We have no doubts that the history of airport is very exciting. When was it founded? What famous people were there before us? You may find these facts and much more interesting information about the world’s oldest airports in this article.
1. College Park Airport, Maryland, USA
College Park Airport is the world‘s oldest frequently operating airport. It was founded in August 1909 by the United States Army Signal Corps to operate as a training location for two military officers to fly in the government‘s first airplane. College Park Airport is very important for aviation history, there is home for the well-known aviators and aviation inventors who played a part in this field’s long history. It is very popular for many aviation „firsts“: first mile-high flight by a powered airplane, first female passenger, and the first controlled helicopter flight. The airport is being used for general aviation traffic at the moment and has personal College Park Air Museum.
2. Hamburg Airport, Germany
Second oldest operating international airport is located in Germany, Europe. Hamburg Airport was opened in January 1911. Airport’s hangars were used for military purposes during the First World War until it was destroyed by fire in 1916. The airport was as a staging area during the Berlin Airlift after Second World War. It was the northern air corridor between Hamburg and West Berlin. Hamburg Airport is one of the busiest airports of Germany at the moment. The airport counted 15,610,072 passengers and 158,398 aircraft movements during 2015.
3. Shoreham Airport, UK
Britain has the oldest continuously operating airport founded in 1910. Shoreham is the oldest airport in the UK and the oldest purpose build commercial airport in the world. The airfield operated a variety of military aircrafts during the Second World War. Now Shoreham Airport is used for commercial pilot training, almost exclusively for light aircraft or helicopter flights. Sometimes airport is even used as filming location.
4. Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu Airport, Romania
The Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu Airport is the oldest continuously operating airport in Eastern Europe. The airport was founded in 1912 when the first flight school was opened in the airport’s airfield. It was Bucharest’s only airport until 1965 when the Otopeni Airport was opened for civilian use. Until March 2012, when it was converted into a business airport, Aurel Vlaicu International was the second airport in Romania in terms of air traffic, and Bucharest’s low-cost hub. Now it is solely used by charter flights and private jets.
5. Bremen Airport, Germany
The Bremen Airport was opened in 1913. This airport is one of five oldest continuously working airports which is the base for airlines like Germania and Ryanair. Early customers at Bremen included KLM, the world’s oldest airline. It was taken into military administration and used as an airbase by the US army from 1945 to 1949. Lufthansa began scheduled flights to the airport in 1950. German airlines established its pilot training center after that. In 1989, the airport had more than one million passengers. Airport reported around 2.5 million passengers during last year.
6. Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
The Don Mueang International airport is considered to be one of the world’s oldest international airports and Asia’s oldest operating airport. It was officially opened as the Royal Thai Air Force’s base on 27 March 1914, although it had been in use earlier. Commercial flights began in 1924, making it one of the world’s oldest commercial airports. Now the Don Mueang airport is the main hub for Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air and Orient Thai Airlines. It became the world’s largest low cost carrier’s airport in 2015.
7. Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy
The Ciampino Airport was established in 1926 and is seventh oldest still operating airport. It was the only airport in Rome by 1960 and had over 2 million passengers per year. Ciampino is handling almost exclusively charter and executive flights after the opening of Leonardo da Vinci Airport. It is now one of the busiest and fastest growing airports in Italy. Passenger traffic in 2015 almost reached 6 million. Traffic has grown so much that the third airport is needed in Rome.
8. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, The Netherlands
This airport is the busiest of the world‘s oldest airports. It is the primary international airport of the Netherlands. Amsterdam Airport was started to use as an airbase for the military in 1916. This airport has made Amsterdam a cheap and easy destination to reach for many travelers. The airport serves almost 50 million passengers every year. Interesting fact is that airport building uses the only one terminal concept and travelers can find every facility under one roof.
9. Paris-Le Bourget Airport, France
The Paris-Le Bourget Airport started commercial services in 1919. Located in the capital of France it was the only airport until foundation of Paris-Orly in 1932. Interesting fact is that Hitler began his only tour around Paris in 1940 at this airport. Airport is currently used for general aviation. It is also the home base for oldest Paris Air Show.
10. Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, Australia
Sydney Airport is not just one of the oldest operating commercial airports. Moreover, the airport is the busiest in Australia (39.656.000 passengers in 2015). It was founded in 1920 with regular flights starting in 1924. It is also the home base of Qantas airlines, the largest airlines and the third oldest airlines in the world.