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The airport at Varna city is officially called the Varna International Airport. Though the city is more known for its seaport and is popularly referred to as the “maritime capital” of Bulgaria, its airport has gained patronage during recent times. Last year alone, more than one million passengers passed through its terminals.
The first airport in Varna was built way back in 1916 in the Asparuhovo District. It was a part of the first hydro-port project. Three years later, on 24th December of 1919 the first mail plane from Sofia landed in Varna. But this service lasted for just one month. In 1947 the need for a modern airport was felt and a new airport was officially inaugurated on 9th May 1948 at the present location. Construction activity has however continued over the years with improvements being made from time to time. A new terminal was added in 1972 followed by a new runway two years later.
The airport has five terminals. While terminals 1 and 4 are used for arrivals, terminals 2 and 3 are used for departures. The fifth terminal is operated during the summer season to accommodate the tourist influx. While the first four terminals are located close to each other, the fifth terminal alone is quite remotely located. Therefore shuttle bus services are operated between the fifth terminal and the rest. Under the current improvement plans, the construction of a new terminal is expected to be completed this year.
Airport Parking and Car Hire
There is abundant space for parking vehicles in the large parking lot situated opposite the international terminal. Both short-term as well as long-term parking spaces are available for the benefit of passengers. People can also hire cars from a number of car hire companies. Taxis are also available in the international terminal 4 close to the arrival halls.
To assist passengers, there is an information desk located in the public lounge between terminals 2 and 3. Every terminal also has prominent timetable displays. Telephone booths, post boxes and computers with Internet access are available on every terminal. Passengers who need to exchange their currencies through licensed foreign exchange services can do so at terminals 3 and 4. They can also use ATMs on terminals 2 and 4. Sandwiches, beers, hot drinks and soft drinks are available at the four coffee bars located in the airport. There are also four duty free shops that sell cosmetics, cigarettes and a lot of other consumer items. Most importantly, a lost and found office operates round the clock on terminal 4 and so does a first aid center on terminal 2. There are also special facilities reserved for disabled people.
Getting To Varna Airport
Varna Airport is situated around 5 miles or 7.5 km to the west of the city. The tourists can reach from the city center till the Airport for about 15 or 20 minutes by car, depending on the car traffic.
Airport landing charge for International Flights is 20 EUR up to 3t and for Domestic Flights – 10 EUR.
Plans for the Airport development
Improvements to the airport are constantly underway to enhance its traffic handling capabilities even further. Most of the major improvements would enhance the cargo handling efficiency of the airport. Plans to construct a new landing strip solely for the use of heavy load aircraft are currently underway. Bigger parking lots to accommodate heavy duty trucks to handle this cargo are also part of the plan. The plans call for modernization of both the domestic as well as the international terminals of the Varna airport. The orientation of the new landing strip would enable planes to avoid flying directly over residential areas. The planes would then predominantly fly over the industrial areas of Varna. These improvements would enable the Varna airport to handle up to nine airplanes simultaneously.
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