The concept of an airport, or rather a designated area for landing and takeoff of aircraft, has with no doubt been around for as long as humans have been flying. However, the first recorded use of an airport was in the early 1900s.
Also Read: Top 10 busiest airports in the world
Some of the airports established back then, over 12 decades ago, are operational to date. In this article, we look at the top 5 World’s oldest airports still in operation.
Top 5 World’s oldest airports still in operation
- College Park Airport in the USA (started operating in 1909)
- Hamburg Airport in Germany (started operating in 1911)
- Shoreham Airport in England (started operating in 1911)
- Madrid–Cuatro Vientos Airport in Spain (started operating in 1911)
- Bucharest Baneasa International Airport in Romania (started operating in 1912)
1. College Park Airport
College Park Airport is the world’s oldest continuously operating airport. It was established back in 1909 at the City of College Park, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Originally the airport which covers a total of 70 acres of land, was a military demonstration site for the Wright Brothers. Civilian aircraft began flying from College Park Airport in December 1911.
College Park Airport has one asphalt surface runway, Runway 15/33, that is 795 meters long and 18 meters wide. The airport is owned by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).
2. Hamburg Airport
Known in German as Flughafen Hamburg, Hamburg Airport, is a major international airport in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany.
Sitting on an area of 5.7 km2 the airport was opened in January 1911. It is thus the second oldest airport in Germany after Tempelhof Airport and the world’s oldest continuously operating airport. Additionally, Hamburg Airport is the oldest international airport in the world still in operation.
Free & Hanseatic City of Hamburg and AviAlliance GmbH own Hamburg Airport with a 51% and 49% stake respectively.
3. Shoreham Airport
Also known as the Brighton City Airport, Shoreham Airport is located in the parish of Lancing in West Sussex, England.
The airport was opened in June 1911. It features among others, 4 runways, one terminal building, and a licensed restaurant called The Hummingbird Restaurant and Cafe. The airport houses Northbrook College‘s engineering department and a number of aerospace and aviation as well as non-aviation commercial business offices and workshops.
Shoreham Airport is owned by Brighton City Airport Ltd (BCAL).
4. Madrid–Cuatro Vientos Airport
Established in 1911, Madrid–Cuatro Vientos Airport, also known as Cuatro Vientos Airport, is the oldest airport in Spain. The airport was originally an air base that later became a civil airport.
Today Madrid–Cuatro Vientos Airport is mainly used by general aviation aircraft, Flight Training Organizations and flying clubs.
Part of the airport is still dedicated to the military, as well as being the base for the Spanish Police aircraft and road traffic surveillance helicopters.
5. Bucharest Baneasa International Airport
Bucharest Baneasa International Airport is also known as Aurel Vlaicu International or Bucharest City Airport. It is located in Băneasa district, Bucharest, Romania.
The airport opened to the public in 1912, which makes it the oldest continuously operating airport in Eastern Europe. However, it had been in operation as a private aerodrome since 1909.
Băneasa Airport was the main international airport in Romania until 1968. Commercial traffic now goes mainly to the newer Henri Coanda International Airport.