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Macedonia International Airport


Macedonia International Airport

Thessaloniki International Airport "Makedonia"
Διεθνής Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Θεσσαλονίκης «Μακεδονία»
Airport type Civilian, military
Owner Greek Government
Operator Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority
Serves Thessaloniki
Location Mikra, Greece
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 22 ft / 7 m
Coordinates 40°31′11″N 22°58′15″E / 40.51972°N 22.97083°E / 40.51972; 22.97083Coordinates: 40°31′11″N 22°58′15″E / 40.51972°N 22.97083°E / 40.51972; 22.97083

Website 1
Map of the airport
Location of the airport in Greece
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 2,440 8,005 Asphalt
16/34 2,410 7,907 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 4,006,204
Passenger change 11–12 Increase1.2%
Sources: Air Traffic Safety Electronic Engineers Association of Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority,[1] Civil Aviation Authority[2]
1 Official airfield data at the Air Traffic Safety Electronic Engineers Association of Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority website lists no official website for the airport.[3]

Thessaloniki International Airport "Macedonia" (Greek: Διεθνής Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Θεσσαλονίκης «Μακεδονία»,[4] Diethnís Kratikós Aeroliménas Thessaloníkis "Makedonía") (IATA: SKG (SaloniKa Greece)ICAO: LGTS), formerly known as Mikra Airport and officially known as Macedonia International Airport (Greek: Διεθνές Αεροδρόμιο Μακεδονία), is located about 15 km SE of the city center of Thessaloniki, Greece at Thermi.

The airport is the second largest state owned and operated airport in the country after Heraklion airport on the isle of Crete. It opened in 1930 and was the second busiest airport in Greece in terms of flights served and the third busiest in terms of passengers served in 2012[5] having served over 4 million passengers. It is the main airport of Northern Greece and serves the city of Thessaloniki (the second-largest city in Greece), the popular tourist destination of Chalkidiki and the surrounding cities of the region.

The airport’s terminal consists of three floors. The ground floor serves arrivals only and is divided into two sections: international/extra-Schengen arrivals and domestic/intra-Schengen arrivals. The first floor serves departures and also includes a shopping center. On this floor there are 34 check-in counters, waiting areas, bars, stores that sell tobacco and magazines and various airlines’ offices. The second floor houses two restaurants and several bars with views to the runways.

The airport has two runways (10–28 and 16–34) and two taxiways. There are 22 stands for narrow-body aircraft and about 20 for light ones. Macedonia International Airport is a hub for Astra Airlines and a secondary hub for Aegean Airlines.


During World War I the area that the airport currently occupies was used as an airfield and it continued operating as an airfield during World War II. At the time of the German occupation of Greece major projects took place, such as the creation of a 600m runway, while in 1948 the airport started operations as a civil airport for the first time.

In 1950 the already existing (10/28) runway got paved with asphalt at a length of 1,800m and in 1952 it was extended to 2,000m. It was the same year that the first airport building was completed, with a control tower on the roof. One year later a new runway (16/34) was built. In 1958 the runway 10/28 got reconstructed and extended to a total length of 2,440m (current length), while runway 16/34 was extended to 2,400m, with its completion in 1972. In 2004 a new parallel taxiway of the 16/34, was opened for use.

In September 1965 a new terminal building opened on a new location (current location). In the period between 1968 and 1973, the terminal was expanded, with the construction of a second floor and its first motorway junction. Due to the earthquake of 1978 in Thessaloniki, the control tower was destroyed, so a new one was constructed, independent of the main terminal building. The next expansion of the terminal took place in two stages, with the projects starting in 1991 and 1993 respectively. The municipality of Thessaloniki, as European Capital of Culture for 1997, took over a projects for the aesthetic intervention, renovation, modernisation and reorganisation of the spaces of the building.

The terminal building took its current form, when an additional of 19,000m² were added to the western and eastern side of the terminal building, completed in November 2000 and June 2003 respectively. The western extension included the widening of the international departures area (new Extra-Schengen area ), including new administration offices, a new health station and the new station control of Olympic Airlines. The eastern expansion included a new check-in hall, new waiting halls and additional administrative offices for airlines. Today the terminal has a total floor area of 32,000m². Finally, during 2004–2006 the new motorway junction was completed on the level of the departures entrance of the Terminal and new parking spaces for cars, buses and taxis were created.

Airlines and destinations

Scheduled flights

Summer charter flights

Passenger and cargo traffic

Between 1994 and 2010, Thessaloniki International Airport saw a rise in passenger traffic equal to 76%, from 2.2 million in 1994 to 3.9 million in 2010.[5] Between 2003 and 2008 the airport saw a passenger traffic increase of 19.1% from 3.5 million to almost 4.2 million passengers, an all-time high. However the number of passengers dropped in next years, to the current 3.96 million passengers.[5]

Apart from passengers, the airport also handled 8.2 thousand tons of freight in 2010, a considerable drop from the 21.4 thousand tons it handled in 1997.[5]

Year Passengers
Domestic International Total
1994 719,846 1,507,641 2,227,487
1995 Increase795,085 Increase1,541,134 Increase2,336,219
1996 Increase922,190 Increase1,577,702 Increase2,499,892
1997 Increase1,108,736 Increase1,688,430 Increase2,797,166
1998 Decrease1,039,149 Decrease1,627,926 Decrease2,667,075
1999 Increase1,328,976 Increase1,857,745 Increase3,186,721
2000 Increase1,533,383 Increase2,014,644 Increase3,548,027
2001 Decrease1,343,366 Increase2,087,453 Decrease3,430,819
2002 Decrease1,219,063 Decrease2,038,373 Decrease3,257,436
Year Passengers
Domestic International Total
2003 Increase1,446,677 Increase2,054,245 Increase3,500,922
2004 Increase1,496,411 Increase2,124,498 Increase3,620,909
2005 Decrease1,462,505 Increase2,208,076 Increase3,670,581
2006 Increase1,486,833 Increase2,316,021 Increase3,802,854
2007 Increase1,644,950 Increase2,523,019 Increase4,167,969
2008 Decrease1,611,883 Increase2,557,676 Increase4,169,559
2009 Increase1,713,890 Decrease2,390,305 Decrease4,104,195
2010 Decrease1,682,071 Decrease2,228,680 Decrease3,910,751
2011[2] Decrease1,487,972 Increase2,470,503 Increase3,958,475



Inside the airport there is one restaurant, four coffee-bars and a tobacco store. Furthermore, except from the Duty Free shop, there are stores selling traditional products, jewellery, accessories and clothes. Passengers also can utilize a luggage secure-wrapping service and luggage lockers. An Hellenic Post post office and automated teller machines are available on the passengers’ departure area. There is also an office of the Greek National Tourism Organisation. Finally, car hire companies can be found in the airport such as AVIS, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.


Macedonia International Airport operates two passenger lounges:


The airport of Thessaloniki is also the home ground of Aeolus Aviation Academy, which is a privately owned FTO and Thessaloniki Aeroclub, both offering pilot training.


Public transport

The airport is served on a 24-hour basis by OASTH (Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization).

  • To downtown Thessaloniki
    • 78/78A/78N
  • To [1]:
    • 78A/79 to A. S. IKEA (Anatolikos Stathmos IKEA), catch bus number 36/36A/36B to Ktel Chalkidikis
    • 78/78N to Emporiko Kentro stop, catch bus number 36/36A/36B from A. S. IKEA (Anatolikos Stathmos IKEA) OASTH bus terminus to Ktel Chalkidikis
  • To Macedonia Intercity Bus StationBus Information – Map
    • 78/78A/78N to T. S. KTEL (Termatikos Stathmos KTEL)
  • To Thessaloniki's train station
    • 78/78A/78N to N. S. Stathmos (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos)
  • To the port of Thessaloniki
    • 78 to Plateia Aristotelous stop, which is 500 metres from the port
    • 78N to Antigonidon stop, which is 700 metres from the port
  • To Alba Trans bus terminusAlbania
    • 78/78A/78N to N. S. Stathmos (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos), buses depart from Giannitson street
  • To Crazy HolidaysAlbania
    • 78/78A/78N to N. S. Stathmos (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos), buses depart from Kalou Michail 14 street
  • To Olympic Lines bus stopSlovakia (from 26is Oktovriou street)
    • 78 to I.K.A. stop
    • 78N to Kolomvou stop

In September 2010 it was announced that an extension of the under construction Thessaloniki Metro to the airport is under consideration. The manufacturing company considers the possibility of constructing the extension with an over-ground rail-based transportation system, such as a monorail.

Car and Taxi

The airport is directly connected with the city's southeast major road arteries, the EO16 and the A25 (the Thessaloniki-Chalkidiki motorway) via the ΕΟ67; offering direct access via the Thessaloniki ring road to the A1/E75 and A2/E90 motorways; making transportation to and from Macedonia International Airport relatively easy. A total of 2,285 parking spaces for cars exist at the front of the terminal building and taxis are available at the designated taxi waiting area, located outside the arrivals exit. The taxi fare to the city center is approximately 15–20€ from 5 am to 12 pm, while from 12 pm to 5 am expect to be charged an extra 10 euros for this particular route.


As part of a comprehensive masterplan released by the government in 2002, several projects have been started to improve Macedonia International Airport. Other than the building works on the current terminal, including the construction of a new cargo terminal, the masterplan features two major projects.

Runway extension

Phase 1 of the masterplan includes the expansion of existing runway 10/28 and is currently under construction. During the process of the project design, 80 Greek and 5 Danish civil engineers and scientists from other specialties have worked on the project. Both the runway and the taxiway will be extended by 1,150m, 1,000m out into the sea, resulting in a runway that will have a total length of 3,440m with an extra safety distance of 150m. Its width will be 50m while the taxiway’s width, which will be located at an axial distance of 183m from the runway, will be 23m. The new runway and taxiway sections, will be equipped with appropriate lighting and control systems that will extend a further 750m into the sea. The completion date was set in July 2011, but due to financial problems of the manufacturing company, reactions of environmental organizations and residents of the surrounding areas, fearing ecological dangers by extenting land into the sea, the project has been held back. A new completion date for December 2012 was set,[6][7] only to be pushed further back to July 2013 and then December 2015.[8][9] The expansion of the runway will allow for the landing of larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, and increase safety, as the aircraft will have greater flexibility and visual contact on days with bad weather conditions.

Terminal 2

Phase 2 of the masterplan has heralded the construction of a new larger terminal, together with a new apron for 36 aircraft, of which 14 will be stationed at contact place. The second phase of the masterplan will drasticly increase the status of the airport and eliminate existing passenger traffic problems, especially during the summer period. The new terminal will be able to accommodate 8 million passengers per year (in peak hours 2.800 passengers for departures or arrivals) while the terminal’s total area is expected that it will be 115.000m².[10] In December 2010, the Greek government revealed that there are thoughts for the construction of the new terminal through private investing, the same way in which Athens International Airport was realised. Until now no further official announcement has been issued.


  • On 4 July 2000, HA-LCR, a chartered Malév Flight 262 Tu-154 landed on its belly. The crew had forgotten to lower the undercarriage and the plane skidded 400 metres (440 yards) on the runway. Thanks to the plane's robust construction and the engines' high position, the plane was able to become airborne again as the pilots applied full throttle. It circled while the crew lowered the undercarriage and landed safely. There were no injuries. It was considered uneconomical to repair the aircraft. The aircraft still remains on site,[14] although airline markings have been obscured and heavily depleted of re-usable spares.
  • On 22 January 2010, a SunExpress plane flying from Germany to Turkey carrying 69 passengers made a safe emergency landing in "Macedonia". According to a Greek civil aviation official who declined to be named, the pilot had received a bomb threat call on his mobile phone.
  • On 15 Jun 2013, an AMC Airlines Boeing 737-800 on behalf of Astra Airlines Greece, registration SU-BPZ performing flight A2-921 from Novosibirsk (Russia) with 160 passengers, landed on runway 16 but overran the end of the runway by about 110 meters/360 feet and came to a stop with all gear on soft ground. No injuries occurred, the aircraft received minor if any damage.[15]


External links

  • Hellenic civil aviation authority: Thessaloniki Airport, "Makedonia"
  • Air Traffic Safety Electronic Engineers Association – Greek Airports: Thessaloniki International Airport, "Macedonia"
  • Thessaloniki Airport unofficial page: Thessaloniki Airport unofficial site
  • Aviation Safety Network
  • Airport information for LGTS at Great Circle Mapper.
  • NWS
  • Airport information for LGTS at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
  • Greek Airports: Thessaloniki International Airport, "Macedonia"

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