Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport
Letalie Joeta Punika Ljubljana
|Owner||Fraport Slovenia d.o.o.|
|Operator||Fraport Slovenia d.o.o.|
|Elevation AMSL||388 m / 1,273 ft|
Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport (Slovene: Letalie Joeta Punika Ljubljana) (IATA: LJU, ICAO: LJLJ), also known by its previous name Brnik Airport (Slovene: Letalie Brnik), is the international airport of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The airport is located near the village of Brnik, 24 km (15 mi) northwest of Ljubljana and 9.5 km (5.9 mi) east of Kranj on the road between Kranj and Menge. Until 30 September 2019, it served as the homebase for Adria Airways, the largest airline based in Slovenia and the only one operating scheduled international services.
The airport was officially opened in December 1963. It replaced Polje Airport in the former Municipality of Polje (Ljubljana) near Ljubljana, which served as the city's airport from 1933 and was Slovenia's first civil airport. Regular flights from the new airport at Brnik began in January 1964.
On June 27, 1991, two days after Slovenia's Independence from Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav People's Army began its military operations within the country. The airport was bombed during the first day of the war. On June 28, the next day, two journalists from Austria and Germany, Nikolas Vogel and Norbert Werner, were killed from a missile that struck their car near the airport, where they were both driving by during that time. Four Adria Airways airliners also took serious damage from the Yugoslav Air Force.
On December 8, 2004, the airport received its first annual millionth passenger. Overall, the airport handled 1,812,411 passengers in 2018, representing a 7.3% rise in traffic figures compared to the previous year.
In 2007, the then centre-right government proposed renaming the airport from Aerodrom Ljubljana to Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport. Joe Punik was a Slovene public intellectual, dissident, politician, and leader of the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia (Demos) between 1989 and 1992.
Due to growing air traffic and Slovenia's EU entry, which requires the separation of traffic into Schengen and non-Schengen, Aerodrom Ljubljana Airport Authorities have prepared a redevelopment plan for the passenger terminal. The expansion was to be carried out in two phases. Works on the first phase began in early July 2007 to accommodate Slovenia's entry into the Schengen Area in December 2007. The terminal building (T1) was extended with a new upper level which added an additional 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft) to the departure lounge and four jetways have also been installed for easier passenger access to and from the terminal. In 2013 the second phase of terminal expansion which included a new terminal T2 was scrapped by the minority stakeholders.
In 2014 the Slovenian government initiated a privatisation process of the airport. The bid was won by Fraport which, in turn, acquired 75.5% stake in the airport. The remaining shares were acquired in the following months resulting in Fraport taking 100% ownership of the airport.
The airport has a 3,300 m × 45 m (10,827 ft × 148 ft) paved runway which is equipped with ILS Cat IIIb on runway 30. NDB and VOR approach are also available. The runway of Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport was closed to air traffic in April 2010 during which time, the entire length of the asphalt surface of the runway was renovated, as well as the asphalt surface on some parts of the taxiways.
In April 2017 the airport operator Fraport Slovenia announced a plan to expand the existing passenger terminal. A modular solution is planned which means that construction can be carried out in phases that are effectively and continuously adapted to traffic development needs.
In the first phase of the terminal expansion, capacity of the departures area will be increased from the current 500 passengers per hour to 1,250 passengers per hour. A new 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft) extension will be built to the west of the existing terminal building. It will include a large duty-free shop, a new business lounge, one new air bridge, as well as renovated food & beverage and promotional areas. There will be 22 check-in desks and 5 long security lines. A new baggage sorting area will be added to the existing one. In addition, the baggage reclaim area will be expanded and equipped with three long carousels.
The existing passenger terminal, which covers 13,000 m2 (140,000 sq ft), will be partly renovated and functionally incorporated with the new building. The construction began in July 2019 and will be completed in 2021 in time for Slovenia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The entire renovated and expanded terminal complex will cover a total of 28,587 m2 (307,710 sq ft).
In 2017 Fraport Slovenija also published a revised Master Plan for the period 2010-2040. It includes a plan to construct a new 6,000 m2 (65,000 sq ft) cargo terminal to the east of the airport complex by 2022, expansion of passenger and aircraft maintenance aprons by 2025 and a relocation of the general aviation apron to the west. To the north, a business and logistics center named Airport City is planned. It will include various business and logistic facilities as well as a new hotel, there are multiple subsidies as well as incentives for the potential investor. In January 2018 a new road from Kranj to Menge that will enable the development of the Airport City has been opened.
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and seasonal flights to and from Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport:
|Air France||ParisCharles de Gaulle|
|Air Serbia||Belgrade, Ni|
|Arkia||Seasonal: Tel Aviv|
|British Airways||Seasonal: LondonHeathrow|
|easyJet||BerlinSchönefeld, LondonGatwick, LondonStansted|
|Iberia||Seasonal: Madrid (begins 28 July 2020)|
|LOT Polish Airlines||WarsawChopin|
|Sun D'Or||Seasonal: Tel Aviv|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Zurich|
|DHL Aviation||Bergamo, Leipzig/Halle|
|Year||Passengers||Change||Cargo (t)||Change||Aircraft Movements||Change|
|Year||Passengers||Change||Cargo (t)||Change||Aircraft Movements||Change|
|2019||1,635,865 (Nov 2019)||4.0%||10.336||8.7%||29.713||10.2%|
|United Kingdom||London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Manchester||Adria Airways, easyJet, Wizz Air||249,100||1.88%|
|Belgium||Brussels Airport, Brussels South Charleroi Airport||Adria Airways, Wizz Air||107,800||3.65%|
|France||Paris-Charles de Gaulle||Adria Airways, HOP!||102,300||19.65%|
|Netherlands||Amsterdam||Adria Airways, Transavia||102,100||32.6%|
|Montenegro||Podgorica||Adria Airways, Montenegro Airlines||61,300||13.5%|
The airport is served by an exit off the A2 motorway and by bus services connecting it with the surrounding cities of Ljubljana, Kranj, Kamnik as well as Klagenfurt and its airport in Austria. Plans for a railway line connecting the airport with the city of Ljubljana and possibly also Kranj and Kamnik have been presented in the past, however the line most likely won't be built in the near future. The Airport is connected with many bigger Slovenian cities by bus and shuttle connections. Klagenfurt is connected by the Alpe Adria bus line. Other means of transportation to and from the airport are limited to the taxi services which are not controlled by the airport authority or Fraport Slovenija.
Media related to Ljubljana Airport at Wikimedia Commons