Băneasa Airport – Bucharest site

The first flights in the Băneasa area took place in 1909 and they were carried out by the French pilot and aviation pioneer Louis Blériot. In 1912 the first flight school in Romania was opened on Băneasa airfield. This makes Băneasa airport the oldest continuously operating airport in Eastern Europe, and among the five oldest airports in the world.

The first aviation meeting in Romania took place at the Băneasa Hyppodrome.
Here participated Louis Bleriot who arrived in Bucharest with his wife on 13 October 1909
image source: https://pro-bike.ro/forums/topic/87843-aviatia-romana-de-lupta/

 

 

In 1920, the airport headquartered the first aviation company in Romania, and one of the earliest in the world, the CFRNA (The French – Romanian Company for Air Navigation), the precursor of the Romanian national airline, TAROM. Using French-built Potez aircraft, the company provided passenger, mail and cargo transportation, by air, from Paris to Bucharest, via Strasbourg, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. As such, CFRNA was the first operative transcontinental airline in the history of aviation. The company also made the first passenger international night flight, between Belgrade and Bucharest in 1923.[1] Still in 1923 the CFRNA built the industrial facilities for aircraft maintenance in Băneasa; on that base the aerospace company Romaero was created in the 1960s.[2]

In 1921, on one of the estates of his aunt Maria Bibescu, Countess of Montesquieu Fezensac, George-Valentin Bibescu establishes Băneasa Airport. According to the documents, dozens of hectares detached from the Bibești estate are left to exclusive use to Romanian Aviation, more precisely to Băneasa Airport. According to the notarial deeds, the scope of activities in the area of Băneasa Airport – aviation -, should “never ever” be changed[3]

The current terminal building was designed in the late 1940s and opened in 1952. At that time it was considered one of the finest architectural features of Bucharest. The building consists of a central dome with three distinct wings which represents an airplane propeller with three blades.[4]

Located in Bucharest-Ploiesti Road no. 40-44, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania’s first international airport was designed by architects: Cleopatra Alifanti, Mircea Alifanti, N. Badescu, Ascanio Damian, T. Ikonomu, Pompiliu Macovei and Al. Şerbescu.[5]

 

During the communist period (1947–1989), Băneasa Airport was TAROM’s domestic hub, while Otopeni Airport was used as an international hub. In the early 2000s (decade), TAROM moved all of its activities to Otopeni (renamed Henri Coandă International Airport).[6]

As of 25 March 2012, all commercial flight operations have been moved to Bucharest Henri Coandă (Otopeni) Airport. Now, Aurel Vlaicu International Airport handles only charter flights and private jets.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFRNA

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurel_Vlaicu_International_Airport

[3] https://b1.ro/stiri/eveniment/terenul-aeroportului-baneasa-poate-fi-retrocedat-daca-i-se-schimba-destinatia-familia-bibescu-a-prevazut-aceasta-conditie-in-actul-de-donatie-din-1923-138911.html

[4] https://web.archive.org/web/20070312172627/http://www.baneasa.aero/istoric.html

[5] http://www.inforom-cultural.ro/5+5/cladire-aeroport-aurel-vlaicu.php

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurel_Vlaicu_International_Airport