The airport is located approximately 3km, or 2 miles from the city centre of Carcassonne, and is one of the smaller France airports which are found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the country. The Salvaza Airport, or the Carcassonne en Pays Cathare Airport handles over 450,000 passengers per annum, and is considered as an important air gateway to the Aude department of France. It is adequately equipped with facilities for departing and arriving passengers, and is known as a friendly and efficient airport. Ryanair offers Carcassonne departures, to various destinations.
Ryanair is the only airline company that serves the airport of Carcassonne, and their flights reach five different countries. The regular, year-round destinations available from the airport include Brussels South-Charleroi, Dublin, Liverpool and London-Stansted, while seasonal flights travel to Cork, East Midlands, Glasgow-Prestwick and Porto. Therefore, there are nine regular departure routes from Carcassonne airport, to the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Portugal. Ryanair is one of the low-cost, or budget airline carriers of the world, and is well known to have significantly increased traffic at many of the smaller European airports. Around the year 2000, ‘no-frills’ airline carriers began their operations, and enabled many people to afford the luxury of flight. Since 2006, Carcassonne Airport has handled over 400,000 passengers each year, and its traffic figures appear to be steadily increasing.
Carcassonne departures can be reached by passengers in private vehicles, as there is an excellent road network surrounding the city, by bus or by taxi. There is however, no airport train station available. The main roads of the airport, which is nearby areas such as Caux-et-Sauzens, Pezens, Pennautier, Villemoustaussou, Cazilhac and Lavalette, are the D119 and the D6161. These roads can be followed from the city, or from areas to the west, such as Montréal. The D33 is a popular route to follow from Bram, and from the other nearby areas mentioned, access is provided by the D48, D49, D6113 and the A61, which is the major Autoroute in the vicinity of the airport. This Autoroute runs further east to Narbonne, and further west, to the cities of Castelnaudary and Toulouse. Parking can be found at the airport for reasonable rates, and for short and long-term parking periods.
The Anglo’Bus offers public transport to passengers departing from Carcassonne Airport, and is available from the city centre, the Carcassonne railway station and various other parts of Carcassonne. A bus is available from these locations approximately an hour and a half before each departure flight from the airport, and will deliver passengers to the check-in points about an hour before their flight. Alternatively, taxis are a more private form of transport, available from all nearby areas.
The airport consists of a single terminal building, which is modern, functional and efficient for the most part of its operations, however, since only a small establishment, peak traffic times can make the airport building feel rather crowded. It is recommended to arrive at the airport at least an hour before your time of departure for a domestic flight, and two hours before an international flight. Check-in for Ryanair flights open two hours before the flight is scheduled, and check-in for international flights will close forty minutes prior to departure. It is essential that you check-in before the desks close, otherwise, you may not be permitted to board. All times are noted on the airline ticket provided by Ryanair. Ensure that you are carrying all travel documentation required for your journey, which may include a valid passport or identity card, and that the size, weight and contents of your baggage items meet the requirements of Ryanair. There are certain items that may not be packed in hold or hand luggage, and baggage exceeding the weight limitations will be more expensive to carry.
All airports in Europe now adhere to the new regulations surrounding the carrying of liquids in hand luggage, and all passengers should now be aware of these restrictions. All liquid substances in hand luggage will need to be placed in separate containers of no more than 100ml each, and then kept in a transparent and re-sealable bag ready for inspection at the security checkpoint. The contents within the bag should not exceed one litre. The transparent bags are usually available from vending machines at the airport departure areas. An unlimited quantity of liquids may be packed in hold luggage, and the necessary quantities of baby food and milk may be brought with in hand luggage. Passengers with special dietary requirements or medicinal needs are the exception as well.
The airport has banking and currency exchange services, ATMs, a VIP lounge and a couple of shops and restaurants, which include a duty-free store in the departures area. Liquids purchases after the security checkpoint may be carried on board the aircraft. Other services at the airport include Wi-Fi Internet connections, payphones and business meeting rooms for professional travellers. The terminal is also equipped to meet the needs of disabled persons. Live Carcassonne departures can be viewed online, or further information is available from the general information desk in the departure hall of the airport.
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