Sarajevo International Airport
Sarajevo International Airport , also known as Butmir Airport, is the main international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, located 3.3 NM southwest of the railway station in the capital city of Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 in the suburb of Butmir
Butmir is a neighborhood of Ilidža in the Sarajevo Canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a small but fairly important and well-known neighborhood of several thousand people.Geographically, the Butmir region is very rich in flint...


Since the Dayton Accord in 1996, the airport has welcomed a thriving commercial flight business which includes B&H Airlines
B&H Airlines
B&H Airlines is an airline with its head office in the Energoinvest Building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, operating scheduled services, charter passenger services and small cargo services...

, Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered in Office Park 2 on the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Wien-Umgebung and a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Together with regional subsidiary Tyrolean Airways and charter arm Lauda Air, it operates...

, Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

, Jat Airways
Jat Airways
Jat Airways is the national airline of Serbia and the former national airline of Yugoslavia, and has its head office in the Jat Airways Business Center in Belgrade. It was established in 1927 as Aeroput, making it currently one of the world's oldest airlines still in operation...

, Croatia Airlines
Croatia Airlines
Croatia Airlines d.d. is the national airline and flag carrier of the Republic of Croatia. Based in Buzin, Zagreb, the airline is a member of Star Alliance and operates domestic and international services. Its main base is Zagreb Airport, with focus cities being Dubrovnik and Split...

, Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakirköy district, Istanbul...

, Germanwings
Germanwings GmbH is a low-cost airline based in Cologne, Germany, and is wholly owned by Lufthansa. Cologne Bonn Airport, Stuttgart Airport and Berlin-Schönefeld Airport are the important hubs in the airline's network of approximately 70 destinations...

 and others. In 2006, 466,186 passengers traveled through Sarajevo airport, compared to only 25,000 in 1996.

In 2010 Sarajevo International Airport had 563,266 passengers which is more than all of the airports in Bosnia-Herzegovina had together and 6,2% more than in 2009. The growth rate in 2011 is expected to be above 10%.

In 2005 the European branch of the Airports Council International
Airports Council International
Airports Council International is the association of the world’s airports. It is a non profit organization, whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations...

 awarded Sarajevo the award of Best Airport Under 1 Million Passengers.


First regular flights from Sarajevo to Belgrade and Zagreb started in 1935 from an airfield in the suburb of Butmir, near Sarajevo. The airfield remained in use all the way until 1969.
The need for a new airport in Sarajevo, with an asphalt-concrete runway, was acknowledged in the mid 1960s when JAT, Yugoslav national carrier at that time, began acquiring jet planes. The construction of the airport began in 1966 at its present location, not far from the old one.

The Sarajevo Airport opened on June 2, 1969 for domestic traffic. In 1970 Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 became the first international destination served. Most of the time the airport was a 'feeder' airport where passengers embarked for flights to Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

 and Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 on their way to international destinations. Over time the traffic volume steadily grew from 70,000 to 400,000 passengers a year. The first renovation came for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, when the runway was extended by 200 meters, the navigation system was improved, and a new terminal building was built, designed for 1 million passengers a year.

At the beginning of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

 the airport was put under control of Yugoslav federal army (JNA). When the regular flights were stopped the JNA evacuated some 30,000 people, mostly women and children, who were fleeing clashes in Sarajevo; the first humanitarian aid from the US and France arrived in this period too. After JNA left, the airport was for a while under control of Bosnian Serb forces and in June 1992 they handed over the airport to the UN to use it for humanitarian purposes (UN Security Council Resolution 757). In the biggest humanitarian operation in history of the UN that followed, during the Bosnian war, some 13,000 flights were carried out and over 160,000 tons of international humanitarian aid was delivered to the besieged city of Sarajevo.

The airport re-opened to civilian air traffic on August 16, 1996 and has since been renovated and slowly returned to its former glory. On 18 October 2005, Paddy Ashdown
Paddy Ashdown
Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG, KBE, PC , usually known as Paddy Ashdown, is a British politician and diplomat....

, the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina suspended a decision by Bosnian authorities to name the airport after Alija Izetbegović
Alija Izetbegovic
Alija Izetbegović was a Bosniak activist, lawyer, author, philosopher and politician, who, in 1990, became the first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served in this role until 1996, when he became a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving until 2000...

, the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Citing his reasons, the High Representative stated that such a renaming might undermine the reconciliation process by alienating non-Bosniak citizens.

Airport expansion

Extension of the passenger terminal, together with upgrading and expanding the taxiway and apron is planned in the near future.

Scheduled airlines

The following airlines operate scheduled flights at Sarajevo International Airport (as of November 2011)

Charter airlines

Cargo airlines

The following airlines operate cargo flights at Sarajevo International Airport (as of February 2011)

Passenger statistics

Year/Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Year total
2011 30,484 34,148 40,803 49,489 56,812 62,994 81,042 59,042 59,074 52,975 - - 526,863
2010 + + + + 51,398 59,636 72,615 60,475 54,753 51,137 40,912 - 563,266
2009 + + 87,257 + + 143,906 + + 177,762 + + 121,427 530,391
2008 23,909 27,121 34,896 38,052 46,974 55,391 62,524 61,560 42,752 46,094 34,089 32,913 506,398
2007 32,235 28,028 35,168 42,297 43,633 53,281 59,436 57,381 45,113 43,980 31,952 32,735 505,269
2006 26,743 24,292 30,484 37,380 44,290 49,987 56,504 54,811 45,394 38,690 28,166 29,287 466,186

External links

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