje LWSK. The pilot safely landed the airplane and there were no injuries reported among the 64 passengers in the aircraft.
  • On 14 November 2011, a private flight Socata TBM700N (TBM850), from Maastricht Achen Airport to Skopje, hit several treetops and approach light while landing and missed the extended asphalt of the runway and touched down on grass. All five occupants escaped unharmed. The plane received substantial damage and was sent to Daher-Socata at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport for repairs.
  • On 11 February 2012, Czech Airlines Flight 848, Boeing 737-55S a scheduled flight from Prague to Skopje made an emergency landing at Skopje, because of reported smoke that came out of the aircraft. Airport firefighters and ambulance were alarmed. The plane had a minor damage and all passengers escaped uninjured.
  • On 6 September 2016, a private Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II crashed near Vetersko, Veles while landing in Skopje, killing all 6 on board. The aircraft was written off.
  • References

    Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport Wikipedia


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