Concept

Sofia Airport

Summary
Sofia Airport (Летище София) is the main international airport of Bulgaria, located east of the centre of the capital Sofia. In 2019 the airport surpassed 7 million passengers for the first time. The airport serves as the home base for BH Air, Bulgaria Air, European Air Charter and GullivAir, and as a base for both Ryanair and Wizz Air. The airport also houses the Bulgarian Air Force's Vrazhdebna Air Base. On 16 September 1937, Tsar Boris III signed a decree which declared land within the Village of Vrazhdebna be allocated for the construction of an airport. Construction then began on the site, which was from the city centre. Two years later in 1939, Sofia Airport opened its first passenger waiting room, and after another two years was followed by a fully constructed airfield with a fully paved runway. From June through September 1938, Yugoslav airline Aeroput connected Sofia with Belgrade thrice weekly using Lockheed Model 10 Electra planes. During the Second World War, the facilities were used by the military. Mail, perishable freight and passenger operations began in 1947 from buildings on the north side of the airport. The passenger terminal (now Terminal 1) on the south side was completed during the Second World War in the manner of a then-modern European railway terminus to designs by the architect Ivan Marangozov. It opened after several years of delay in 1947. The structure comprised a government wing to the west, an international handling area in the middle, and a domestic handling area to the east. At that time, it was planned that the airport would eventually have two intersecting runways at a 30-degree angle to each other. The terminal had substantially reached its capacity of some 600,000 passengers a year by the later 1960s and was subjected to a number of refurbishments and extensions beginning in the spring of 1968. In 1975, a new international arrivals handling extension was opened to the west of the building, the domestic area to the east was enlarged, the government handling area was removed to a dedicated terminal some distance to the west, a VIP handling area opened in the old terminal, apron area was extended to the east and new taxiways opened.
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