Airport Katowice Muchowiec
In 1918, Poland regained its independence. However, we had to fight the final boundaries in battle and finally they were approved by the allied states in 1922. As a result of three Silesian Uprisings, Upper Silesia was divided between Poland and Germany. The Polish side includes such cities as Katowice and Sosnowiec. On the side of the German city of Gliwice and Zabrze. For aviation, it was important not to grant Gliwice Poland, because it was the only city in Upper Silesia with an airport. This was because the Gliwice authorities had previously blocked the establishment of airports in other cities. After the Great World War, the Silesian Aviation Society was founded in the Polish Upper Silesia, one of the main tasks of which was to set up an airport. The organization was supported by the State Air Defense League (which in 1928 was transformed into the League of Air Defense and Gas Antagonism). Both joint organizations found the appropriate location and sources of financing. The inter-war Silesian Aviation Society should not be confused with the current Upper Silesian Aviation Society, established in 1991.
The area for the new airport was found to the south of Katowice, next to the village of Muchowiec. 56 hectares were purchased. The airport was built in the period 1926-1928. The airport building and hangar were built. Both exist to this day. The airport station was designed by Silesian architect Tadeusz Michejda. The building had a ticket office, waiting room, buffet, facilities. The second "communication" hangar was built in 1929. A concrete runway (RWY) was also built, which was still rare at that time. The airport was equipped with: a petrol station, a meteorological station, a transmitting and receiving radio station (Morse code) and an airport lantern (with a capacity of 5000 candles).
In 1929, LOT Polish Airlines launched a flight connection with Warsaw (Mokotów Airport) using Fokker F-VII and Junkers F.13 aircraft. The first flight was made on 1929-01-02. Connections were also maintained with Krakow (Rakowice-Czyżyny Airport), Brno and Vienna. The last cruise before the war was made on 1939-08-30.
The Silesian Aero Club, operating in Muchowiec, was created in 1930, from the merger of the Silesian Sports Club and Aviation Railway Cadre. In 1931, the Silesian Sailing Aviation Club joined the Silesian Aeroclub. Aeroclubs were trained pilots of aircraft and gliders. For the purpose of gliding training in Goleszów, on the Chełm mountain, an airport and a gliding school were established. In Aleksandrowice near Bielsko Biała, an airport with a Civil Pilots School was established, under the patron Józef Piłsudski.
During the Second World War, the Muchowiec airport was used by Germans. After the war, in 1945, passenger and cargo flights were resumed by LOT Polish Airlines. However, already in 1958, LOT Polish Airlines terminated transport connections with Katowice-Muchowiec. Later, PLL LOT planes landed here occasionally. Cruise air traffic was halted mainly due to mining damage caused at the airport. During the communist period, the Silesian Aeroclub brought up many great pilots and aviation modelers.
On 1983-06-20, at the Muchowiec airport, Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated the Holy Mass during his second apostolic visit to his homeland.
In the 21st century, from time to time the idea of making the Muchowiec airport a regional port revives, for aircraft with a capacity of up to 18 passengers. However, the initiative faces various difficulties. especially financial. Due to mining damage, the issue of renovation of the RWY (dimensions 1 100 m x 30 m) is not resolved. There is an idea to build a completely new runway, otherwise located. At the moment (2019) these are only plans.
The existing RWY 1 100 m x 30 m is located in the direction of 05/23.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman