Gdańsk Wrzeszcz Airport. 2013.

Gdańsk 2013-10-26

Former Gdańsk Wrzeszcz airport.

Geographic coordinates: 54.393N 18.601E.

Westerplatte. PZL P.7a model aircraft made by a prisoner of war of the German Woldenberg camp. 2020 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Westerplatte. PZL P.7a model aircraft made by a prisoner of war of the German Woldenberg camp. 2020 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Wrzeszcz airport in the Polish administration. 1945.

After the front had passed, the status of the City and the Airport was uncertain for many months. Only in autumn in 1945, the Soviets handed over the airport to the Polish side. It was necessary to quickly complete the necessary work to launch an air connection with Warsaw. The destroyed airport facilities were rebuilt and significantly modernized. The airport apron has been rebuilt. The airport was theoretically civil, but in practice it was managed by the Polish Army. There was no other management board in Poland at that time.

Most of the flights to / from the Wrzeszcz Airport were so-called courier or business flights. They were performed on the route Warsaw - Gdańsk. They transported the post office, people's commissioners, security officers, commanders of the Polish Army and the Soviets. The most frequently used were Po-2 airplanes, small, very slow, but not requiring modern airports. Official propaganda said that PLL LOT planes were operating on the Warsaw - Gdańsk route from the very end of the war. However, it took several months for the actual connections to be made.

At the end of 1945, LOT Polish Airlines organized the third circular line in Poland, designated No. 5-6. The plane took off from Warsaw via Bydgoszcz to Gdańsk and back via Olsztyn to Warsaw. The next flight was in the opposite direction (Warsaw - Olsztyn - Gdańsk - Bydgoszcz - Warsaw). The line was served by Li-2 and C-47 A and Nord NC-71 planes (all planes are already very worn out).

However, the first real flight of PLL LOT with passengers (and not UB officers) took place on February 20, 1946. The flight was carried out on the route Okęcie - Wrzeszcz - Okęcie, by a Li-2 P plane. In 1947, the airport had connections with all airports operating in the country.

In September 1945, the Academic Aviation Club was established at the Gdańsk University of Technology, and on March 22, 1946, the Gdańsk Aero Club was reactivated. The first General Meeting of AG was called after the war, thus resuming its activity.

Until the end of its operation, Wrzeszcz Airport had connections with Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Kraków, Rzeszów, Szczecin and Wrocław. In the early 1970s, the fate of Wrzeszcz Airport was doomed. It was more like a glider landing site than an international airport. The planes were taxiing right next to the people saying goodbye and greeting people, and luggage was collected from the shelter, which was also a bus stop. The last cruise passenger plane took off from Wrzeszcz on March 30, 1974. In 1973, due to the liquidation of the Airport, Aeroklub Gdański was moved to the Pruszcz Gdański Airport. Traffic at Wrzeszcz Airport was maintained until the opening of the Rębiechowo Airport in 1974. With the end of air traffic, construction machines entered the airport and the construction of apartment blocks in the Zaspa estate began.

The airport in Wrzeszcz was closed on March 31, 1974. It was then that the last LOT Polish Airlines flight departed from Wrzeszcz Airport. It was probably An-24.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman