ⓘ Timișoara Traian Vuia International Airport
Timișoara Traian Vuia International Airport is an international airport serving Timișoara, Romania. Located in the historical region of Banat, the airport is named in honour of Traian Vuia, a Romanian flight pioneer and a Timiș County native. It is the third-busiest Romanian airport in terms of air traffic, and the main air transportation hub for the western part of Romania and for the Danube–Criș–Mureș–Tisa Euroregion. The airport serves as an operating base for Wizz Air, and is considered a backup airport for Bucharest, Budapest, and Belgrade.
Timișoaras first airport, Timișoara Communal Airport, was built a few kilometers away from the current airports position, in the village of Moșnița Veche. The first aircraft landed there on July 17, 1935. The airport was rebuilt in its current location in the 1960s and became known as Giarmata Airport. The domestic terminal was opened on February 28, 1964.
In the 1980s it was designated as an international airport and was upgraded with a CAT IIIa instrument landing system. The runway was extended from 2.500 to 3.500 metres and terminal buildings for international flights, control tower, the official hall and the administrative building were constructed. The airport was named after aeronautics pioneer Traian Vuia on February 6, 2003. The following year work to expand the international terminal commenced; and in 2006 the aircraft parking facilities were enlarged. These measures were taken to cater to increasing air traffic and the construction of a new parking lot and an access road in the airport. The extension works for the international terminal were completed in 2007. In 2010 work to expand the domestic terminal was completed.
In 2017, Timișoara International Airport became first Romanian airport to be certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
1.1. History Future developments
In 2018, the development of airport infrastructure began, in particular the expansion of the terminal. A terminal for international arrivals is scheduled to be completed by June 2020. This new building will have a total surface of 4.383 m² and will replace the old arrivals terminal. The new terminal will be able to manage simultaneously three passenger flows, and will be provided with 10 checkpoints for documents, three luggage transport systems, customs control area, duty-free shopsv and bars. In the second phase, the existing facade will be expanded and modified. A terminal for international departures is also scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. The capacity of the terminal will increase by 150% as 10 new boarding gates, 20 check-ins and 10 document checkpoints will be built. Alongside there will be six new security checkpoints, shopping and catering facilities. The new terminals will be built in the eastern part of the current airport building. The cost of the project is estimated at 40 million euros. Also, in preparation for 2021, when Timișoara will be the European Capital of Culture, the road connecting the airport with the city will be extended to four lanes.
There are plans for an Airport City, a complex and innovative concept for Romania, through which will be built, in addition to air transport facilities, connecting road and rail transport infrastructure, hotels, restaurants, shops, conference centers and exhibition halls, with both public and private funds.
2. Military use
Giarmata Airport was home to the Romanian Air Force RoAF 93rd Air Base, founded in 1953. The 93rd Air Base was disbanded in September 2004 with the MiG-21 Lancers and IAR 330 moving to Campia Turzii for reassignment to the 71st Air Base. Buildings land belonging to former 93rd Air Base, totalling 240 hectares, were transferred to Timișoara Airport in 2006. The air base also operated the MiG-23 Flogger, which was retired in early 2002. Over 30 MiG-23s are in storage at Timișoara Airport. Nowadays, the military section of the airport is an annex of the 71st Air Base.
The airports traffic rose significantly in the past ten years. Although, it experienced dramatic decrease after the bankruptcy of Carpatair, authorities of the airport announced that the negative trend should come to an end by 2015. In 2016 the airport handled 1.160.482 passengers and it is expected that the traffic numbers will reach 1.7 million passengers in 2017.
4.1. Ground transportation Car
The airport is located 12 km northeast of the center of Timișoara. Access to the airport is via Calea Dorobanților and the European route E70, through a roundabout near the village of Ghiroda. A slightly longer alternative but with less traffic flow is to exit Timișoara on Calea Dorobanților and drive through the village Giarmata Vii instead, before heading back towards the airport. A third option, starting in the northern part of the city, is to use the ring road DNCT which, also through a roundabout, is connected with the road to the airport.
Taxi cabs have dedicated parking in front of the two terminals. The average cost for a ride to the city center is likely to fall within the range of 50-55 RON, depending on exact route and traffic flow. Ride-sharing services are not acknowledged by the airport, however the parking lot can be crossed on foot in a few minutes, and a car ordered at the entrance.
Several rent-a-car services operate within the airport.
4.2. Ground transportation Bus
The STPT Expres 4 line E4 connects the terminal to the city center. The bus runs approximately once per hour on weekdays, and less frequently on weekends. Timetables are printed and displayed near the bus station. Electronic timetables are also available, however the accuracy of the data is often questionable.
Since September 13, 2012, the Expres 4 barat line connects the airport directly with Timișoara North railway station, the main station in the city. However, this bus only runs a few times per day, to connect the more important flights.
Paper tickets can be purchased inside the airport. One ticket costs 2.5 lei, and permits travel for up to one hour after the start of the journey.
Private operators organize daily minibus rides connecting the city of Arad and Timișoara airport. There is also, on request, the possibility of transferring, also by minibus, to Serbia.
4.3. Ground transportation Rail
There are plans in the future to build a new railway from the airport terminal itself to the Central Station in the city centre. Currently there is a branch line which runs to the airport but it is only used for cargo trains.