Podgorica Airport History
Podgorica has historically been a key place for the development of aviation in Montenegro. Join us on our journey through the decades, from the first flights to modern times.
In 1928, when the air traffic started in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, a passenger aircraft landed on Montenegrin soil.
An experienced team went on the study circular flight Belgrade-Skoplje-Podgorica-Mostar-Sarajevo-Belgrade, the purpose of which was “tracing” the intended net of traffic lines, with a biplane Potez 29-2, registration mark X-SEFG, of the local Company for air transport.
The biplane was operated by engineer Tadija Sondermajer, director, and Vladimir Striževski, Company’s Head of Pilots, and apart from the mechanic Pavle Ćuk, the passengers were the reporter of “Politika“, journalist Nikolić, and the film cameraman Njemec. For the purpose of storing equipment, supplies of food, water, clothes, blankets and other items, some of the seats in passenger cabin were dismantled.
The aircraft departed from Belgrade on 26th of May 1928 to the first stage, flight to Skopje. After staying in Skoplje for two days, where the aircraft has been named “Skoplje“, it continued the “tracing“ of the airlines towards Podgorica.
With a magnificent and hearty welcome, the aircraft landed on 29th May on the old airfield near Vrela Ribnička (Ćemovsko Polje).
The first passenger plane
On 5th of May 1930, at 10 o’clock and 45 minutes, the first passenger aircraft landed in Podgorica. Podgorica was celebrating. A few thousand citizens of Podgorica and the surrounding villages awaited with curiosity, as the reporters wrote, “the engine bird”, and they gave unprecedented ovations. In the aircraft type “Farman” with nine seats, in addition to Sondermajer and pilot Striževski, ”the main organizer of the Company”, there were also five journalists, collaborators of Belgrade newspapers. On that occasion, the president of Podgorica Municipality has presented the pilot with 10 napoleons, and Sondermajer with the gold Montenegrin national costume.
Among other things, the Montenegrin press wrote the following about this event:
“…the passenger aircraft departed from Belgrade at 7 o’clock. It arrived in Sarajevo at 8 o’clock and 33 minutes. After an interval of half an hour, the aeroplane departed from Sarajevo to Podgorica where it arrived at 10 o‘clock and 45 minutes. The aeroplane landed on the field itself above old town…The club “Branko” sang the anthem, and then the guests could help themselves to a banquet in the hotel “Imperijal”. The aeroplane shall operate twice a week: on Mondays and Thursdays, and the price is 850 dinar. ” (Slobodna Misao, 11th of May 1930)
The first Air Show
In June 1934 the first Air Show was held in Podgorica. It was attended by more than 10.000 citizens from all of Montenegro. Seven aircraft bombers participated in this program, as well as three fighter planes and a few school planes.
The program they performed sparked enthusiasm.
Regular transportation of passengers between Belgrade and Podgorica
The scheduled transport of passengers for Belgrade-Podgorica flights started on 8th of April 1946. The planes operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The passengers could carry only 15kg of baggage, and instead of sitting on passengers seats, they sat on risers (seats placed along the fuselage of the aircraft, envisaged for the transport of parachutists and soldiers). The travel documents were checked by the mechanic– flight crew, instead of air-hostess, the member of aircrew.
The first Cargo line
In April 1957, the aircraft C-47 operated the first domestic cargo destination (BG-Sarajevo-Titograd) which transported the newspapers and various freight.
Airport gets a concrete runway and an airport building
The airport in Titograd is one of the first with a concrete runway and was opened for air-traffic in 1961.
It possessed a very functional building with all the accompanying facilities. Its area was around 4000m², together with the access roads. The handling capacity of the building was around 1000 passengers a day. As a complete unit, with accompanying facilities, it could regularly, and with high quality, handle 25-30 aircraft of the type DC-9 in the course of 24 hours.
Reconstructed and Modernized Airport Titograd – Golubovci
On 13th of July 1977, the Day of the uprising of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, the reconstructed and modernized airport Titograd-Golubovci was officially opened, then, one of the most modern airports in the country. Marko Orlandić gave a speech at the ceremony, the President of the Executive Council of Montenegro, and Mirko Popović, who presented constructors with golden watches – a gift of the Assembly of Titograd.
This modern airport, located in Golubovci near Titograd, with the runway 2500m long and 45m wide, could handle almost all types of passenger aircraft of that time. The runway had furnished safety belts (“threshold“) on both ends, which were the guarantee of safety in case the aircraft, eventually, deviated from the runway. In addition to this, there was also a parallel taxiway 2500m long and 15m wide.
The community obtained the airport as the most beautiful gift for 13th of July, the Day of the uprising of Montenegrin people. The airport in Titograd was opened for scheduled traffic on 16th of July that year, and was important not only for the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, but also for all of our air traffic. In 1977, given the territory and number of citizens, Montenegro had a relatively dense network of airports which consisted of Titograd, Tivat, Ivangrad and Žabljak.
Airports of Montenegro
After more than three decades, today’s airport, bearing the name of its home city, was modernized, extended and equipped as a modern airport. The overall look of Podgorica, the elegance of form and charm of some of its units or parts make it the ambassador who best represents its country in the eyes of foreigners and travellers.
Public Company Airports of Montenegro was formed by the Government of Montenegro in 1999. The airports in Podgorica and Tivat became the property of the Government of Montenegro on 23rd of April 2003, after being taken over from the Serbian company JAT after years of negotiations. The Director of the Public Company Airports of Montenegro was Mr Milovan Đuričković.
After the state of Montenegro took over the airports, their accelerated, planned, and dynamic development started, as well as their international promotion.
With the project of modernization of Montenegrin airports, worth around 30.000.000€, which was a loan supported by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, new capacities were built on both airports. The existing ones were modernized and reconstructed, and new modern airport equipment was acquired. This program promoted the quality of rendering services to passengers and airlines, and also provided higher safety and security to all the users of the airport services.
New Podgorica Airport, part of the independent Montenegrin brand
The new Podgorica Airport was officially opened for traffic on 14th of May 2006, and the reconstructed and modernized Tivat AIrport on 3rd of June 2006.
Montenegrin airports are members of ACI (Airport Council International), and with active promotion on numerous international gatherings and stock markets, they have achieved the creation of recognizable brand and great demand of numerous airlines to establish an active cooperation.
Public Company Airports of Montenegro successfully co-operates with the airports in surroundings and numerous other international airports. It is also always present, among other gatherings, at the biggest festival of subjects in air traffic which is held once a year.
The slogans of our company are “Podgorica Airport – The Heart of Montenegro” and “Tivat Airport – The Gate of the Adriatic”.
Airports of Montenegro AD
At its session of 25th of July 2013, the Government of Montenegro has adopted the Decision about founding one member Joint Stock Company for service activities in air traffic – “Airports of Montenegro”.
The name of the company is “Airports of Montenegro” Joint Stock Company for service activities in air transport. The abbreviated name of the company is ”Airports of Montenegro” JSC.
The principal place of business of the Company is at Podgorica Airport.
The bodies of the Company are:
- Board of Directors
- Executive Director
On 11th of Feb 2014, the Company was registered in the Central Register of Companies.