Krakow International Airport
The Krakow International Airport, formerly known as the John Paul II International Airport, serves southern Poland from its location at Krakow. Its airport code, KRK, reflects its location rather than the official name it has held since 1995.
Commercial aviation operations at the facility began in 1964 utilizing a Polish Air Force Base. The military ceased operations at the airport in 1968 leaving the Krakow Airport completely dedicated to general aviation and commercial operations. Through the years, the airport has seen a number of expansions and updates.
Not only was the airport named for Polish native John Paul II, Pope of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, but he served as a patron of the facility. This may explain the airport’s record, which includes no major accidents involving injury or loss of life.
Terminal 1 at John Paul II International Airport service to the bulk of the international flight traffic using the airport. Terminal 2 provides similar services for the domestic flights. Between the two facilities about 3 million passengers are accommodated each year. This greatly exceeds the airports stated capacity of about 1.3 million people. Currently the terminals include 10 check-in counters serving four gates and two baggage claim areas. Free shuttle bus services move passengers between the two terminals.
The terminals offer many of the standard amenities found commonly in international airports but do not provide free Internet services. The terminals do offer Internet stands where, for a fee, travelers can connect for emails and other information. The terminal also offers tourist information and a VIP lounge with business services for travelers wanting to work in privacy. For those wishing to pray or meditate in privacy the airport offers a chapel.
Expansion projects include increasing the capacity of Terminal 1 by adding additional gates and counters to a new space created in the area previously used as the aircraft apron. This new facility will also provide space for separate arrival areas for flights from within the boundaries of the Schengen treaty. This treaty allows passengers from about 26 European countries cross international boundaries without going through customs in each nation.
Krakow Airport Operations
John Paul II International Airport utilizes a single 2,500 meter or 8,000 foot runway to accommodate about 35,000 take offs and landings each year. This runway accommodates aircraft up to and including the size of a Boeing 747 and is equipped with lights and a instrument landing system. The airport operates 24-hours per day and has no noise restrictions.
The airplane watcher is not forgotten at John Paul II International Airport. An observation deck located on the roof of Terminal 1 provides panoramic views of the airside of the airport operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. An admission fee applies.
The airport added a car park in 2010. The multi-story parking garage is connected to Terminal 2 or the domestic terminal. The assumption being more passengers traveling within Poland would drive their cars to the airport than those traveling to international destinations. In addition, there is short-term parking available outside both terminals for people picking up arriving passengers.