Summer fires hindering operations at Split AirportSplit Airport was forced to close its doors yesterday afternoon due to forest fires which are ravaging the area. Thick plumes of smoke from nearby hills affected operations at Split Airport between 15.00 and 16.00 CET. Due to the smoke, visibility was low making it unsafe for aircraft to land. Furthermore, airspace above the airport was being used by hydro planes assisting fire fighters. Many flights that were to depart yesterday were delayed. The Ukrainian charter airline, Windrose Airlines, was forced to divert one of its flights from Kiev to Pula while its other flight was diverted to Zagreb. Furthermore, two private jets which were to land yesterday were diverted to Zadar.
Flight operations at the airport normalised in the early evening hours, however, the area is still under threat. The fire started on a landfill late on Friday night and rapidly spread to surrounding areas. While fire fighters have managed to contain flames in most areas, fires are still persisting. Split Airport handled 94 flights yesterday.
Split Airport yesterday at 15.00 CETAway from the drama, Split Airport is heading for one of its best years on record. In the first seven months of the year, the airport welcomed 764.674 passengers, up 8.3% on the same period last year. In July alone the airport handled 293.026 travellers. The airport is recording the largest passenger growth from Germany, the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries (up 15%). Furthermore, it is also recording passenger growth of up to 5% from France, Italy and Russia.