Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Аеродром Београд - Никола Тесла
Aerodrom Beograd - Nikola Tesla
Beograd Airport 01.JPG
BEG is located in Serbia
Location of the airport in Serbia
Airport type Public
Operator Aerodrom "Beograd - Nikola Tesla" P.E.
Serves Belgrade, Serbia
Location Surčin, Belgrade, Serbia
Hub for Jat Airways
Wizz Air
Elevation AMSL 336 ft / 336 feet (102 m) m
Coordinates 44°49′10″N 20°18′25″E / 44.81944°N 20.30694°E / 44.81944; 20.30694
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 11,155 3,400 Asphalt/concrete
Statistics (2010)
Number of passengers 2,698,730
Aircraft movements 44,160
Sources: Official website[1]
Serbian AIP at Eurocontrol[2]

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (Serbian: Аеродром Београд - Никола Тесла, Aerodrom Beograd - Nikola Tesla) (IATA: BEGICAO: LYBE) is Serbia's busiest airport, also known as Surčin (Сурчин), after a nearby Belgrade suburb.[1]

Named after Nikola Tesla, the airport is situated 12 km (7.5 mi) west,[2] of central Belgrade, in the Municipality of Surčin, surrounded by Syrmia's fertile lowlands. Passengers on the right hand side of planes descending from the east have a view of downtown Belgrade, especially the districts of Čukarica and Novi Beograd. In the past, when weather conditions were poor, aircraft were diverted to Niš Constantine the Great International Airport, which is 230 km (143 mi) south.

However, since late 2005 a CAT IIIb runway system has been introduced and aircraft can land and depart in the heaviest of fog, which in past years led to the airport’s closure in late December and early January.[3]

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is managed by the government-owned company Public enterpise “Aerodrom Nikola Tesla Beograd”. The company is a profitable public enterprise in Serbia with a recorded profit of 21.5 million Euros at the end of 2010.[4]

National flag carrier Jat Airways uses Belgrade Nikola Tesla as their hub airport. It is also one of the hub airports for low cost airline Wizz Air. Aviogenex charter airline, VIP airlines Air Pink, Jat Airways AVIO taxi, Prince Aviation and Pelikan Airways[5] also call the airport their home.[1]

In recent years, the airport has transformed itself into a transit destination for the former Yugoslav region with regular transit passengers coming from Bosnia, FYROM and Montenegro.



Belgrade Airport in the 1960's

Belgrade's first international airport (also known as Dojno polje Airport) was opened on 25 March 1927 on the territory of today's Novi Beograd. From February 1928, aircraft owned by the first local airline Aeroput (today known as Jat Airways) started taking off from the new airport. The airport's landing strip consisted of four grass runways between 1,100 and 2,900 m (3,609 and 9,514 ft) long. The project for reinforced concrete hangar was made by Serbian scientist Milutin Milanković, known more for his theory of climate change. A modern terminal building was built in 1931, and in 1936 poor visibility conditions landing equipment was installed.[6]

Besides Aeroput, Air France, Deutsche Luft Hansa, KLM, Imperial Airways and airlines from Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Poland also used the airport until the outbreak of the Second World War. Starting from April 1941 German occupation forces used the airport. During 1944 the Allies bombed it, and in October of same year the German army destroyed the remaining facilities while withdrawing from the country.[6]

Belgrade Airport after World War II

Modernisation project of Belgrade Airport during the 1980s.

The airport was rebuilt by October 1944 and until the end of the war was used by the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia as part of the Allied war effort.

Civil transport by Air Force cargo planes via this airport was renewed at the end of 1945. At the beginning of 1947 JAT Yugoslav Airlines and JUSTA took over domestic and international traffic, and from 1948 the first aircraft from West European airlines started to land in Belgrade.

Constant traffic increase and the appearance of passenger jet planes demanded a significant airport enlargement. In the meantime there was a plan to build a residential and business district called Novi Beograd, where the airport was located. Thus, it was decided that a new international airport should be constructed near the village of Surčin. The last flight to depart from the old airport was at the beginning of 1964.[7]

Construction of new airport

During the first years of the development of postwar Belgrade, construction of the modern airport became a social and economic priority. Basic studies and engineering research started in 1947, and became part of the 1950 General City Plan. This document defined the future or air traffic and the role of Belgrade's Airport within the Yugoslav and international air network.

Interior of the airport

The new location for the airport was on the Surčin plateau 12 km (7 mi) from Belgrade's city center.[7] Thanks to the original planners' vision, two conditions for the airport's development were fulfilled: a location was chosen which met the navigational, meteorological, construction, technical, and traffic requirements; and the special needs for the airport's long-term development were established.

Experts from the Serbian City Planning Bureau, with the architect Nikola Dobrović at the helm, made the preliminary plans for the new airport.[7] The development and realization of the idea was taken over from 1953 onwards by the Civil Aviation Department (later Federal Department for Civil Aviation) whose experts, with engineer Miloš Lukić as team leader, finished the general airport plan for one runway, appropriate taxiways, and a terminal complex in 1957. Building of the new airport started in April 1958 and lasted until 28 April 1962, when it was officially opened by President Josip Broz Tito.[7]

During that period a 3,000 m (9,843 ft) long runway was built with the parallel taxiway and concrete aprons for sixteen planes. The passenger terminal building occupied an area of 8,000 m² (2 acres). Cargo storage were also built, as well as a technical block with the air traffic control tower and other accompanying facilities. Modern navigational equipment was installed, earning the airport the highest international classification according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.[8]

Terminal 1 exterior

2000 - 2011

The airport stagnated during the 1990s after the outbreak of the Yugoslav civil wars and the United Nations sanctions imposed on the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The sanctions also included a ban on air travel. The airport had minimal passenger movement and many facilities were in need of attention.

With a change in government and international sentiment, normal air traffic resumed in 2001. A few years later the airport’s terminal 2 underwent a complete reconstruction.

The runway, which is now CAT IIIb, was upgraded in October 2005, as part of a large renovation project. CAT IIIb is the latest runway system giving aircraft the security of landing during fog and storms. A countrywide petition was signed to have the name of the airport changed to Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport. Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, generally considered one of the world's most important electrical engineers.

The proposal was accepted by Aerodrom Beograd a.d., the state-owned airport authority, and received approval by the Ministry of Capital Investment, and finally the Serbian Government on 2 February 2006.[9] On 10 July 2006, to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth scientist Nikola Tesla, a monument was erected near Terminal 1. The monument is 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in) high and weighs 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).[10]

Terminal 2 check in area

In 2006, the airport served a total of 2,222,455 passengers, which represented an increase of 9% over 2005 figures. After 17 years, the airport served its 2,500,000th passenger on 28 December.[11] The official total number of passengers served for the full year of 2007 was 2,512,890.

In August 2007, the management of the airport announced that within the next 4 years Terminal 2 gates will be expanded as well as parking spaces for aircraft. Terminal 1 and 2 would be connected as well.[12]

In 2008, the airport served a total of 2,650,048 passengers, which represented an increase of 5% over 2007 figures. The airport experienced its best month in May 2008 due to the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 being held in Belgrade. Those record figures were however outnumbered at the end of 2010 with 2,698,730 handled passengers.

The construction of the airport control center was completed in 2010 and the EU initiative to regionalize airport controls will begin implementation in 2012 at the earliest date.

In February 2011 Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport shares began trading on the Belgrade Stock Exchange.


Check-in area at Terminal 2
Interior of Terminal 2
Jat Airways Boeing 737-300 during passengers entry

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has two terminals, with a reconstructed Terminal 2 opened since 14 May 2006.[13]

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 (T1) was the original and the only terminal when the airport was opened. The terminal handled domestic flights during the SFR Yugoslavia. Since the dissolution of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, the gates of the terminal have been used for international flights by both international and domestic carriers.

From January 1, 2010, Terminal 1 is fully operational and used mostly by low cost and charter airlines.

Terminals 1 and 2 are located next to each other and are connected through a hallway. Terminal 1 contains 8 gates, A1-A8. T1 has restaurants "Aviator" and "Boeing", the "Business Club Lounge" and shops.

The terminal went through a major renovation in the 1980s when air bridges were added to connect passengers to the aircraft. Minor renovations were done in 2002.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 (T2) was constructed during the 1980s for the airport's growing passenger numbers. After 2 years of reconstruction, T2 reopened in May 2006 with 33 check in desks.[13] The terminal has a capacity of 5 million passengers.[14] The arrivals and departures areas of the terminal were completely reconstructed. The terminal has six gates, C1 to C6. The terminal contains airline offices, transfer desks and various retail shops.

In 2011, it was announced that the C platforms (T2 gates) will be expanded and this would be the highest priority investment for the airport. The expansion will cater for the growing number of passengers passing through the airport.[13] The airport also announced to increase parking space for some gates in order to make room for larger long-haul planes, such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380.

Airlines and destinations


The following scheduled passenger airlines use the airport:

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Adria Airways Ljubljana 2
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 2
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino 2
Austrian Airlines Vienna 2
Austrian operated by Austrian Arrows Vienna 2
Flydubai Dubai [begins 10 November] 2
Gazpromavia Sochi 2
Germanwings Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart 2
Jat Airways Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin-Tegel, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Istanbul-Atatürk, Larnaca, London-Heathrow, Milan-Malpensa, Monastir, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Paphos [begins 9 November], Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Podgorica, Rome-Fiumicino, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sochi, Stockholm-Arlanda, Stuttgart [begins 12 December] , Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna, Zürich
Seasonal: Dubrovnik, Girona, Ohrid
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw 2
Lufthansa Frankfurt 2
Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine Munich 2
Malév Hungarian Airlines Budapest 2
Montenegro Airlines Podgorica, Tivat 2
Niki Vienna 2
Norwegian Air Shuttle Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda 2
Olympic Air Athens 2
Spanair Barcelona 2
Sky Work Airlines Bern 2
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 2
Swiss operated by Helvetic Airways Zürich 2
TAROM Bucharest-Henri Coandă 2
Tunisair Tunis 2
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 2
Wizz Air Brussels-Charleroi, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg-City, London-Luton, Malmö, Memmingen, Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Skavsta 1

Charter airlines

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Cairo Seasonal: Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh 1
Air Memphis Seasonal: Hurghada, Taba Egypt, Sharm el Sheikh 1
Atlasjet Seasonal: Antalya 1
Aviogenex Seasonal: Antalya, Aswan, Bodrum, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Djerba, Girona, Heraklion, Hurghada, Kos, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Santorini, Sharm el-Sheikh, Skiathos, Taba, Zakynthos 1
Jat Airways Seasonal: Antalya, Aswan, Bodrum, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Djerba, Heraklion, Hurghada, Kos, Kefallinia, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Santorini, Sharm el-Sheikh, Skiathos, Taba, Zakynthos 2
Nesma Airlines Seasonal: Hurghada 1
Nouvelair Seasonal: Djerba, Monastir 1
Pegasus Airlines Seasonal: Antalya 1
Sky Airlines Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman 1

Cargo airlines

Apron and Terminal 1 gate area at the airport in the background. In the foreground, Jat tehnika apron

Cargo airlines serving the airport (as of October 2011):

Airlines Destinations
CityLine Hungary Budapest
Solinair Ljubljana, Sarajevo


Traffic figures at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Year Passengers Change Cargo (t) Change Aircraft movements Change
2002 1,621,798 6,827 28,872
2003 1,849,148 increase14% 6,532 decrease4% 32,484 increase13%
2004 2,045,282 increase11% 8,946 increase37% 36,416 increase12%
2005 2,032,357 decrease1% 7,728 decrease14% 37,614 increase3%
2006 2,222,445 increase9% 8,200 increase6% 42,360 increase13%
2007 2,512,890 increase13% 7,926 decrease3% 43,448 increase3%
2008 2,650,048 increase5% 8,129 increase3% 44,454 increase2%
2009 2,384,077 decrease10% 6,690 decrease18% 40,664 decrease8%
2010 2,698,730 increase13% 7,427 increase11% 44,160 increase9%
2011 (01.01.-30.09.) 2,419,163 increase15% 5,579 increase14% 34,448 increase3%

Source: Official website[1]



In 2007 the airport followed the example of the EU and introduced security measures which limit the amount of liquids allowed to be carried on board the aircraft. In April 2007 the airport also introduced the latest technology for explosive and narcotic detection. These units are implemented at the airport itself, as well as at the customs and border checkpoints and other facilities and locations of security interest.

Each international passenger must pass security and passport control before entering the departure lounge. Passengers are again screened and carry on luggage is scanned at the gate, prior to entering the aircraft.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has a Rescue and Fire Service, which in 2007 received internationally recognized certificates. All members of the fire service unit underwent training at the U.K. International Fire Training Center run by Serco. This has led to praise by the IATA and ICAO organisations.[15]

Since 2003 airport security has been further increased. The airport relies on the Serbian Police and Serbian anti-terrorist squad for patrolling the airport and can call in the Serbian Army. In August 2007 the airport prohibited cars parking next to the airport terminal, instead they have to use the car park provided, as a result of the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. All parked cars in restricted zones will be towed away and the owners will receive a fine.[16] In late 2007 the airport received technology from Israel which provides the ability to monitor the 20 km radius around the airport.


All passengers flying business class (except Lufthansa business class passengers) on a flight from Belgrade may use the airport lounge named “Business club” located in the transit area near gate A5.[17] The capacity of the lounge is 45 people. Free drinks, food and appetizers are offered. The meals are prepared by the “Boeing” restaurant located next to the lounge. Passengers receive an invitation to the lounge at check in.

Nikola Tesla Airport also has a VIP lounge, with separate check-in and passport control facilities, which was built during the 2004-2006 terminal 2 reconstruction. The lounge consists of three parts - the first part for leisure, second for television crew and press conferences and a third part is a presidential suite. The lounge has a total surface area of 500 m².[17] The lounge is also used as a press centre upon the arrival of VIPs.


By car

Belgrade Airport is connected to the BelgradeŠid highway (E-70) via a nearby interchange. There are car rental agencies in the Arrivals Hall.

By bus

Service Destination (departing from the airport) Operator Frequency Trip duration
Line A1 Slavija Square Belgrade public transport system 20 minutes 30 minutes[18]
Line 72 Zeleni Venac GSP Belgrade Transport Company 32 minutes 30–40 minutes[18]
Line 92 Novi Sad Public city transport company "Novi Sad" 120 minutes 75 minutes [19]

By taxi

Licensed taxis from the airport to the city are available.


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport was awarded the "Euro Annie award for the airport that has attracted the most new airlines during the 12 month period analysed (August 2010 v August 2009)."[20] by Despite losing Olympic’s service to Athens, the airport attracted 10 ‘new’ carriers, at least compared with the previous year, making a net gain of nine carriers. The interest in the Serbian market and its largest airport can be presumed to be linked to the fact that Serbian nationals no longer need visas to travel to the Schengen Area, which is formed of the majority of European states.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. "Official website" (in Serbian). Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  2. ^ a b EAD Basic
  3. ^ Mondo (19 November 2008). "Sletanje na aerodrom Nikola Tesla i po magli" (in Serbian). Mondo. Retrieved 4 May 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Aerodrom Nikola Tesla Beograd. "Neto dobit Aerodroma "Nikola Tesla" 2,24 milijarde". Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. "History: International Belgrade Airport (1927)". Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  7. ^ a b c d Jovan Nikolić (8 May 2007). "Svi Beogradski aerodromi" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti. Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  8. ^ Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. "History: Belgrade Surcin (1962)". Retrieved 4 April 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ B92 (2 February 2006). "Aerodrom menja ime u "Nikola Tesla"" (in Serbian). Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  10. ^ Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (10 July 2006). "Na beogradskom Aerodromu otkriven spomenik Nikoli Tesli" (in Serbian). Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  11. ^ Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (28 December 2007). "Aerodrom pomaže deci u ime svog ostvarenog rekorda – 2,5 milionitog putnika" (in Serbian). Retrieved 28 December 2007. 
  12. ^ Veroslav Janković (13 August 2007). "Otvoreno nebo donosi konkurenciju, ali i šansu za lidersku poziciju u regionu" (in Serbian). Danas. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c Mondo WEB Portal (14 May 2006). "Otvoren "Terminal 2" na aerodromu u Beogradu" (in Serbian). Retrieved 14 May 2006. 
  14. ^ I.R. (15 May 2006). "Vrata za pet miliona putnika godišnje" (in Serbian). Danas. Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  15. ^ Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (24 March 2007). "Rescue and Fire Service of the Belgrade "Nikola Tesla" Airport received internationally recognized certificates". Retrieved 24 April 2007. 
  16. ^ Mondo WEB Portal (14 August 2007). "Zabranjen saobraćaj ispred zgrade aerodroma" (in Serbian). Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  17. ^ a b Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. "VIP Salon Aerodroma "Nikola Tesla" Beograd" (in Serbian). Retrieved 11 August 2007. 
  18. ^ a b Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. "Official website". Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Airline News & Analysis. 

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