Graz Airport can look back on numerous milestones in its centenarian history. From the establishment of the first airfield and the landing of the Conorde to the latest modernisations such as the establishment of taxiway C - Read more about the eventful history of your airport.
Also have a look at videos und historical pictures.
Our history in years
The airport area at Roman times
This year brought positive developments in two ways. With the new KLM-connection to Amsterdam another airline alliance with a hub could be brought to Graz. In addition, important extensions of infrastructure were completed – a bigger maintenance hangar for Austrian Airlines and a general aviation hangar and also the café-bistro in the departure hall was relaunched. Graz Airport was moreover acting as official airport for Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 hosted in Styria.
The field of cargo, important for local economy and industry, was restructured in 2016. Swissport International and Graz Airport founded the joint venture company Swissport Cargo Services Graz GmbH, which could increase the result of 2015 by 5.3% already in the first year.
Graz Airport sees a considerable increase in passenger figures of 7.35%. Major contributors to this development were airberlin, SWISS and Turkish Airlines, who brought new and additional flights to the schedule.
Graz Airport celebrates its 100th birthday and is thus the oldest commercial airport of Austria. The first half of the year was clearly marked by 100 Years Graz Airport.
> The modern departure terminal. Photo: Krug/Graz Airport.
Graz Airport is awarded the prestigious ÖKOPROFIT-Award for the 14th time and within the audit "workandfamily" ("berufundfamilie") it is awarded with the basic certificate and the quality label of a women- and family-friendly company.
Another milestone in terms of safety was set. To ensure optimum use of the runways and a swift traffic handling a third taxiway (Taxiway C) is built. In addition, the two already existing taxiways (B+D) and the adjacent apron are partly overhauled in order to meet all safety specifications also in the future.
Between the airport terminal and the railway station a covered train access is built in cooperation with the Styrian government. Passengers thus get to the railway station Feldkirchen comfortably and without getting wet on rainy days; station of suburban train S5 about 300 m from terminal.
2010 – The volcano spews fire and ashes
The ash cloud of the Icelandic volcano on the Eyjafjalla glacier again and again causes closing of air space in Europe in April and May, in mid-April also in Austria. About 12,000 passengers of Graz Airport can therefore not fly.
2009 – Year of the economic crisis
The economic crisis does not leave Graz Arport entirely unaffected either. That the decrease in passenger numbers of almost 6% is comparatively small is primarily due to the introduction of new routes as well as the expansion of exisitng connections.
In June 2009 the new Heliport is ceremonially handed over to the ÖAMTC. SPAR celebrates its 400,000th customer at Graz Airport - and that, even though the store has been open less than a year at that point.
2008 – 1 million passengers
In September SPAR opens the first supermarket on an Austrian airport area.
On 23 December 2008 history was eventually made: The one millionth passenger is a milestone for Graz Airport.
Graz Airport is awarded the "GerambRose" for good building for its terminal extension.
In December 2006 the 900,000th passenger is welcomed.
On 22 March the new departure hall is opended.
On 28 May all existing records are broken: More than 6,000 passengers use the airport that day. The airport celebrates its 90th anniversary and attends to almost 900,000 passengers that year.
2003 – Construction work in progress
The General Aviation Center is opended. At the same time one of the biggest construction projects in the history of the airport starts: the extension of the passender terminal to double the capacity.
On 27 November 2003 Graz Airport is glad to welcome the 800,000th passenger.
In October the new tower is opened.
The cargo building is extended as well as the apron to the North.
For the first time more than 750,000 passengers are counted.
The new airport building is put into operation with a ceremony after 2 years of construction. For the opening and on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the airport an international aviation day is hosted on 29 October. More than 120,000 visitors attend this spectacular event.
1984 – 70 years Graz Airport
Well above 100,000 visitors celebrate the 70th anniversary of Graz Airport. On the occasion the festivities a big air show takes place. Exciting highlight of the show is the landing of the first "Jumbo" (B-747) of the German airline "Deutsche Lufthansa".
A modern approach aid is put into operation at Graz Airport. It leads correspondingly equipped aircrafts safely to the ground at low visibility. Thus cancellations due to fog and mist can be reduced almost to zero.
1981 – The Concorde lands at Graz Airport
Another highlight in the history of Graz Airport is the landing of the Concorde of British Airways on 29 March 1981.
1969 – 40,000 passengers
The airport again has to be enlarged and modernised. A new terminal building is established and the the runway is extended to 2,500m. Already more than 40,000 passengers thus take off and land at Graz Airport this year.
By introducing the route Graz-Linz-Frankfurt the airport is incorporated into the international flight network.
Graz Airport is incorporated in the domestic route network of AUA. The route Vienna-Graz-Klagenfurt is developing so well that passenger volume has doubled by 1964.
For the first time around 1,000 passengers are counted this year.
1955 – Back under Austrian airspace sovereignty
The withdrawal of the occupying powers gives back airspace sovereignty to Austria. The constantly increasing air traffic and technological progress require improvement of the airport. A 1500-metre-long concrete runway with respective lighting system is built - it is the first new construction of that kind in Austria.
On 23 June 1951 Graz Airport is re-incorporated into international air traffic. This was authorised by the British occupying power.
The office of civil aviation is established and Graz Airport is put back under domestic administration.
1945 – Period of the occupation
On 9 May 1945 Soviet troops reach the airport, later it is occupied by the British. Other than the air traffic of the occupying powers civil and military aviation was forbidden in Austria.
1937 – An airport building is built
Due to continuous improvements of navigation and radio technology air traffic is increasing significantly. Construction of an airport building starts.
Graz is incorporated in the radio network and gets a direction-finding station.
1925 – The first flight network of Austria
The first domestic flight network is established. The route leads from Vienna via Graz to Klagenfurt.
The airport is put under the administration of the Republic of Austria.
1920 – In possession of the Styrian government
The facilties of the "Thalerhof" are transferred to the Styrian government. At that time military and civil aviation are prohibited. People therefore turn towards gliding.
26 June 1914 is the day – The first aircraft takes off from Graz Airport.
The airport's year of birth is, however, also closely connected with the probably sadest chapter of its history: In this year an internment camp is established on the area of today's airport, in the immediate neighbourhood of the military airport. Here civilians from Bukovina and Galicia are held who are suspected of "Russophilia".
In the camp, which exists until 1917, there a bad sanitary conditions and lack of space above all in the first few months. Several epidemics break out as a consequence. Almost 1.800 people die in the four years of the camp's existence. A bone house on the cemetery of Feldkirchen becomes the last resting place for most of the deceased persons in the end.
1913 – The first airfield is established
Construction work at the former k. & k. airfield starts, hangars are built and a gras airfield is established.
The airport area at Roman times
On the area of today's airport one of the biggest Roman villas of Austria was situated 2.000 years ago. The villa served as a prestigious residence for one of the leading families of the Roman province Noricum and as the centre of a presumably very large estate.
It has always been beyond question that the villa which was partly unearthed 70 years ago is one of the most important examples of Roman architecture in Austria. However, the old plans did not allow an exact localisation of the building. Likewise it was not known whether the almost 2.000-year-old remains of the building were preserved at all.
To provide clarity ground radar measurements were taken in 2007 on those sites of the airport area under which the remains of the villa were assumed to be situated. In order not to disturb flight operations measurements were taken during the night making use of flood lights. The efforts were rewarded by excellent results: The walls of the villa coud be seen quite well, the modern measurements showed extensive concorande with the old excavation plan, but also new and additional details.
The villa is situated in an area of Graz Airport that will not be subject to possible developments and construction work in the future. Thus it will be preserved for posterity which will maybe explore the villa with more modern methods in the future.