Tirana International Airport NÃ«nÃ« Tereza
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Tirana International Airport " Nënë Tereza " is (Albanian for Mother Teresa ) the only international airport in Albania. It is 17 kilometers northwest of Tirana Rinas the village, after which he was named earlier. In terms of passenger numbers, it is one of the largest airports in the region and allows those of Skopje, Pristina and Podgorica behind.
The airport is also used by the Albanian Air Force.
The airport was built by the Soviets for a few flights a week and put into operation in 1958. He replaced the old airfield Lapraka the (then) western edge of the city of Tirana. He has long served only by airlines from fellow communist states such as Aeroflot, Jat, TAROM, Air Inter and Malev. In 1986, Swissair was the first airline from a capitalist state the regular daily flights. Until 1992 there were no Albanian airline.
Since the end of communism in the early 1990s the traffic and the number of passengers increased rapidly. The modest infrastructure came to their limits. The runway consisted initially of octagonal concrete plates and was often grazed by sheep and goat herds. During the Kosovo War in 1999 the U.S. Army took over the operation of the airport, which was temporarily closed to civilian flights. The air traffic control system, the runway, apron and access roads were developed in a short time. In 2001, the terminal with the support of the Canadian government has been renovated.
In 2003, the airport, the Tirana Rinas Airport was named to that time, on the occasion of the beatification of Mother Teresa, she was renamed in honor.
On September 16, 2004, an armed military jet crashed the Albanian Air Force, a Chinese licensed production of the MiG- 19, right after the start off and crashed at the edge of the airport. The pilot was killed.
In autumn 2004, the Albanian government signed a concession agreement with an international consortium, which is under the leadership of the Essen company Hochtief AirPort. Thus, Hochtief holds a 47% at the airport. Furthermore, the German Investment and Development Company involved with 31.7 % and Albanian - American Enterprise Fund with 21.3% of the shares. Hochtief will operate the airport for the next 20 years. Associated with this are numerous expansions and modernizations. Began in 2005 with the construction of a new terminal. Also a bridge on the access road from the north was renewed and a direct connection to the highway Tirana - Durres built. The new terminal was inaugurated in March 2007.
An unarmed Turk kidnapped in October 2006, a machine of Turkish Airlines on a flight from Tirana to Istanbul. The volatile conscientious objector and converted Catholic, wanted to speak with the Pope and demanded that the pilot fly to Rome. However, the fuel was not sufficient for this purpose, which is why the plane already landed in Brindisi. The kidnapping ended without violence, without somebody saying that something had happened after the assassin had given up and asks for asylum in Italy.
The one millionth passenger of the year was counted On 6 December 2007 the first time. Even in the crisis year of 2009 could be achieved with almost 1.4 million passengers, an increase of ten percent. The air freight in 2009 was, however, declined. In 2010 recorded a growth of passengers by more than 10 percent of the airport. 44 percent of the 1.53 million passengers flew with Belle Air, followed by Alitalia, Albanian Airlines and Austrian Airlines. The air cargo figures could rise again by about 4 percent in 2010. 2011 were again achieved with 1,817,073 passengers and 2,656 tons of air freight new records. In 2012 the numbers were down slightly for the first time.
Total increase since the takeover by the international consortium in 2005, passenger numbers and the number of employees by each almost 100 percent and aircraft movements by about 33 percent. Only the figures for air cargo falling out negative: While in 2005 still 2000 tons of air freight were transported, it was after five years of 1785 tons. Reason for this is that imports and exports are usually transported by land or sea. Financially is the airport with positive numbers since: in 2006, the TIA with a turnover of 19.6 million euro to complete, same also in 2010 rose by about 50 percent to around 30 million euros.
The airport has a start and runway and a terminal. The infrastructure of the airport has been continuously modernized in recent years, so it was international standards: The new passenger terminal with shops, bars, duty free and restaurants as well as a new cargo terminal was inaugurated on 21 March 2007. Among others, the road link, a new parking lot addition was improved, created and built a sewage treatment plant. The approximately seven kilometers of new dual carriageway connecting the airport directly to the A1 motorway.
To meet the rapidly increasing numbers of passengers, was started back in 2008 with an expansion of the terminal, which was completed in September 2009. There have since been more check- in counters, some additional gates and shutters as well as advanced business lounges. The terminal has been extended to 4000 square feet. The capacity of the airport will rise to 1.5 to 1.8 million passengers per year. Overall, the cost of building the extension amounted to 20 million euros.
On 3 May 2011, the new tower and the new Air Operations Center by the Albanian Transport Minister Sokol Olldashi were inaugurated. The costs amounted to 12.5 million euros.
Southwest of the airport, the Hotel Airport Tirana. It is the only hotel near the airport and has about 50 rooms and a conference room.
Airlines and destinations
The airport is served by about a dozen European airlines especially from neighboring countries. There are direct connections to over 30 destinations in Europe (February 2013). From German-speaking countries Tirana is served each day by Austrian Airlines from Vienna and by Lufthansa from Munich. Direct flights to Frankfurt and Zurich no longer exists.
Tirana was the home base of the Albanian low cost airline Belle Air, to this on November 25, 2013 stopped operating for economic reasons. Belle Air carried about half of the passengers at the airport. The Tirana airport was also the basis of the former airlines Albanian Airlines, Ada Air Albania, Albatros Airways and Star Airways.
Aircraft coming through the Balkans to fly from the north, already mostly start over Montenegro with the descent and can land without major course correction. In part, they fly over the airport until almost the Shkumbin, only to land from the south.
From west of Italy next aircraft, the Albanian coast fly over most little south of Durres and land after a left turn either directly from the south or fly - which usually occurs - northward almost to Lezha, only to start after another turn with the landing from the north.