Gdańsk-Zaspa Airport - Flughafen Gdańsk-Zaspa
|Gdańsk-Zaspa Airport (closed)|
|Distance from the city center||2 km west of Gdansk|
|Bahn|| S-Bahn : |
|03/21||1800 m × 80 m Concrete|
|10/28||1400 m × 40 m Concrete|
The Gdańsk-Zaspa Airport is a former airport in Poland . It was opened in 1923 as the international airport of the Free City of Danzig in Danzig - Langfuhr and was in operation for four weeks until 1974, with a war-related interruption.
Free city of Gdansk
Langfuhr Airfield (1910-1923)
In the Danzig suburb of Langfuhr (today Wrzeszcz), the pilot station of Prince Friedrich Sigismund of Prussia was built in 1910 . This only became important in 1917 with the establishment of a naval flying school . In 1919 and 1920 there was no regular air traffic there. Former military aircraft were confiscated, handed over to Poland or destroyed by the military governor during this period. In December 1920 and March 1921, the first Danzig airlines opened their operations. Airports such as Berlin , Königsberg (Devau) , Memel , Kowno , Riga and at times Poznań were soon approached. In September, Warsaw and Lwów (Lemberg) were added.
Gdansk Airport (1923-1945)
As air traffic to and from Gdansk increased steadily and the neighboring parade ground came into the possession of the Free City of Gdansk, the airfield was relocated in a north-westerly direction and expanded to become the airport. The new airport was opened on June 17, 1923 and expanded several times until 1936. In 1923 it had an area of 25 hectares . In 1924 a large aircraft hangar was built, and in 1925 an extension with a shipyard was added. In 1926 an underground refueling system was built. In 1928 a representative check-in building was built, by then the Danzig-based Aero-Lloyd had handled its passengers in the hangar. Further halls were built and the airport was recently expanded to a runway circle of 1000 meters in diameter. He also received aBlind runway with appropriate lights and navigation aids. The work was completed by 1936. Only a 270-meter-long approach route was concreted to protect passengers and onlookers from dust clouds at the start. The runways, 1020 and 966 meters long, were made of grass.
The airport had the Gdansk Airport train station on the railway line from Gdansk to Sopot (later Gdańsk-Lotnisko , today Gdańsk-Zaspa ). In addition to the Gdańsk airlines and their German partners, the Polish LOT and its predecessors, it was also served by Deruluft (German-Russian airline) . However , towards the mid-1920s, Königsberg Airport Devau more and more ousted Danzig from the role of the most important aviation hub in the Scandinavian - Baltic region.
In 1926 the German airlines merged to form Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH) .  The Danziger Aero Lloyd was still formally on. In 1926, Luft Hansa set up a night line via Danzig to Königsberg. The Deruluft machine to Moscow started early in the morning in Devau . Moscow could be reached from Berlin in 15 hours, overnight stays were no longer necessary. Until it was dissolved, Deruluft also operated the route via Danzig to Berlin. Single-engine Fokker F.III , Dornier Merkur and later three-engine Tupolew ANT-9 were used. In autumn 1929, German aircraft were allowed to fly over Polish territory for the first time. Luft Hansa no longer had to fly around the Polish corridor over the Baltic Sea . For political reasons, LOT stopped its winter flights in 1934 and since 1937 has only flown to Rumia (Rahmel) airport near Gdynia .
- Second World War
The attack on Poland meant a temporary closure of civil air traffic. On September 21, 1939, Danzig was again approached from the alternative airfield Rangsdorf near Berlin. Lufthansa’s commercial flights were only stopped at the beginning of 1945.
When the war broke out, Stukas from carrier group 186 were stationed in Danzig-Langfuhr. These bombed ships of the Polish Navy and the Westerplatte . The place then housed the pilot school A / B 6 (FFS A / B 6) and later the FFS A / B 52. This had to make room for combat units in January 1945. This included parts of air target and night fighter squadrons , a minesweeping squadron, close-up reconnaissance aircraft and the IV. Group of Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51) .
People's Republic of Poland
Gdańsk-Zaspa Airport (1923–1974)
At the end of March 1945 Danzig was enclosed and conquered by the Red Army in the course of the Battle of East Pomerania . Ten days later, Gdansk Airport was in Soviet hands. It had suffered damage from the fighting, but it was reopened on April 18, 1945 for a ring line Warsaw – Allenstein – Gdansk – Bydgoszcz – Warsaw . Civilians could use these with special ID cards.
After the Second World War , the first line connection to Warsaw was established on February 20, 1946. The airport received two runways from concrete : 03/21 1800 x 80 meters and 28.10 with 1400 × 40 meters. The airport was given the new name Gdańsk-Zaspa Airport, named after the village of Zaspa (German Saspe ). The square was officially opened on April 21, 1947, in addition to direct connections to Bydgoszcz, Katowice , Kraków, Łódź , Rzeszów , Szczecin and Wrocław were Copenhagen , Stockholm, East Berlin , Budapest, Varna and Burgas are the most important flight destinations. From 1953 to 1957 the 30th regiment of naval aviation was stationed in Zaspa.
The airport and runways could be expanded a little, but the inner-city location made further expansion for jet planes impossible. The military sites in Rumia and Pruszcz Gdański were discussed as alternatives to a new building near Rębiechowo . In August 1971 the government decided in favor of Rębiechowo, on March 30, 1974 Gdańsk-Zaspa was closed and on May 2, 1974 Gdańsk-Rębiechowo Airport (now Lech-Wałęsa Airport ) began operations.
The square in Gdańsk-Zaspa was built over with the two Zasp housing developments Zaspa-Młyniec and Zaspa-Rozstaje. A hall on the pre-war site was used by the Gdańsk brewery, whose site is currently being rededicated as a housing estate. While two more halls were demolished in 2006, a shopping center with an area of 12,000 m² was opened in the largest aircraft hangar in 1994. The northern part of the former runway is still there today.
- Maciej Bakun: AIRPORT In: Gedanopedia (Polish)
- Günter Frost: EXTRACTS FROM THE AVIATION HISTORY OF THE FREE CITY OF GANZIG 1920–1939. Part 1: Organization and development of Gdansk aviation until 1921. ( PDF )
- Günter Frost: EXTRACTS FROM THE AVIATION HISTORY OF THE FREE CITY OF GANZIG 1920–1939. Part 2: The period from 1921 to 1939. (PDF)
- Günter Frost: Approval and marking of aircraft of the Free City of Danzig 1920–1939 In: JET & PROP. No. 5 (2006) to No. 4 (2007).
- Spelling from 1933: Deutsche Lufthansa